Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Useless information at your fingertips

Guess I'm feeling crabby this morning, because appearing in my mailbox was one of the dumber tutorial articles I've seen in a long time.  I will leave the identity of the providers unsaid.

We're told that Suzy Q. Quilter "showed this very easy technique for how to paint fabric."  Then comes a long and very specific list of tools and materials -- rotary cutter, ruler, mat, canvas drop cloth, plastic paint palette, paintbrushes, foam stamps, acrylic inks, fabric paints, newsprint, iron and ironing surface.  And fabric, of course, your choice of muslin, canvas or duck.

Now the directions.  Measure and cut the fabric to as big as you want it.  Cover your work surface with a drop cloth and put your fabric on top of it.  Put paint into the wells of your palette.  Wet your brush in clean water.

(Now comes the hard part -- are you paying attention?)

Dip your brush into the ink or paint "and start to play."  You can draw anything you want.

(Another hard part -- good thing they're giving us directions:)

"When the color starts to fade, dip your brush back into the ink and continue to create.  Repeat this process with as many different colors of ink as you like."

That's about it for guidance.  When you're done, let it dry and iron the fabric over newsprint.  Now you can use the fabric for anything you want, such as quilting or "home decor, accessories, and items like journal covers."

Crabby inquiring minds want to know: why did they bother to write this article?  Basically the "very easy technique for how to paint fabric" boils down to this: get some fabric and paint on it.  Paint any kind of design you want and use the fabric any way you want, such as a journal cover (hmmm -- of all the things you could single out.... ).

But I guess if we didn't have the article we wouldn't know to put down a drop cloth before painting  or to dip the brush in the paint again when it runs dry.  (But wait, what if I want to use a plastic drop cloth?  She told us to use canvas?  Can I use a plate instead of a palette?  Can I just paint straight out of the jar?)


  1. Funny! Thanks for sharing.
    I'll be giggling all day.

  2. you should get the sewing one. one person is doing very basic pattern drafting and giving word for word (it seems) what she learned in class that if she had discovered the moon.
    the other has just told us that ...woo-hoo, breaking rules here,... you can use ruffles instead of piping to go round cushions. oh, but sometimes piping is best for the design.

    best not complain, the majority of them are just adverts, so at least they are 'tutorialling'...and I get them from all 3 dailies. So, the same advert 3x and just in case, a summary on the weekend.
    Sandy in the UK
    PS sorry to see you didn't get in QN. or at least I couldn't find your name. hope you can show off your treasures?

  3. LOL! its funny 'cause I got the same email tutorial and I thought - seriously?! Its way more amusing now that you wrote a rant post on it - thanks for the giggle!

  4. That rant applies to a magazine article that I read this morning in a quilting magazine and to a quilting book a saw recently. Allcof these publishers are desperate for content but lazy about finding it.....IMHO.

  5. Which end of the brush do I put in the paint? I'm still a little confused.

  6. Well I'm glad that I wasn't the only one that re-acted this way! I'd been deliberating about hitting the unsubscribe button for these unidentified providers for a while and this particular message decided me!

  7. LOL - so funny. I had the very same line of thought when I saw a $10 pattern at the store for... a pillowcase. In one fabric. It was hemmed. There were two pages of instructions.

    Does no one just try something. Look at what's in front of them and just go for it?