Monday, April 28, 2014

Zentangle Quilt

I am taking a break from history today because I just did something out of the box for me, totally fun!  I got interested in Zentangles awhile back and bought myself a small sketch book to play around with.  I mentioned this to my daughter and she said, "My kids did that in school."  Boy, am I behind the times!  I did a few small ones with varying degrees of satisfaction.  Then I bought Tsukineko inks at a Sew Expo, got them home and had too many questions about how to manage them so I signed up for a class.  The upshot is that I had an idea and would like to use ink to color a small whole, cloth quilt.  I sat down with my 5 x 7 inch Zentangle sketch book and here is what I turned out:
Doodles on paper 5x7 inches
I enlarged it to 11"x14" and printed it out on 4 pieces of paper, which I then taped together.  I grabbed some white fabric and traced the design with blue marker, sandwiched the thing with two layers of Quilter's Dream cotton Select to make the feathers puffy.  I didn't want to spend time doing trapunto, even though I love it. I spent about 7 hours quilting and I love how the two layers of batting puff.  I didn't try very hard, I just had fun.  If this turns into anything worthwhile, that will be nice.  If not, then I will make do or throw it out, and make another one using my new-found knowledge about the inks.

Here is the quilted version.  It is all white with black, ecru and white thread.  The colors in the photo are due to lighting and are indicative of the photographer's rush to just get the picture taken.
Doodles in fabric.
If I do it again there are a couple of minor things I will change in the design, but right now I just want to play with it.  The black thread looks harsh, but my intent is to fill it with color so the black outlines will be nice...maybe.

Stay tuned to see what happens with the inks.  Class is May 3, but I may still have to do the painting at home after class.  I don't know yet.

Addendum:  So much for that idea.  A family funeral has taken priority and I have had to cancel out of the class.  Maybe I will play with the inks the see what happens on my own, or wait until the next opportunity.

TIP:  As I have said before, keep an open mind and be flexible.  Sometimes that is all you can do.


  1. This is very cool! I play around with mixed media in my art journal and tried to tackle Zentangles.... I need practice or should just stick with the messy stuff! Haha. You should share this and consider becoming one of our next Featured #battgirls!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful! I love Zentangles too, but haven't done a whole lot with them. I also am intrigued by Henna designs and have been playing with sketches of these, which may one day go into a quilt.
    email (bc I've become a no-reply blogger after switching my blogger profile to Google+ grrrr. ephdra (at) gmail (dot) com
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  3. I really like this piece. I especially like the boldness of the black thread. I think it gives it a classy yet playful look.

  4. I like this very much! I love zentangle and this art always make me think about quilting design. I don't know if I myself would use a black thread on white fabric... Not because it's not beautiful but because all my mistakes would be quite visible. ;-) I find your piece stunning and I'm looking forward to seeing it with the filing.

  5. great job. Play with machine trapunto, as you probably already know it's pretty simple. The design is great. I tried to get into zentangle and like the look but am just not going there I guess.
    LeeAnna Paylor Not Afraid of Color!

  6. Hello Mardi,
    Lovely quilting! You have reproduced the drawn pattern so closely to the original - I am amazed. I would have ended up with two totally different designs...
    Love, Muv

    1. Thank you. I transferred it directly from the enlarged drawing with a blue, water soluble marker. That makes it so easy.