This blog is a place to archive project processes and techniques from Painted Threads with descriptions of how work was produced. I am including comments that contain questions and answers pertaining to the work from many of the original blog posts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Illustrated Document No. 1

I thought I would play around with making a mixed media paper quilt. I painted a piece of fabric to use as a base. The drawings were done on tea bags. I drink a lot of tea, so I let a few bags dry out and carefully opened them up, pouring out the used tea. I drew on the bags with a fine tip permanent marker and used liquid matte medium to collage them on the fabric. I added a couple tags from the tea and those tags that come stapled to your dry cleaning. There is also some fabric that I had printed on with a xerox machine several years ago and a piece of a sewing pattern.
I added text and marks for background patterns with rubber stamps inked with Tsukineko Inks. Then I fused the fabric to a 12 inch square of wool felt. I folded the edges over and fused them to the back of the felt. This makes a nice flat and flexible piece for stitching.I was torn with how I should quilt this since the over all look began to feel like an aged document. I thought if I quilted around the elements like my first inclination would be, that it would be too predictable a thing to do, so I decided to take a risk and do quilting that was totally unrelated to the design of the piece but related to the aesthetic of the piece.

I found a gothic tile design that I modified into a pattern that could be stitched. After quilting the design I used a copper paint stick and shaded in some of the pattern. Then the bird and butterfly started to feel lost in the design so I pulled out some colored pencils and added a little color. Working with colored pencils is so fun. Once I started adding a little color here and there I found myself touching up little areas all over. Now I think it is done.

The total list of materials and techniques is:
white cotton fabric, teabags drawn on with permanent ink pen, tea labels, dry cleaning tags, sewing pattern, fabric with xeroxed imagery, textile paint, rubber stamps, Tsukineko inks, Shiva paint sticks, colored pencils, machine quilted on wool felt.

Anonymous said...

I love this piece of art....Wonderful imagery! I am amazed by your creative ideas and appreciate your willingness to share. Could you tell me how you transfered the tile design to the surface of the paper quilt? thank you so much....


judy coates perez said...


I traced the design onto tracing paper. (seen in the small photo) I cut a few small holes in the paper away from stitching lines and used scotch tape to stick the paper to the quilt by placing tape over the holes. I stitched through the paper and the quilt and then tore it away when I was done.

Carol Sloan said...

I was working on the paper quilt that I posted a pic of, and had drawn out my quilting design on regular tracing paper. I tried the design on a random quilt sandwich (to make sure it was a "do-able" design).I had a lot of problems with the stitches pulling up or out when I removed the tracing paper. I tried a small design with some paper specically made for sewing a quilting design and another with the kimwipes. The kimwipes did the best but I still had a small amount of pulling on the stitches. How did you do yours/did you have the same problem? I took pics so that I could post a "hey, look really don't want to do this" posting...if you have a second to help, I'd sure appreciate it.

judy coates perez said...


I think my machine does a pretty tight stitch to begin with. The smaller the stitches, the more it is going to perforate the paper making it tear easier. There is a lighter weight tracing paper that comes on a roll, architects use it, and it will tear easier, also I am sure you realize now you to have to pull the paper away gently. Your thread tension may be a little loose as well, try tightening it and see if that helps.

Ricë said...

i love this--fabulous! how do the colored pencils work for you? i've tried everything to set them, to keep them from smearing on fabric. you've probably addressed this somewhere else already--

judy coates perez said...

I have never actually had a problem with them smearing, but you could try painting a light coat of fabric medium over them or give them a hit of artist spray fix.


  1. Judy did you paint a wash over everything once you had put all your tea bags etc... down?

  2. no I adhered all the paper items with matte medium under and on top of each, to make sure it was sealed well to the fabric. When you do that the tea bag practically disappears. The matte medium keeps the paper surface workable so that it easily accepts paint and colored pencils.


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