Playing with Inktense Blocks Part 3

It’s been a while since my last post about my Inktnese play…. Today I finally finished a batch of ATC’s made from my test pieces. Before I show the finished cards, I will show how things went when I tried the blocks on a cotton sateen fabric.

Cotton Sateen Sample 1

Right from the start, I did not get the results that I had expected. Since the sateen has a smoother surface with a bit of a shimmer, I thought it would have less bleeding trouble…. Just the opposite as the photo above shows. As soon as I got a little water on the pencil or block marks, I ended up with color bleeding badly. The intensity of the color was also not as good as it was with the cotton muslin. Before I did too much more, I decided to try coating the fabric with thinned acrylic medium in the hopes that the coating would reduce the bleeding.

Cotton Sateen Sample 2

Amazingly, the coat of medium thinned with water to the consistency of cream, did not cause more of the color to bleed on the florets I had first colored. Once the first flowers dried, the color seemed to stay in place nicely. Once the fabric was dry again with the medium on it, I ironed it. Now when I added the Inktense pencil and Block colors, they both went on much more smoothly. When I then used the blender pen to wet the color, I had no bleeding and the colors were more intense than on the untreated fabric. Lesson learned….. The left and top two smaller florets in the above photo were done before I added the medium coating. The florets middle and right are the ones I did after the fabric was coated.


I really liked the way  the Inktense Blocks and pencils reacted on the medium  coated fabric. This photo shows the first piece I did on the right, and the one on the sateen on the left. This was just before I wet down the background colors of the new piece. I wanted to do the two pieces nearly the same way to compare. As you can see, I ended up with the colors a bit different on each piece, but I learned a lot working with them.  On fabric, when using the Inktense blocks or pencils, coating the fabric with acrylic medium first lessened the tendency for color bleeding. On the sateen, the colors were also more intense on the pretreated fabric.

Delphiniums Stitched

Both of the sample pieces were destined to become Art Cards for an upcoming exchange. I fused the fabrics onto Peltex interfacing, then added some free motion stitching with a deep blue rayon thread. I also added a bit of texture and interest with white pearlescent paint and a touch of black in the centers of each floret that faces forward.

First Piece Cut

This photo shows the first piece cut into 6 art cards. I ended up adding the butterflies with the Inktense blocks with pearlescent paint over them to fill in the empty looking areas.

Sateen Piece Cut

Here is the second piece cut apart into 6 more cards. More butterflies added here, too.

Delphinium ATC's Group A

There is what the cards look like after I couched a blue variegated yarn on the edges using the deep blue thread. Group A above, Group B below…

Delphinium ATC's Group B

Now that I have these done, I will be doing some more playing with the Inktense blocks. I am seeing what I can do with just the blocks in my sketch book…. I am trying to use just the blocks with my blender pen. The corners of the blocks do well for fine lines, and then I can fill in with the ends. If I can get used to only 12 colors and how to blend the colors I want, it will be great to just keep my tin of blocks, blender pen and sketchbook by the couch for evening sketching or to travel with.

I will be moving on to playing with dye on fabric for a while… With our latest snow storm and more white on white or mud when the snow melts, I need some serious color around….


I am a former textile artist and new pattern designer with a degree in horticulture, wishing to share my love of nature, flowers and gardens with everyone through my photos, sunprinted fabrics, and now pattern designs. Chronic Lyme Disease has caused major changes to the direction my life. I have to limit the amount of time spent digging in my gardens, and quilting has become more difficult. I discovered pattern design as a way to get art back into my life. I now use my gardens and photos to inspire designs that can be used on fabrics and print on demand items.

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