Is Drawing a Prerequisite?

blogs, painting on fabric -

Is Drawing a Prerequisite?

Can you do thread sketching or paint on fabric if you have absolutely no drawing ability?


I took a look at a very broad overview of the Quilting Industry. I see a trend that has been building for a long time and I am so glad!  It's exactly what I love to do... where I come from.  I have been teaching and painting on fabric, adding detailing and other design elements with the use of thread and fibers for a long time.  Over 25 years! 

I took a break when personal issues overwhelmed me but I am happy to say that I am back doing what makes me happy and fulfilled.  

My Passion is painting on fabric.  Lots of different things, and styles.  I really do love whimsical and I tend toward creating a watercolor effect.  Something leaps inside me when I see how pigments flow to create their own beauty.  No, it's not panic.  Well, not every time! mostly... lol. 

My Compulsion is sharing how to do this with others.  Even as a child I would come home from school and teach my sisters what I had just learned.  When I couldn't do that I would put a hat and coat on the coat rack, boots on the floor, and pretend I was teaching someone.  Scary, I know.   

The artists rendition above was done on paper.  But you can get effects very similar to this on fabric!! You just have to know the tips and tricks and be willing to try.

So how can you create amazing artwork on fabric if you don't know how to draw? Do you have to be an "artist"?  Do you have to take drawing classes or run the risk of things looking terribly childish and chunky?  Nothing like the vision in your head?  No. You don't have to be skilled before you learn how.  Read on...

HOW? How can you do this??   You have tools available to you...

 Seeing a pillow at your local home decor shop can really inspire you.  Especially when you see how water coloring images on fabric is so HOT!

  • Begin by tracing an image you like or...
  • Use a Stencil
  • Learn a method I teach on how to take any photograph and transform it into a line drawing
  • Learn to take an image and deconstruct it slightly to make it more “artsy”, less rigid and defined

I use paint on fabric in a watercolor fashion, so it is

  1. Not as defined
  2. Has more negative space
  3. Uses less paint
  4. Appears to be fluid even when dry
  5. You don’t have to work as hard at it
  6. You get the impression of color without having to worry about perfection, coloring in the lines
  7. You are not trying to recreate the photograph or realism of it, you are expressing an emotion.  An emotion other than frustration!  yes, really.

If you don’t want to use a sewing machine, substitute an ink pen for the thread sketching. Look at this gorgeous zentangle created by G. Boettner. I can totally see this done with a watercolor background added to it, then stitched out on fabric.  Of course you want the artists permission to use it... but you can take elements of this and create your own unique art. It doesn't have to be perfect.  


I am finally at a spot in my life where I am able to start focusing on creating again.  I've found a fabulous medium to work in that allows you to create beautiful results without a lot of headaches.  I've recently done a video on this to show you how it is done.  I'll be posting it soon so please check in to the Facebook Page:

or see what photos I'm posting now that I am on Instagram:

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