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Brand new book!

To Piece or not to Piece-Piecing with Color by Irena Bluhm

This book is now available for shipping!

This 156 page book is packed with 50 patterns, design layouts, step-by-step about mixed techniques, coloring instructions, color illustrations of artwork and contributors' quilts pictures.

My missing/lost Quilt:

Full Bloom Extravaganza 87" X 98"
Last seen at HMQS 2008
from May 8th-10th 2008
I have no record of return shipping.

This quilt is a 9 awards winner. It is a whole cloth with raw edge applique and painted surface.
Faux trapunto has been used to create raised design effect.

Quilt First, add Color later

Preparation for color application

If you used MarkBGone blue washable marking pen for marking your quilt, you need to soak it in cold water for at least 10-30 minutes after all quilting is complete.

Dry it flat or hanging [it doesn't matter], but you need to make the quilt flat before you start coloring. You can use a fabric steamer [not an iron with steam, unless you don’t use any pressure, just the steam] to steam your quilt flat. After steaming your quilt flat, leave it until it is completely dry [no pressing with iron].

Now your quilt is ready for color application. Apply color using colored pencils, or any dry medium you prefer. More pressure of the colored pencil is required in case you want a darker color, less pressure for lighter color and hardly any pressure in case you want just a tint of color. After the coloring is complete, apply textile medium over the colored areas using a flat nylon brush to set the color. Work on one design motif at a time and fix it with textile medium as you go.

Over the years I have been using few different brands of textile medium. Most products I have been using has been diluted with water by the manufacturers. The only one which is acceptable is Versatex Fixer textile medium. You can purchase it at Dharma Trading.

Versatex Fixer used to be the thickest, most user friendly and has been used on any batting and very densely quilted areas. This product has also been diluted lately. This product produces soft hand and does not require heat setting.

There is no need to drench the colored areas with textile medium. All you need is to make sure that the treated area is covered and wet.

Keep in mind that 100% cotton batting does absorb any excess moisture best, much more than any other batting product available.

I have successfully used double batting in most of my show quilts ever since I have learned my lessons the hard way. Now I am using 100% bleached cotton batting on the bottom and Polyester, silk or wool batting on the top for the raised design effect.


Any light color of 50%-100% cotton fabrics would work, but the best is 100% cotton sateen. It works great with this technique and it is a high quality product.

After you have the lines drawn using the blue marker, you don't touch the fabric with iron as you don't want to heat set the blue lines onto your quilt top. They would be much harder to remove.

The blue lines disappear in cold water within few minutes. Spraying the quilt sandwich with water removes them temporarily. Blue stains will appear sooner or later coming out from the batting, as soon as you get a lot of humidity in the air.

There is a 90 minutes video about the coloring process posted in two parts on my website:

The video includes coloring and textile medium application plus an extensive information about supplies and materials.

This technique is so easy, it is difficult to explain. Taking a hands-on class on how to use this technique successfully is the best.

Have fun.

Irena Bluhm

Copyright Statement

There are no restrictions on how many times any of my digital, PDF format, or printed patterns can be used. All of my patterns in any shape or form can be enlarged, reduced, altered, printed and used according to your needs.

No permission is needed for the use of any of my patterns, designs, or techniques used to create any quilts for show entries, exhibits, gifts, donations, customer's quilts, or quilts and other items created for sale.

You don't need my permission, or certificate to teach any techniques you have learned from me through my books, magazine articles, workbooks, DVD's, taking my classes, workshops, watching my demos and presentations on the quilting networks available to you.

Just using a very common sense, the explanation for the attitude about my own copyrights is very simple: I don't want to waste any time worrying about my copyrights being violated. Therefore, I decided not to waste a penny on the protection of my copyrights either.

I just trust my customers' common sense, and judgement. That's simply all it takes, and it works for me.


Irena Bluhm