I started working on a new quilt. I was playing with the design last week, combining several photos of a dear friend who kindly agreed to pose for me. In my mind, I wanted to do a very loose, colorful, watercolor-like painting. I wanted to use my favorite Tsukineko All-Purpose inks, but in a different way. I decided to experiment with pretreating the fabric with the hope that it would control the ink so it wouldn’t bleed so much. I painted the fabric with Sennelier Anti-Fusant (Stop-Flow). It is designed to be used on silk fabric so that dye or paint stays where you put it. Let’s just say, it doesn’t work so well on cotton. When I was nearly done, I ran out of Stop-Flow, so I finished with Jacquard colorless extender. I had previously tested them both beforehand with acceptable results. (I also tried liquid gel medium, but it left the fabric too stiff.) When it came to the real thing, though, neither of them worked as well as I would have liked, probably because I used more brushstrokes and scrubbed at the fabric too much.
I’ve used the inks before, but usually I use a dry brush technique. I know some people mix their ink with aloe gel, but I don’t like the consistency. I know other people are very successful using the Fantastiks that are sold with the inks. They seem too scratchy to me. I love how the ink is transparent, though, so I’m going to keep experimenting with different ways to use it. If you’ve used them, I’d love to hear about and see what you’ve done.