Watercolor Embroidery

After weeks away teaching at conferences and filming upcoming projects (to be announced later),  I am so happy to be home and to have everything put away and to be able to play with my favorite things - paint & fabric!  To be more specific watercolor and embroidery on fabric.  Did you know you can watercolor on fabric just as you do on paper?  If not, you are in for a crazy, fun surprise.

You all know I love to paint and I especially love the way color blends and fades in watercolor.  You also know I love to paint florals and trust me when I say that nothing mimics the color of naturals flowers than watercolors.  So, one day I was wanting a background for a floral I was planning to stitch and I got out my watercolors and painted the background I was dreaming of on my fabric, and fell in love with it.

All you need for watercolor is available in most craft stores, and the fabric and hoops are there too, so one stop and you can have it all.  You will want watercolor paints, brushes, a tray to mix on, fabric, a hoop, and of course your thread and needle.  We will talk about that later.

Just look at those colors.  Seriously so pretty.  You will want to choose in your mind what type of watercolor application you need for your stitch.  Meaning, do you want an all over landscape or sky scene where you float colors across the fabric or do you want a more controlled pop on color such as a leaf or a specific flower.  

Once you have decided, place your fabric tightly in the hoop.  You can paint on anything that is smooth (such as a cotton or linen)  don't use a velvet or minky.  Make sure your fabric in "drum tight".  

If you are planning on an all over color, you will begin by spritzing the fabric with water.  This will help with getting your colors to move and blend on the fabric.  Place the colors you want in a tray and mix a little water in them to get them ready to use.  You will want to wet your brush.  Use a large size watercolor brush for all over color.

Begin by dipping your brush in water and color and then on your fabric with light soft strokes across the area you want color.  You can add a little extra water with your brush to float the color across the fabric.  Add a second complimentary color if you want above or below the first color and blend together with your brush and a little water until your landscape or sky scene is all across the fabric area.  Let dry and then it is ready to stitch on.

If you are wanting a small specific area painted in, I draw out my design first with a Pilot Frixion pen that comes off with heat.  Do not spritz your fabric for this type of watercolor as you do not want your colors spreading beyond your design element.  Load your brush with a base color and fill in the element your are painting.  Wipe your brush and paint a second color and shade using a little water on your brush.  

Have fun with trying different colors and blending them.  It doesn't matter if the lines are filled in because the heat will remove them after we are done.  If you want specific detail added, use watercolor pencils over the fabric.  Just as you would on paper, the watercolor pencils work beautifully to shade and blend colors.  

On this little flower I want to shade it in softly, so I used my watercolor pencil and gently added color to the fabric.

I used a damp brush to soften the lines and edges of the pencil.  I can't wait to add embroidery floss to this holiday design.  Multi-medium projects are so fun.

This is the finished Joy Watercolor Embroidery Wreath!  I love the pop of shaded green in the leaves with the detail of pine needles made with embroidery floss.  We will be adding this kit and a few more to the shop in time for Christmas.  So, watch for the announcement next week.  In the meantime, get out a scrap of fabric and your watercolors and paint yourself a gorgeous November sunset.  

To watch a tutorial on the prep and painting go to the Tweetle Dee Design Co. You Tube Channel.  The video will be uploaded this weekend.  You can also catch today's Fresh Living segment to see the gorgeous sunset Kari made.  

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and be sure to take care to rest and refresh however you do it.  For me, we will be watching the lighting of the town tree tonight and maybe a movie.  Tomorrow is a full day with teaching at the Corn Wagon in Springville.  I can't wait.  I'll check in with you next week to see what you did to celebrate, dream and create,

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