Fabric Hocus Pocus

Inspired by Jane Quinn’s Salad Spinner Quilt in our July/August ’09 issue, the QM staff spent an afternoon playing with inks, dyes and paints to create our own fabrics.

To jazz up some very plain, old, solid colored fabric, I started with supplies from Speedball and carved my own stamps. The trick is remembering to carve out the “negative” areas (the areas you don’t want to pick up the ink). I chose a couple of different colored stamp pads from Tsukineko’s VersaCraft and randomly stamped the fabric. Not too bad—even without much planning.

I’m not a fan of white-on-white fabric. So I picked up a mini spray bottle of lavender Jacquard paint I diluted with water. I lightly misted the fabric. When my spray bottle ran out, I refilled with a diluted mixture of teal paint and repeated the process. It was amazing how much more visible the white design became. And it sparkled! Jacquard’s Lumiere is a metallic paint.

misted stamped block 300x218 Fabric Hocus Pocus

Here are the new fabrics and the block I made from them with a couple of coordinating batiks.

I also used the VersaCraft inks with an interesting stamp cube I found at my local crafts store. It has a different texture on each of three sides. I covered the fabric entirely with one stamp and one color before moving on to the next stamp and another color. This gave the solid fabric a great textured appearance. I also used the Jacquard paints with a stencil to cover another fabric.

stamped fabrics Fabric Hocus Pocus

My favorite fabric creation was made from Pebeo Setacolor transparent paints. I’ve heard these called sun dying, but trust me, there was no sun on the snowy day I used them. In fact, I created one in my dark basement and the results were just as incredible.


sundye1 300x194 Fabric Hocus Pocus

sundye2 300x231 Fabric Hocus Pocus


















I taped plain muslin to foam core boards, wet down the fabric and then applied the paint. Objects I gathered (hand cut snowflakes, plastic confetti snowflakes, hole punch circles, leaves and string) were placed over the wet paint. It was difficult to just walk away without peeking under the objects and wait for the paint to dry. The area under the objects magically lightens.

sunpaint blocks 181x300 Fabric Hocus Pocus

These are the blocks I made. Do you see the fabrics I misted and stamped?

















bonniesundye Fabric Hocus Pocus

Bonnie Vaage of Heggedal, Norway has done some sun dying of her own. She thinks her pot holders are too pretty to use but suggests this technique could make great greeting cards. I love both ideas.

We’ll share more “Fabricadabra” with you in future blogs. In the meantime, we would love to hear about your own magical fabric creations.

About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
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