Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Take your quilting--and creative freedom--to a new level by mixing paint, markers, and free motion quilting!
Our family is kinda artsy. We talk about creating and making art as much as we say "stop hitting your brother." Creativity is encouraged in our house. We give lots of opportunities for our two boys to color, draw, and paint, and my husband and I include them in our own creative projects. No idea is a bad idea in our house, and we especially support quirky ideas.
One of our favorite activities is using acrylic paint on leftover cardboard outside in the yard. It's a great, no pressure way to let kids (and adults) explore painting and mixing colors. So when I saw a technique for painting fabric in the book "Free-Motion Quilting 101" by Ashley Nickels, I knew it would be the perfect project to try with the kids during our painting sessions.
Abstract painting and free flowing quilting add interest to projects!
For this project, I used a scrap piece of Confetti Cottons Riley White about 12 inches by 15 inches, acrylic paint, and a fine tip marker to add detail. There is a variety of paint specifically for fabric, but this was just a fun, exploratory project for me so I used what I had handy at home.
A small project like this one is a great way to practice your creativity, learn a new technique, or just have some fun quilting.
My no-pressure approach is to just start painting on the piece of fabric! The best way to do something is to DO it. I experimented on a few scraps and really enjoyed the process of playing around with the way the paint and fabric interacted.
After the pieces dried, I added a piece of batting and backing then quilted.
Give yourself the gift of creating a no-pressure project to inspire creativity.
Use Small Projects to Boost Creativity and Build Confidence
Taking chances and trying new techniques can be scary, so small projects are a great way to incorporate a practice of creativity in your life without committing to long term multi-step project. Small projects let you quickly tap into the feeling of success! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done in a fraction of the time it would take to make a lap quilt or throw.
The finished size of this project works great as a mat for our side table. It helps protect it from spills and warm cups, and it's so easy to throw it in the washing machine when it gets dirty. The best part, to me, is that this was a collaborative family project. We all felt the success and will continue to admire our work everyday in our home!
Quilting - A Creative Practice
Hopefully you feel inspired to try a new technique or explore mixing hobbies of our own! We would love to see your own creative projects in the comments below.
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