Saturday, April 16, 2016

Inkense Pencils to the Rescue

The other day when I took out this spring wall hanging, I was saddened to realize how badly it had faded throughout the past few years. The daffodils, once bright and cheerful, now were pale and lifeless.

That's when I decided to try and salvage the piece with the use of Inktense pencils which I had on hand but had never used. They look like ordinary colored pencils, but they have a touch of magic in them as you will see. I started by lightly penciling in some color on the blossoms which helped a bit, but then I used a small paint brush to go over each blossom with a bit of water which really brought out the colors. I should add that when I machine applique, I use a very narrow zig zag stitch which prevented bleeding from one area of applied color to another.  Thus, I was able to go from this. . .

to this . . .

Once I saw the effect,  I added leaf green to the stems which had faded to grey. In the photo above, you can see that I started with the right side of the group of stems first. It's subtle, but it definitely made a difference. (Note: while the area is still damp, you can always add more shading for a more intense effect which I didn't in this case.)

Here's another close-up photo to show the effect on the leaves.  I didn't enhance the pink and red flowers as they had retained fairly good color.

Here's the completed "brightened up" piece. From this point on, I don't think I will be hanging any more quilt pieces on the front door. 

The Inktense pencils are made in England, but they are readily available at craft stores or online. I had the package of twelve pencils, but they do come in larger sets. They are intended for artists, but quilt artists may also use them as our wall hangings are never washed. 

Think how effective they would be to add a bit of shading to a design. I saw a show on Quilting Arts TV where the guest created a design with Intense pencils and then enhanced it with free motion quilting. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of quilting.


  1. Janice did you do the quilting on your beautiful wall hanging?

  2. Yes, I did the free motion quilting, but it is not one of my strengths. I can never seem to keep my stitch lengths even, but hung on the wall and viwed from a few feet away, the background stitching looks "okay."

  3. What a great way to revive your wall hanging! Thank you for sharing!--Terry

  4. I love how much you revived this very pretty wall hanging. Your stitching looks great.