Painted Fabric and a Binding Question

Yesterday I started the day by painting fabric, then I did a bit of quilting and worked on another lesson for my up coming course and I did do a few of those pesky household chores. Those are some of my favorite things (except the chores), painting and surface design way up on the top of that list.

Here is a slice of a triptych I’m working on. I used textile paints, a flour resist and wax pastels. I wrote about my “scab” fabric a few posts back. Well, the parched earth part of this triptych is what was under that “scab” but here it has wax pastels applied over it.  The center water area is actually the back of a larger piece of painted fabric and the sky above it is from the front of that fabric. I’m quilting it now, when it’s finished I’ll post the entire piece. But…

I’m not sure how to bind it because of the design running from one edge to the next third. If I add my Butted corner binding I would piece the binding so the blue has blue binding and the brown has brown but still I’m afraid it would stop or break the design. I could satin stitch or stitch over cording on the edge the way Carol Ann Waugh does. Any ideas? How would you finish the edges of this piece?

Triptych slice
Triptych slice Part of one third

By Ann Scott

I started sewing and designing using fabric, thread, and paper when I was a child. I taught myself to make quilts, at first not following the "rules," then watched some experts, learned the rules, and made many hand quilted and appliqued quilts. I spent years focusing on miniature landscape quilts. Now I am a fiber and mixed media artist and that encompasses everything I have a passion for. I have taught, lectured, and my work have show nationally and internationally, some pieces have been published.


  1. Maybe you could just not finish the edges. There was at least one quilt at QN this year with raw fabric edges. Or, you could paint the edge (and I mean only the cut part) with fabric or acrylic paint to seal it. If you use Waugh’s cording method, you’ll still have the color break issue.

  2. When I finish by “not finishing” I tear the fabric after it is painted to get a soft, straight (well, at least not bias) frayed edge. I’m afraid it is too late for that. Painting the edge is a good idea, I’ll keep that in mind. I was thinking that with Carol’s method I could paint a little after stitching, sort of a cross between her method and the painted edge you suggested. I’m really wishing I had just done a turn or lining technique so I wouldn’t have to bind it at all! I guess I still could do lining. I’ll have to think about it while I quilt. Thanks for the helpful comment!

  3. You could also face the inner edges and bind the outer ones. With a facing, color wouldn’t matter.

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