I’ve been hard at work making the perfect textile red rose petals that will adorn our wedding quilt.

I always set my camera to take photos at 10 megapixels just in case I come up with a winner that I may want to print quite large or do very detailed work with.  My photo Cleaved is one of them.

First, I converted it into TIFF so that I would have the best quality of image and one which would not degrade each time I worked with it.  From the cartoon I had made for my quilt top, I was able to measure the size I wanted each rose petal to be.  In Photoshop, I cropped each petal to size and erased the background so that I was able to print more than one onto a piece of fabric.  I first printed a draft onto paper, jut to make sure the size was correct.

They looked amazing on screen and I next experimented with type of fabric to print them onto.  I had a box of Printed Treasures printer-ready cotton sheets for inkjet so had a try onto one.  The cotton fabric really sucked up the ink.  I have a bottle of White Matte inkAID that I bought at the Festival of Quilts a couple of summers ago.  It’s like gesso and renders any surface that can go through a printer printable, be it paper, textile, wood or even metal.

I painted this onto my Printed Treasures fabric and the results were quite impressive – rich vibrant colour.

inkAID & untreated

The only problem was that it flaked off here and there, mostly due to dried flecks of inkAID and small fibres that were trapped on the surface.  I went out and got a sponge paint brush and made sure to pick off any little bits on the surface between and after my 2 coats.

I got my fabric paints out and touched up the white spots satisfactorily, but noticed that the paints left a semi-gloss sheen and also handling the printed fabric gave it some not so subtle marks.   In addition, the inkAID gives quite a hand to the fabric, which I wasn’t crazy about.  I made a brief foray into printing a rose petal onto white silk dupioni which had been primed with clear semi-gloss inkAID, but the colour wasn’t very vibrant.  Throughout all of this, I contacted Carol Watkins via the inkAID website, with probably a lot of silly questions, and she was very prompt and helpful with guidance and advice.

In the end, I decided to stick with my original petals printed onto White Matte inkAID primed cotton.  They were just so gorgeous.

I read on the inkAID website that the finished print should be coated with Golden acrylic medium to protect the surface.  I did this on a sample and it got rid of the marks and the glossy sheen from my touching up.

I’ve placed them onto my quilt top, but have been painting the shadows cast by the edges of the slate and rose petals before I fuse and stitch the petals into place.  I’m finally very happy with the result, but it took ages to get here!

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