Little 12″ x 12″ samples

Little 12″ x 12″ samples

I was watching a video where Jenny Grant, a mixed media artist from Sweden, was using a credit card to push paint through a stencil onto paper. It made me curious about trying the same method on fabric. I have used acrylic paint on fabric before but thought I would try out some PROfab Transparent Paint I had purchased a while back and never gotten around to playing with. I’ve been making 12” x 12” size quilts to donate as fund raisers for a quilt guild I belong to called Contemporary QuiltArt Association They are a nice size to be able to try out new techniques. I searched through my stencils and found this large one. Surprise, surprise it reminds me of my tile quilts. Right up my alley!


I have been using a fabric called Radiance for my tile quilts. It is a fabric made by Robert Kaufman and is a 45% silk/55% cotton blend. I like that it is shiny and puffs up quite nicely to form what I call the grout in between the fabric tiles once they are quilted down. I used two different colors of blue for this one. This was my third sample. I kept smudging paint onto the edges so I decided to put masking tape around the edges of the stencil before painting to try to keep the sides free of paint, but then I was having trouble pulling the tape and the stencil off the fabric. Next time I’ll tape the fabric down first and see if that helps.

paint #1 original

Next, I copied the stencil onto heavy butcher type paper so I could number the pieces. These would become my pattern pieces. I wanted to make more than one sample, so I wanted to be able to reuse the pieces. Once numbered, I took a photo of it to keep as my reference master.

pattern pieces


I cut my fabric patterns out smaller than the painted shapes so I would still see the paint behind the fabric. I cut these out using an Xacto knife. Not very big pieces!

cut pattern pieces

I just started playing with colors that spoke to me. I seemed to focus mostly on fabrics that had circles or dots on them.

Here is the finished 12” x 12” quilt. I fused the fabric pieces onto the painted areas and then quilted them. I found that the PROfab paint was much easier to quilt over than acrylic paint and had a much softer hand as well. I’m a convert! It was a fun experiment and hopefully it will sell at our fundraiser. The exhibition is called Big/Little and we are to make a 12” x 12” quilt and a larger quilt for our entries into the show. I think I will now make my own stencil for the larger quilt and use this same method. I like how the paint peaks out behind the fabric.

Painted blue

Here is another one where I had used black and red PROfab paint. I used the same stencil and got to reuse all my numbered cut out templates for the fabric pieces. This one was really smeared around the edges so I had to put additional Radiance around the edges of it to try to clean it up a bit.

I am trying to educate myself about the Black Lives Matter movement and found myself working through some of the emotions that came bubbling up. What I am reading today is much different from the American history I was taught when I was in school and I find all of it quite disturbing.

No More

It’s not bright and cheery like the first one. I’m not sure I will offer it up for my guild’s fundraiser. What do you think?

As a footnote, I had mentioned in my last post that I was going to fix my dog’s eyes on my Saint Koko quilt. Well, that has not happened yet. Maybe by my next post!

Stay safe!     Tesi Vaara



16 thoughts on “Little 12″ x 12″ samples

  1. I actually prefer your second one, even though it gives a disturbing feeling – which proves that it works. I’m sure it would sell, if you can bear to part with it.

    1. Thanks Ann. It definitely gives a disturbing feeling. It brought quite a bit of awareness to me and I am thankful for that.

  2. It’s amazing that they are only 12 x 12″ – there is such a lot going on that if we’d just seen the photos with no text, we’d have thought them to be larger quilts!

    We like the bright one best – good luck with the fund raiser.

  3. I like both of them for different reasons. I understand your reluctance in putting it in the fundraiser. It can cause a lot of strong emotions that may not be right for the group.

    1. Thank You for your comments! I’ll probably run it by a few of the members and see what they think. I’m still on the fence about submitting it.

  4. Tesi, these are both great for different reasons. I like how your eye moves around the first piece with the variety of colors but I think the second one is more striking as it has darker values that draw your eye. The content may be disturbing but it is important to continue to increase awareness around this subject and the message is powerful. Good luck with the fundraiser. Is it to be online? When will it happen?

    1. Thanks for your critique Ruth! The exhibition will run Nov 12, 2020 thru Dec 31, 2020 at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. The theme is “Little/BIG”. A contingency plan is being worked on for the exhibition to go on as scheduled, in digital format. They are considering running the fundraiser online as well. That would be fun! I can post an update on my October blog. Things should be figured out by then.

  5. Tesi I love them both and I think they would both sell at the fundraiser. Thanks for sharing.

  6. WOW both are afective! the black lives matter quilt is vary powerfull and the blue one is more playfull. im not shure if i could part with the second one, but i am shure it would be of interest for sale.

    i was in a privit school in Vermont (becouse of the dislexia/discalcula) for grade 12. the school was 40% Canadians so we didnt/couldnt use the state history textbooks. we got a look at them though it was quite disterbing. there was a lot missing and a lot of vary odd statements, it has bothered me for years. the teacher said that there were diferent text books with difernt facts if you went to collage/ university. oh i came up 2 grade levels in spelling! i went from abizmal to merarly pathetic!! it was a grate improvement! (realy my spelling use to be much worse!!)

    Have fun and thankyou for showing us your amazing quilts!

    1. Thanks Jan. Yep, lots missing from our history books. I feel like I’ve been lied to all my life and didn’t even know it until now. Manipulated.
      I love your spelling! Write it like it sounds!

  7. Such detail for such a small piece. Both are good but have different messages which is fine.

  8. Thanks for commenting Pandagirl! I do like to work a bit bigger but the smaller samples are sometimes fun to play with. They go pretty quick!

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