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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Painting 'Tideline - After the Storm'

' Tideline -After the Storm' ( detail)
This is perhaps  my favourite quilt of those I've made over the  last few years, summoning up a particular time and  place in Greece. For many years  we stayed in a holiday apartment in Paralio Astros, a very Greek resort  in the Pelopponese  popular with Athenians. In 2008  we participated while we were there in the 'World Beach Project' . When we were collecting orange coloured stones for our starfish artwork , there had been a storm the day before and the patterns of seaweed , and the banks of sand and stones were fantastic - the next day they'd all gone (along with our artwork!)

Home again , after some watercolour sketches, I was ready to choose the fabric - some African dyed cotton damask ( for the sample I used the sleeves of a shirt - there  was enough left in the body for the final piece).I inset some thin strips of seaweed like colour.

I stitched it by machine with twin needle and by hand - seed stitching with cotton perle.  This photo is of the back - wherever possible I use the same fabric front and back so that people can see 'before' and after' - also gives me a second chance if it all goes horribly wrong!

After painting.
Detail of painting
 As so often,  I crammed too many ideas and techniques in for the  sample piece to work entirely successfully in itself . But it achieved its purpose,  I got a better idea  how to proceed -  to leave more of the underlying fabric showing through and to introduce more colours into the paler  areas.  The twin needle worked really well.

Stitched surface before painting
Stitched area before painting (detail)
Stitched and painted area (detail)
As it was quite a large piece (approx. 1m  square at this stage) I didn't have a board large enough to stretch it on  so  I had  to wrap it round a board to paint one half and then the other. I used Photoshop to merge photos of each side  and then printed out  a couple of merged photos to scribble on  to identify which areas needed further attention.

The  final quilt won a Judges Choice when it was exhibited at the Festival of Quilts that year. More recently it  was featured  in the  'The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting' by Linda Seward  and it was shown in the  gallery  to promote the book.
I'm in very good company, sharing the page with Annette Morgan and Pia Welch.


  1. The concept of painting after quilting is difficult for me but this beach scene is such an excellent example, that it peaks my interest.

  2. I love this blog and find lots of ideas in the techniques. Just one suggestion - could the author of each post include their name at the top of the post? Give yourself credit for the writing and art at the very beginning so we all know who is being so generous with their time and talents.
    Thanks, Jeanne Marklin

  3. It's quite beautiful! I've often been afraid to paint after quilting. Often, I've wandered the beach and taken photos of the shoreline, hoping to do it in fibre someday.
    I'd love to see this piece in real life. The colors and textures must be wonderful.

  4. This is a wonderful technique and your piece is beautiful...I think that Annette Morgan and Pia Welch are in very good company with YOU


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