Crayons and Quilting

Last Wednesday night was our monthly quilt guild meeting. We had a demonstration on colouring on fabric. I can see that this was a dangerous demonstration for me to watch, because I can feel the start of another project coming on. This is exactly how I get distracted from my focus on finishing my UFOs!

I came home and “Googled” crayons and quilting and came up with a lot of interesting information. There are many variations of colouring quilt blocks with crayons, but the link that I found that was most like the technique demonstrated to us on Wednesday night took me to the June 2003 (No. 353) issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine:

The article in QNM was written by Cheryl Wittmayer. If you visit Cheryl’s website, you will be even further tempted by the designs that can be created using this technique: Cheryl says that the basics to the technique are:

Trace with a .01 black pigma pen.

Color with regular Crayola crayons—not fabric crayons.

Set the colors with your iron.

Color and set as many times as you need to get the depth of color you desire.

Stitch with a backstitch by hand, or free-motion machine stitch 4 times on the drawn lines, or triple-stitch by machine on the lines.

The only differences in Cheryl’s technique and the technique that was demonstrated to us at guild night were:

– Another method to trace your design from paper to fabric is to use ordinary carbon paper – simply put a piece of carbon paper between your design and your fabric and trace on the lines of your design. The design will be transferred to your fabric

– Another method to outline your design after you have finished colouring it if you don’t want to do embroidery by hand or machine is to use needle punch to outline your design. Our instructor suggested doing needle punch on the reverse side of the fabric that you normally do your needle punch on–you want the stitch line on the top of your design and the “puff” of the needle punch on the back.

I can envision the possibilities of this technique. In fact, this is an excellent project for those who consider themselves to not be appliquers. Any applique design would translate well to using this technique.

12 thoughts on “Crayons and Quilting

  1. I use crayons all the time for my labels … like a kid again colouring!

    I drew lighthouse scene blocks and coloured them using crayons and sewed them onto a denim shirt. The shirt has been laundered quite a few times and the crayon is still holding up well.

    Have fun!

  2. What a timely post! I was at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA yesterday and saw a crayon quilt and was just stunned with the brightness of the colors. Today I found out that it’s the topic for my next guild meeting!

  3. I have done the coloring on fabric and I prefer the cheap dollar-store crayons over Crayola, as they tend to bleed into the fabric – almost like dye. You should try it – the results are amazing – even on your first attempt.

  4. This looks like such fun, Norma. And I have a ton of crayons, good auntie that I am. I am glad that you gave the instructions on how to do this and the pdf file looks like it would be fun to start with.

    I have done nothing all afternoon but read and try to get caught up with blog reading. BUT seeing all these pretty things is just going to tempt me more, LOL.

  5. Oh my goodness, Norma Crayons are a HUGE weakness for me! A couple of years ago I was in the local quilt store with a good friend and they were doing a demo on “coloring and quilts”. Oh, I wanted to go in and watch so badly and she thought it was “silly”. Well, I stood at the doorway anyway – I wanted to play so badly. Anyway, they were coloring on fabric (muslin) and to give some texture they were putting found objects underneath the fabric (i.e. sandpaper, Lego platforms, screening, etc) Talk about delightful – oh my goodness. I also heard them saying to outline with an embroidery stitch or just a dark pigma pen. I’ll be watching to see what you do! Have fun!!!!

  6. I’ve seen crayons used on quilts a long time ago, and now they have setacolor and fabric paint all over the art quilt list. I have pulled our my crayons and will be giving it a go. It will probably look like a first grader’s drawing, but it will be fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *