Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ink Week, Part 4

There were just two flowers left for my last day of inking the stitchery designs from Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden quilt. If you missed them, you can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. At this point, I thought it would be pretty easy. But, you should never count your chickens before they're hatched!

The large coral flowers, in the photo above, did go well. It was the last flower, the light pink one, that gave me a lot of trouble. Here's my well-used test sheet again:

The two remaining flowers were similar in shape, one large and one small, so I decided to make them two shades of pink, so they would be related but still different. Both would start from the Tsukineko Rose Pink ink.
  1. Here I started with a drop of the pure Rose Pink, and then gradually diluted it.
  2. Using the brush, I tried a petal shape with the diluted pink and the gold from the sunflowers. I liked it, but for the large flowers I wanted something more orange.
  3. This combination looked good to me.
  4. I made two petals with a long triangle of orange at the base, and the pink around the edge. It looked good to me so I went ahead and inked two test flowers, in the photo below, the four watering can blocks, and the large centre block.
    Large flowers seen from the back on the left, and front on the right
  5. For the smaller flowers I planned to make them both lighter and a little cooler. This is a drop of the pure Tsukineko Orchid Odyssey ink. I added just two drops of the orchid to cool off the diluted Rose Pink I'd been using, and a lot more water.
  6. I also started over with some fresh Lemon Yellow from the bottle, and diluted it heavily. Then I tried to reproduce the effect I had lucked into at #2.
  7. I started with some water in the centre of the petal, and then put a line of the light yellow down the middle, surrounded by a line of the light pink. The first two tries blurred together to make a muddy orange in the centre.
  8. Success!
  9. Time to try a test flower. Argh! The real flower petals were smaller than #8, and there just wasn't room for the water, yellow and pink to blend nicely.
  10. I tried this one without water, just the yellow and pink ink. The muddy orange came back, and it was still too dark over all.
  11. I had to draw on a couple more quick test flowers. This one was still not consistent, but I liked the lighter look.
  12. Still not great.
I had run out of room on my test sheet and I didn't have any more test flowers, so I decided to just go ahead on the real blocks. Probably not advisable! I tried two with water, and small dabs of yellow and pink. Then I abandoned the water for good, and just made dots of yellow and pink with dry white fabric in between. Fortunately, the first two pieces were so light that I was able to go back after they dried and add darker pink dots to them as well. If you look closely at the first photo, you can see that's what I did.

I used the final version of the small flowers on the centre block:

Although they were not what I intended, I think the small flowers still work anyway. Plus, now I have the opportunity to go in with the stitching and balance things a little more.

Next time I'll have some of that stitching to show, and my final thoughts on the process. It's been quite a journey! Please click here to read on.


  1. I can see how tricky this is. I think you did manage a bit "lighter and cooler" and it looks harmonious. Stitching will be really interesting. Is this the beginning of a new pathway?

    1. Thanks, Jillian! I would say it is a new tool in my toolbox. It will be interesting to see how it looks stitched.

  2. yes your colouring has works a treat very creative and soon the words will be stitched and it will be wonderful

  3. Love the inking and am also looking forward to seeing the stitching component. You have done very well and I don't think I would be brave enough to try something like this.

    1. Thanks, Katherine! I have to sit down with my thread stash this weekend and find the right colours for the stitching. I hope I won't have to buy anything!

  4. Seriously impressive paint work. The translucent quality of inks gives a lovely softness to the colours. Have you had much experience with paints or inks?

    Looking forward to seeing the addition of the stitching.

    1. Thank you very much! I've taken watercolour classes in the past, but this is the first time painting anything on fabric. Ink is easier than paint, but fabric is harder than paper. I'm glad to have it done!


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