A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Using Charcoal on Quilts

I plan to post several small articles on using different types of fugitive mediums so that you can see some of the benefits of using it on quilts. To show you the benefit of using charcoal on a quilt I want to show you two different quilts I made.

The first one is painted fusible on a light colored fabric.  I really, really liked the results so I tried it again.

The second quilt has the same painted fusible but now on a darker colored fabric. 

Can you tell it is the same painted fusible?  Hardly! The painted fusible blends in so well that it didn't have enough strength to announce itself on that fabric.    Then I used charcoal to darken the outer edges of the box of painted fusible.  WOW!  Now you can see the boxes. The painted fusible is still timid and demure in the darker background but with the addition of the contrast around the edges, you know where to look for it.

So, benefit number one for me is to increase contrast to direct the eye of the viewer.

As far as technique goes, I drew along the edges of the painted fusible with the charcoal and then used my finger to smudge the edge out away from the box. When I got it as dark as I wanted it, I then painted the charcoal with a 50/50 mix of water and base extender.  While I did not try it, I should be able to throw this little quilt into the washer and the charcoal still remain.


  1. Great explanation of contrast! And pics display your explanation. Thanks! something else to try!!

  2. At my art quilt group last night, one of our members showed a piece she exhibited at fesitval of quilts using painted fusible. Until I read your post and saw hers, I never knew about the possiblities of fusible other than what you're "supposed" to do with it.


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