Sharpie Doodle Art

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Have you ever used paints or pens on fabric and then quilted it?

It can be a lot of fun!

The other day I was checking out some blogs and found a great blog called Doodling in my Mind with a tutorial on using Sharpies on fabric. Last winter I did some pillows with my grandchildren which you can see here.

Sharpie Doodle Art quilt
This is a 12 inch block made using Sharpie permanent ink pens.

Darla’s work was so beautiful (you’ll see it below) that I couldn’t wait to dig out all of my Sharpies and supplies to try this. I used an old sheet for the fabric.

Sharpie Doodle Art quilt

Now this past week has been busy… I quickly read her tutorial and…didn’t go back before I started to play. I had the rubbing alcohol but couldn’t find my eye droppers (found yesterday) but I was in a hurry to make a sample piece so I used a straw. I put freezer paper on the back of my work. That was fine but I didn’t remove it before I used the rubbing alcohol.

Sharpie pen quilting step 3

Well, I put way too much alcohol on the fabric and with the freezer paper it just kept spreading and spreading….so I pulled of the freezer paper and hurriedly put about 3 very absorbent paper towels behind it. This really pulled a lot of color out of it. 3 mistakes…Darla if you’re reading this I’m sure you’re shaking your head!

Sharpie Doodle Art quilt

Even with all the mistakes I still wanted to do something with it and free motion quilting on my 15-91 Vintage Singer seemed like a perfect place to practice some stitching. The leaves are a little different with the bleeding but I really like the flowers.

Sharpie Doodle Art quilt

On the blue flower I used variegated thread first but didn’t care for it so I went around again with dark brown. Then I decided to do it with the other flowers after I did them first with coordinating colors. I wouldn’t let myself go back and look at Darla’s until I was done.

Doodling in my Mind

This is Darla’s work! Isn’t it beautiful! I love the way she added all the detail with the black sharpie! Be sure to stop by her blog Doodling in my Mind where you’ll find lots of other great creations! She also designs fabrics and I just realized she is the sister of Linda at Buzzing and Bumbling so I have actually seen her fabrics before! Small internet!

I heat set my design several times and used permanent Sharpies. When I made the pillows with my grandchildren I think I only heat set them once and the last time I was at their house I saw that one of them had bleed after washing but it still looked nice.

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Have you ever used paints or pens on fabric and then quilted it? It can be a lot of fun!

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  1. Karen Poole says:

    I love the way this looks, I know the spread was unintentional but I really like it! I would do it that way on purpose!! Thank you for sharing all your ideas! I know it takes a lot of time but is really helpful!!

  2. Nice job on your floral quilt! It's amazing how you can alter the sharpie ink with the alcohol. The results are beautiful.

  3. CeLynn Peeler says:

    Wow,that is Awesome Connie! Love it 🙂

  4. waggonswest says:

    That is gorgeous. I'm inspired by it…

  5. This is beautiful. I have to try this, even though I'm not the artist that you are.

  6. I love everything about your little quilt. I certainly don't see any mistakes. I am going to give this a try. I only wish I could do the free motion quilting like you do. You really have a work of art there!

  7. I think yours looks fantastic. Soft and pretty.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  8. Connie, it turned out so beautiful regardless of any 'mistakes' you think you made. I must have a go!! Your FMQ is just awesome!

  9. LOVE your quilt, Connie. It is fab. I might try this again sometime… my outcome was less than stellar. lol. Your's is great!

  10. Dora, the Quilter says:

    I love how yours turned out. Your mistakes are what helped it look so special–so it turns out they weren't mistakes at all! And I love your fine stipple quilting–I avoid doing it whenever possible!

  11. This is really cool. The thread painting and FMQ make it amazing. Thanks for sharing Darla's link.

  12. tink's mom says:

    Love what you did with the idea. If you hadn't fessed up no one would know that there had been a problem. The quilting really brings it all to gether.

  13. Thanks for sharing this technique with us!! I love how your little quilt turned out!! Gorgeous!!

  14. Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts says:

    I love it! I am going to have to try this too. Thanks! Have a happy weekend!

  15. Judy D in WA says:

    Connie!!! It's fabulous! I want to play right now!!

  16. I love it! (don't tell, but I like yours better!)

  17. That looks like a lot of fun! It turned out great in my opinion.

  18. Very pretty! Will have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Hi, Connie! Linda sent me a text and said I HAD to read this blog. So I got here as fast as I could after helping Pearson (4 yrs) get out paints and setting him up then Blakely (2 yrs)had to go potty. I had no idea what Linda wanted me to see and then I saw the project you did! Wow! Your stitching is beautiful! And the project looks great! And BTW I did made all the mistakes you made, too. I had in mind using it for a quilting project, too. It's still on my list. I just haven't had the time between doing for all the little grandchildren lately! Thanks, for the plug. I love it.

  20. Hi, Connie! I was thrilled when reading blogs this morning to see the mention of my sister! Then I saw MY name, too! Thank you! Darla is an awesome sister. Can you imagine how much fun we have when we get together!!!!? Your attempt is really beautiful, even if you did it a little differently than Darla instructed.

  21. that is so cute. I think I'm going to try it

  22. patchouli moon studio says:

    I love how your little quilt turned out! The quilting is beautiful and the colors too look like a water color. I have seen a different tutorial on this where they place a tee shirt over an open glass jar and rubber band around it and draw rings/circles then add the alcohol and the rings spread and it looks like a tie dye. I have used water color pencils too on my quilts. So many fun techniques out there.

  23. Kathy Gordon says:

    What a fun technique! Thanks for sharing!

  24. What a pretty project I am going to have to put that one on my to do list and share with my small guild I think they might like it.

  25. It's beautiful!!! love your FMQ too. =)

  26. Connie — I love it. Would have never known that it wasn't exactly as you wanted it !

    Can't wait to get the grand daugthers here !!

    Thanks for the great idea and sharing!

  27. I think your project is very pretty. I like the different colors of quilting thread. It looks dreamy.

  28. Fabulous! I love the blend and spread with the colors to create softer areas. I love what you did with it. Mistakes lead to great discoveries.

  29. Missy Shay says:

    I really like the way it turned out!

  30. I think it looks just fabulous and I love the concept. I am going to have to give this a try and I know the kids will love it too.

  31. I love it! Absolutely beautiful! You didn't make any mistakes – you simply created something completely new and different!

  32. Connie, that is so pretty. the thread painting really makes the quilt.

  33. This is unbelievably beautiful! You could hang this in a museum and charge admission! Great post with all the help and links. Way to go!