Colouring Book …..

…… for quilters and embroiderers


The cover is rather blank. It is two layers of lined curtain fabric with a layer of wadding between them. I like the embossed design, so it’s staying blank!


This was one of my first experiments with coloured pencils on fabric. Lots of depth of colour, but way too much medium and it feels like slightly sticky plastic. Yuk!




This is the first page of serious testing. the five rows of test squares on the left of the page are repeated with different pencils on later pages, always in the following sequence.

Row 1 Pencil applied dry

Row 2 Pencil applied dry, water added to blend it later.

Row 3 Pencil applied dry, medium added later.

Row 4 Pencil applied to wet fabric, water only

Row 5 Pencil applied to wet fabric with medium

Note that medium (Jo Sonya Textile Medium) was mixed with water,

just two or three drops in a tablespoon of water.

All the sample pages were allowed to dry naturally or given a hurry up with a dry iron when I couldn’t wait, then washed gently in warm water with detergent, and ironed dry.


The text was just to see what it would look like as a background pattern, because I had drawn the tree and realised it was a bit too fine to to colour in with wet pencils!


The pencils used on this page were some cheap pencils with no markings. The rows are treated as the first sample page. The blended areas on the right were done dry at the top, applied dry then water added to the centre patch, and the bottom patch was blended on wet fabric with medium added.


Outline was printed direct onto untreated fabric using an Epson printer with Durabrite ink., but it was washed before it was ironed! The pot is fused fabric with shading added by pen. (Pens will be the subject of another textile sample book.)

Colour was added with wet watercolour pencils, and recoated when medium was added.


This page was coloured in dry using Staedler Mars-Lumochrome with a little bit of Dats Kids metallic pencils. The top part of the design was coloured dry, the bottom was coloured on fabric wet with plain water. Medium was added to the right side only before page was dried, washed and ironed dry.


On this page I was just filling in time and playing with the pencils, in particular white coloured pencil for shading, and used a HB lead pencil as a colouring pencil. Ironed it beofre washing and ironing.



I have two of these pencils, but that’s enough to play with. The top left patches were applied to wet medium. Derwent make a pencil, I think it is called an outline pencil, which would stop the bleeding, but I didn’t have one to try.

Bottom two patches were applied dry, then wet it with an almost dry brush, and there was much more control.The blob top right was applied with a wet pencil ….. diped the pencil in water before applying.

The light patches were applied dry, no moisture added before ironing, then washed and ironed the whole page.


Another page where the picture was too fine for real colouring in! The birds are coloured with HB lead pencil, and used the same to add texture to the ‘border’ by writing some text arounf there.



Another test page with the added blended patches on the right. Top one blended dry, middle blended water added, bottom blended medium added. The medium tetnded to make thse pencils run a bit, so the outline pencil would be a handy addition to the pencil case.


Coloured with Derwent Artist pencils, medium added, extra colour added with wet pencil to get that bright orange, then embroidered the outlines.



Watercolour pencils.

These were not as easy to apply dry as Prismacolor, and you definitely need a blender pencil to help control the flow. This set of pencils faded more without any moisture added before the ironing,washing, ironing routine.


Stems done with Unipin Fineline, leaves colured with Derwent Artist pencil, and the patch on the right was the same pencil applied dry, water and medium added.

Fabric urn was fused on, with shading added with pens.



Metallic Coloured Pencils

The smudges down the left hand side were the sample patches I did before colouring the picture with dry pencils, washing and ironing. Oooops! Everything faded quite a bit.

Added the second lot of samples and a little extra colour to the picture dry, then added medium to them, the originals and the picture. The smudges on the right were added wet with medium.

The metallic look is very, very subtle, and rather nice. I found these pencils in Cheap as Chips quite some time before I tried them, and haven’t seen them since.


Derwent Artists Pencils, applied dry, embroidered outlines, added medium, and a little bit more colour while it was wet. Reminder that I use tow or three drops of medium in a tablespoon of water.

Now it’s starting to come together!


This is the effect I wanted all the time. Just like my favourite pages in long gone school books. Subtle colour, easy to apply dry,

Outline with Pigma pen, coloured with


pencils, ironed, washed and ironed again. No change in the amount of colour. No mess. I like it! I forgot to do a sample page with these pencils but they were used in quite a few of the picture pages with and without moisture and medium.

I found that the easiest method was applying the pencils dry, and applying wet is harder to control. If I want stronger colours I will continue to use Fabrico pens rather than fuss with pencils and the wet stuff!

Making the book itself will be another post soon.

2 thoughts on “Colouring Book …..

  1. Many thanks for sharing this. I have the information in text but actually seeing your wonderful results (including the first ones you’re not too happy about) really made the technique come to life.
    Will wait with baited breath to see the book finished.

    • Kath, Hope you learned something from it. It was an interesting exercise. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for the next part, but at least the photos have been taken, and though they are awful photos you can see what I was doing ……… sort of!

      Judy B

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