Hand painted panels anyone? Is there a market in this modern world for custom made quilting panels?
Ok...so it's a little bit of self-promo! But still a valid question...
Todays technolgical, mechanical, automated world is full of mass produced quilting panels. An artist trying to compete with these panels struggles to offer competitive prices without seriously undervaluing the cost of his/her labour.
So, is there a place for custom made panels...or do quilters want the cheaper, faster option?
And how much is too much for a hand painted portrait on a panel?
Let's say 50cm x50cm (20" x 20") large
Unfortunately no, to be blunt and it's not so much the quilter who wants less expensive fabric to work with. The price of a well made, handmade quilt can be steep and most will not want to pay the extra for the time put into hand-painted panels. I speak from experience as I have created and sold many quilts in my time and if the customer wanted to include a personal picture then they wanted it of the 'computer-scanned quality' which can be bought for $20-30 in my neck of the woods.
Another point to consider, again I speak from experience, even the very best fabric paints available will not hold up to the test of time and will eventually fade or crack with use. The paint also fuses the fibers or threads together and with movement (use) of the quilt the paint will eventually crack in between the threads of the fabric and that is where the 'fading' will show itself.
I made some for my family and even the one that is only 10 years old is starting to show wear and tear on the painted images which is unacceptable as quilts are to be heirlooms.
Another fact to remember, all paints are a coating and even the best quality fabric paint puts a covering or coating onto the fabric fibers and they become stiff. Even though the good modern paints of today are way better than the stuff of the past but... that stiffness will lose the cozy of the quilt also.
Sorry hope my answer will not disappoint you too much. Don't give up though, your painting sample is fabulous and I'm told that personal portrait paintings is slow by slow coming back into fashion... mainly painted from photographs (check out painting weddings pics from photographs too... )
I have hand painted landscapes on art quilts, printed on fabrics with good and not so good results.
I wrote a book about this in early 2001, and the available products nowadays are so much better, more colourfast, and easier to use. There are wonderful art products that can be permanent on fabric.
The trick is to use ready to dye lawn or broadcloth for the purpose.
You can read how I made one painted quilt on my hub http://hubpages.com/art/photos-and-quilts and this one http://hubpages.com/art/quilts-from-photos
Don't give up on your idea. It's a good one.
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