My Passion For The Passion Flower

Looks like I have a new quilt in the works. I started to look through my vacation pictures from Portland Oregon from 5 years ago. The flowers are so large and beautiful  there in that perfect climate. Only Alaska has even bigger and more lush flowers that I’ve seen. I ran across some shots I took of a beautiful passion flower vine. My grandfather used to grow them every year up in the midwest. I always thought they were so beautiful. It’s hard to imagine all the work that goes into a creation so beautiful and why? So I began the usual internet search of passion flowers and learned they are the state wild flower of Tennessee. So next year I plan to plant some. But this month I started working on a quilt idea and I’m running with it.  First I ordered my PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric from Dharma Trading Co. and some Tsunieko inks. I have talked about both of these products before and Dharma. I use Dharma a lot for my art quilt supplies

I have painted flowers before on our blog, but this time I wanted to make this beauty bigger than life. I was very excited to get started once I got my design decided. This is my inspiration and here we go.passion flower 2

Isn’t that a stunning flower. It is considered tropical and can become very invasive. Some people plant them in pots for more control. They come in many colors, but this is the one my grandfather always planted.

Day 1


First I blew up my photo and darkened the important lines. They I traced my design onto the fabric with pencil. I draw very lightly. Then the painting starts. I thought I would use only inks, but wasn’t getting the coverage I needed, so I mixed my Tsusineko Ink with Pebo Setacolor Fabric paint. I was very happy with the color mixture and the weight of the paint.  IT has a soft hand too and has worked very well. You can get a little better control when mixing colors . You get the same response when you mix these colors with each other.

In the middle of all this I got to have a root canal one day and the next day a tooth extraction under surgery and an implant. It was my birthday and I don’t care to celebrate that way ever again. OH well, back to painting.

I have never painted fabric this big before, so I needed a method to manipulate this large piece. Us quilters make design walls out of foam board insulation that you buy at Hope Depot. We cover them in flannel or some sticky fabric and mount them on our quilt room walls.  My mom happened to have a hunk left over from Roger hanging her new design wall in her new house. So that sure worked out nicely. I used blue tape to tape the fabric down and paint away. I then let it dry without moving it. When it is dry, I remove the tape and hang my fabric on my design wall for scrutinizing. Then I wipe the whole board off with a wet sponge and dry it with a paper towel and it is ready for the next day. It works perfect for any mixed media project, or even to  block knitting.

Day 2


Here I do a lot of under painting. It takes a lot of paint for something this big. I will add the highlights last and the bet part comes with the thread painting. That is when all the detail gets placed. That is my favorite part!


Now all the pretty tendrils are painted. That is what really makes it a passion flower. I actually use my camera for every stage along the way. It helps to see your work in a photo to see where you need lights and dark’s and highlights.


I’ve started to draw in tendrils and leaves. These flowers have lots of tightly woven corkscrews. They are like springs.

My plan is to paint a whole cloth and then cut it out in detail and fuse it to a beautiful green, blue and purple batik. I have some wild border ideas too, but we’ll see as it grows.


The leftover  insulation board is 36 inches by 48 inches. There are some smaller pieces that are 24 Inches by 30 or so that will make great boards also for smaller projects. It comes 8 x 4.



I think this is the batik that I will mount the whole piece on. I cannot wait to quilt this baby.


Here is just a little bit of leaf work. More later.

3 thoughts on “My Passion For The Passion Flower

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