I have been making some progress on my Sashiko/Ikebana quilt. I got the blocks all embroidered with the Sashiko, cut and stithed together for the background, and I made the moon applique and turned the edge around a freezer paper template using starch, so it’s ready to applique. The next thing is making all the other appliques.
I looked through my stash and decided I did not want to use commercial fabrics for my broiderie perse appliqued flowers. I also found a wonderful set of line drawings on Dover Pictura, but they needed a lot of editing to make them work for outlines for my painted flowers. So I thought I would tell you a little about how I approached that editing and painting. This is a very brief look..there is more to it, but the blog gets so long. Please ask questions if you want to know more.
I have found that a lot of line drawings you can find that are either copyright free or royalty free (that make them useable for my purposes) have lots of things that interfere either with digital painting or with digitizing for embroidery, but they are fairly easy to edit. It does take time, though. I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter 15 for this, but I could probably manage it in just one or the other. I have found though that the combination gives me a very powerful setup, especially when I added Corel Draw and Bernina V7 to that mix. Then I can potentially use the same line drawing for fabric painting and for digitizing embroidery. But for this project, you can probably do it all in most drawing packages.
First some of the drawings need to be a little simplified…removing dots, for instance, using the eraser tool. So I start with Photoshop and edit the line drawings:
Then I make sure all the shapes have no “leaks” or gaps, using a narrow line drawing brush.
Then I move it into Corel Painter 15 for the painting. (Note, I save the outline as a .tif file and as a .jpg, and I use the .tif for the painting). I start by filling the shapes with color using the paintcan fill tool. After I do that, I will add some highlights and lowlights using one of the digital air brush tools, and I might do some blending with the blending brush tools. In some cases, I need to add some texture with some of the texture brushes,, as I did in the center of the blue flowers below. I left the lines black because I think it looks good for fabric prints. I will probably use the lines for stitching lines.
But sometimes I just color the drawing with only minor editing. In the drawing below, I filled all the lines in dark green (this requires care…just to touch inside the line so the lines go green and nothing else does). I filled the leaves as much as possible (the spaces are very small) with the light green and then painted in the rest of colors using the scratch board brush. I did not do any highlighting or blending on the one below because the line drawing was so complex.
Colors have to be more intense on the screen so they will print well on fabrics. If you try a paper print and it looks right, it’s probably too light. I can print an 11 x 17 inch fabric on my printer. It will print larger, but I would have to prepare the printable fabric myself. I get the 11 x 17 and 8.5 x 11 sheets from Electric Quilt. After I print them with my ink jet printer, heat set, rinse, and iron dry it seems to be fairly permanent and washable. So I print it and set it and then iron the fusible web on the back and carefully cut it out. I do stitch the edge after ironing it in place. Sometimes I use only a tiny straight stitch with 10o wt silk thread or with monopoly. Sometimes the edge of the cut fabric shows a little white, and I use India ink markers to color the edges if needed. This also needs to be heat set to make it washable.
It amazes me how far digital paint programs have come. I especially love Corel Painter 15, but it really took me a lot of time before I began to really use the great features of this program. I found some you tube videos by several of the digital painter experts that have helped me a lot. One of the cool things about this is that I can resize the flowers, reverse print them, and print them all..then I have a lot of flowers without having to paint more.
Sew happy everyone! Try a little digital painting for fabrics.