Why Paint On A Quilt?


  • FEATURE ARTICLE: Why Use Paint on a Quilt?
  • NEW WORK:  Quilting it
  • COMING SOON:  May 25: Fused Applique and Paint Class, Thimble Pleasures, Chapel Hill

Feature Article:  Why Use Paint on a Quilt?

Before 2005, I had never dreamed I would be using paint on my art quilt, or as I now like to call them, textile paintings.  I took a class with Esterita Austin at a quilt show, and I was intrigued.  And scared.  Terrified I would “wreck” my little practice quilt.  Over the years, I have overcome my terror, and now teach others to do the same. (See upcoming class in Chapel Hill below).  I always say, even if you mess up royally, you can always fix it.

For example, once I was making a desert landscape quilt and the sky needed soft blending colors.  I messed up my first attempt, cut it off, painted a better sky, and attached it back onto the rest of the piece.  See what I mean?

Offending sky-gone.
Offending sky-gone.


Finished piece
Finished piece

 Mojave Sandstorm 

Using another photo of Pete Saloutos, I created a hot orange and purple desert with a sandstorm coming over the mountains.

Materials: Hand painted ( by myself and others), hand dyed and shibori dyed, and batik  cottons, fused, machine and bobbin quilted,various threads.

16″ X 44″, SOLD, 2011 

 But, back to original question:  why paint on a quilt?

  • more depth
  • more realism
  • tiny details
  • soft blending- hard to do with fabric pieces
  • it’s fun, and the results are fantastic

If you paint, please use a softer blend made for fabric, like Setacolors or Profab paint by Prochem, or Jacquard Paints.  I also like the fabric medium GAC Golden 900 for making the paints easier to spread on fabric.  On the areas you paint, the hand will be crisper, but not as crisp as regular acrylic paint.

NEW WORK:  Quilting it

IMG_5523 IMG_5522

The new piece is called?  Because I don’t know the name of this plant.  Anyone who can tell me?  Any gardeners out there?  Anyway, the quilting is almost done.  I have to laugh-I almost never stipple quilt, but the pink veins on this plant called for exactly that.  Lots and lots of stippling.   And yes, the white spots are painted on!

For the techies out there, I used neon trilobal polyester thread, a little rayon thread, some green trilobal polyester, my trusty #14 Topstitch needle with the top tension at around 2, and clear Superior Mono.Poly in the bobbin.

What are you working on now?  Are you going to paint on it? What do you need help with? Ask me below.


 May 25: Fused Applique and Paint Class, Thimble Pleasures, Chapel Hill

 TESTIMONIALS from participants:

I feel a big boost in personal confidence re: making choices and quilting.  Thank you! 

The small class allowed for more individual help and encouragement.

Thank you so much- I  learned a great deal and have much more confidence in my skills!!

 About Roxane

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist and teacher with two girls and 1 fat cat.  She is a 2012 Niche Award Winner and exhibits her work all over the world.  Roxane enjoys traveling, knitting and most of all working with students who want to create their own fiber art, and not simply make other people’s patterns.  Her work is in several private collections and loves doing custom commissions.

If you and a small group of folks want a more private instruction experience, call me.  We can work out a studio workshop in my studio. Just drop me an email:  roxane@roxanelessa.com

  Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa.  Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others!  That’s why they are there…..:)



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4 thoughts on “Why Paint On A Quilt?

  1. I wish you lived in my area-I really want to learn to use paints on my quilts. Many times on my work I see how just a bit of paint would help. Mojave Sandstorm is gorgeous! And can’t wait to see the new piece!

    1. Jenny, thanks! I will be working on a painting online home study class this year, so stay tuned!

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