Orange You Glad…I Said Fabric!

I am part of the hive, the Printed Fabric Beehive to be specific. Here’s the buzz about that and how you can be a part of it too!

The Printed Fabric Bee is a spin on a traditional quilting bee. Not only does it focus on printed fabric rather than a pieced quilt block, but it is a virtual bee, connecting artists across a wide range of areas. It is hosted by Lynn Krawczyk and Lisa Chin, who sent invitations to 8 artists to create a colony of 10. Each member of The Colony will get to be Queen for a month. As Queen, you get to choose a theme of your choice for everyone to print fabric to and a size up to 144 sq. inches. The theme can be based on color, imagery or a combination of the two. For example, a theme could be Flowers, the color Orange or Blue Birds.

Lynn was the Queen Bee for October and is just now beginning to receive her hand-printed pieces. Her theme was orange circles, size 10″ X 14″. That I can do!

Ist attept

Ist attept

Although…since this was for Lynn, and I wanted it to be “really good” I felt a bit stifled at the beginning, trying to be all “expert” and sophisticated about the process. In retrospect, I was trying to be like Lynn, who has been doing fabric surface design for years (why she even has a DVD on it and a book about it coming out soon). While my first attempts were interesting, I really wasn’t comfortable sending off the piece. (I love parts of it and am glad I kept it!)

I buzzed a few ideas around and decided to use the KISS principle (simple). I learned a few things about myself and a certain Fluorescent fabric paint.

1. I started with white cotton and painted it with Jacquard Orange Textile paint.


2. Using Elmer’s Clear Washable School Glue, I drew big loopy circles across the fabric and let that dry.

3. Knowing Lynn likes browns and earth tones, I chose to paint over the orange with Jacquard Flourescent Blue textile paint. I have been obsessed with neon and flourescent colors this year but have found that, no matter the brand, they just don’t behave as nicely as the other paints I use. The blue didn’t flow as easily, even with the addition of water. And to my surprise, blue + orange turned into a wonderful green!


the base is orange so disregard that yellow corner you see

4. After the blue paint dried, I rinsed the fabric in warm water to remove the glue. That is when I began to fall in love. The reverse side of the fabric was a lovely, lovely teal blue – the perfect compliment to orange! The “right” side was a darker green with tones of teal, something I knew Lynn would like. I really, really wanted to keep this piece, but since I used the KISS principle, I know I can replicate it.


And now for the big surprise...

You will have an opportunity to win the same beautiful customized fabric being created for the Queen. Each month the “Queen” will give away a 6″ x6″ piece of the same fabric she receives, a bonus piece created by each artist.

Lynn will reveal the full collection in November but for a sneak peek at what the other artists have created please visit our Facebook page and FOLLOW us so you know when the giveaway begins. Remember, there will be 10 giveaways altogether – 10 chances to win a mini-collection of 10 original fabrics designed by some of your favorite artists.

And subscribe to my blog (see the upper right corner) so you can see what I do for the Bee each month. I promise to BE myself when designing.




  1. How cool is this~

  2. Thanks for the great shout out Lesley! I love what you made! Your first attempt was beautiful too! We are so happy to have you in the group!

  3. I love it. Makes me want to try my own hand at the process. Great work! – Tom