Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Drawing on Fabric – Illustrated Quilt Blocks

Drawing on fabric with Copics by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This week’s blog post is for all who love fabric! I have started building a new class, a magical sequel to Animal Inkdom! I want these “Inkdom classes” to be as versatile as possible so that you can use your illustrations in gifts, everyday items, and whatever you like to create. This goal perhaps brings out the designer from me – always seeking for ways to get the most of the beautiful pictures.

Brainstorming when Making a Quilt

My best ideas come, when I am taking a break. Last week, I had to stop the class development for a few days, because my beagle Stella had been waiting for her quilt far too long. The old ones were so worn out that she could barely carry and wrap herself in them. I had almost finished the top of the new quilt but there was still quite a lot of work in quilting and binding it.

Quilting with a sewing machine

So I put the art supplies away, bought pink fabric for the back, and started stitching. The blocks had printed photos, crocheted doilies, ugly leftover prints, experiments that had piled up … I had just sewn them all together! But the more I worked on it, the more unique the blanket felt, and the improvisational way of working kept me energized. Just like when drawing!

Finished quilt by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

So it hit me, that it would be wonderful to build bridges with this kind of fabric play and drawing.

Finished quilt by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

See how full of “doodles”, improvised quilt patterns, the top has!

Finished quilt by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

I doodled a bit with the embroidery floss too. But that’s a lot of work, and it doesn’t feel the same as holding a pen in hand. I missed my markers!

Finished quilt by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Drawing on Fabric with Copic Markers

Once Stella’s quilt was finished, I went to my Copic markers. I ironed a piece of natural white cotton fabric that had some print patterns. To make the patterns even more subtle, I drew on the wrong side of the fabric. So I had a lively background that wasn’t too busy. First, I made a line drawing with thin-tipped black pens. They were Copic brand too.

Then I started coloring and making the drawing more detailed.

Drawing on fabric with Copics by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s the finished piece. I loved the easiness, the softness of the lines, and that I now have a unique quilt block. I will certainly draw some more!

Drawing on fabric with Copics by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Here you can see how the lines, fabric and color blending go well together.

Drawing on Fabric by Peony and Parakeet - a detail.

When I look at my fabric stash, this hand-made piece is definitely what I love the most.

Hand-drawn image on fabric by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My art studio looks so happy now! The best thing is when many things that I love to create come together.

Fabric and art studio by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

While I am preparing the new class, tell me, what kind of ideas and instructions have you been waiting for building bridges between your arts and crafts!

Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet holding her hand-made quilt.

21 thoughts on “Drawing on Fabric – Illustrated Quilt Blocks

  1. Hi Paivi…these quilts are wonderful! Another very nice way to draw on fabric is by using Derwent Inktense pencils. They are wonderful and easy to use also.
    Best regards.

    1. Thank you for the tip on that. I bought inktense pencils and haven’t used them yet.

  2. Inspirational, exciting, whimsical, useful…love, love love
    Fabric is such a big part of our daily lives…a canvas just waiting to be explored and enhanced

  3. Hi Paivi…..I also use Inktense pencils on fabric. Usually I wet the ink and then apply with a brush. Great fun.

  4. Very pretty unique quilt. I love your drawing! I’m impressed with the reverse side showing your quilting also. I love it when creativity flows.

    1. Thank you, Joan! I used the pressed foot and made a lot of rctangular shapes, so it was like angular doodling with a sewing machine.

  5. Hi Pavi are you doing a class on the fabric painting I am interested
    cheers anne

    1. Yes, I am planning a new class and it will include drawing on fabric but it will also have other projects. Stay tuned!

  6. I have been looking for the best modern mediums to put my ART into/onto my clothing.
    Thank you for some great ideas. Phoebe T. – Artist Designer Maker.

  7. Your artwork would make for wonderful delicious fabric by the yard. Ever thought of that? You are verra talented.

  8. Hi Paivi, I love that you make beautiful quilts for your dog.

    I have used old crocheted doilies with acrylic paint to stencil patterns onto material. It works well.

    Your example is gorgeous.

  9. I sometimes stain fabric with paint or ink, then hand or machine embroider over the top. I may also add beading, and if the design needs it, I may add a little more paint detail. I call these painted embroidery paintings!

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