Colourque Tutorial and free pattern

When Madame Samm contacted me and asked me to be a guest Blogger on Wantobe a Quilter I was honoured and excited to participate– (well she did say some nice things about me so I guess she had me from there…) I had not heard about this project but after a little reading realised that Madame Samm is quite an amazing woman – to have all of this support from the industry – with sooo many fantastic prizes and wonderful posts from quilters willing to share and teach the new Wantobes – all in the name of sharing the passion of quilting!  If you happen to know of me from here or on my blog or maybe my Facebook page then you know all too well that my passion is also to share the love and addiction of stitching and quilting and all things feelgood!

I trawled through all of the wonderful tutorials and free patterns already given and decided to tell you a little bit about Colourque ®  which you may wish to add to your newly learned quilting skills.

Colourque is simply the art of using coloured pencils on fabric to give an appliqué effect. It is simple and great fun to do  to add a bit of dimension to your work – or just for a nice change – its just like being back at kindergarten! You can use it on simple projects such as cushions,


Tablerunners – yes they are washable ,

right up to full sized quilts and works of art – yes not a piece of applied fabric on this quilt!

So, what do we need? – nothing really special or hard to find

Some plainish good quality cotton fabric – can be plain or a tone on tone

A design to colour and stitch

Coloured pencils – any brand any type (except pastel or watercolours) – in all of my patterns I use the Derwent brand because you can get them worldwide but you can use anything – generally the more expensive they are, the easier they are to colour with.

A sheet of 600 grit sandpaper – from the hardware store


A bottle of textile medium – I use and prefer the Folk Art Brand by Plaid – available from your craft store – Joanns, Michaels etc.

a cheap small round or flat paintbrush

and a good quality pencil sharpener.

Now how?

First you need to transfer the design to the fabric – now if you happen to have one of my Hugs ‘n Kisses patterns then you may well have an iron on transfer in there which makes this process very simple… if not, well you just need a lightbox and lead or ceramic  pencil. – Trace or iron the design onto your fabric. You can download the pattern here.


Place your prepared fabric onto the sheet of sandpaper – this will grip and hold your fabric whilst you colour and also ‘sand’ the colour from the pencil lead to the fabric

First colour a complete shape in your chosen colour. You can be light or heavy handed – just make sure all of the colour is even with no white spaces. You need to try and keep inside the lines but use whatever method works to get that nice even colour. 

Then we can add a bit of shading – simply choose a shade darker and add some dimension on each petal to give it depth and a rounded shape.


Continue colouring until you have completed your design.

 Now – to make the colour permanent and washable we need to seal it – this is a simple process that wont take long to get the hang of..


Place a small amount of medium into a paint pot or a small saucer. Dip your brush in to load and then sit the brush down in the centre of a coloured area.  Push the medium to the edges of your shape – don't get it onto the background fabric as it will stain it  -and is not removable!  Now the beauty of this method is that if you don't like a colour or you went outside the lines, then if you don’t seal it – it will wash out or rub off – so seal everything you want to keep.


Continue until you have sealed all areas of the design – don’t brush medium from one shape to the next  - it may take the colour with it onto the next colour depending on the pencil type you used.


The last step in the process is to stitch on all of the lines either by hand or machine (This will be dependent on the style of the design). My basic Colourque method involves backstitching by hand around all of the coloured shapes. This design also uses a French knot to cover the dots.   You can see tutorials on my blog for these stitches if you are not familiar with them here and here. (ssshhh - not so secret secret – there are lots of tutorials with FREE pattern downloads here)

First I like to apply a stabiliser to the back of my coloured piece and then I always use an embroidery hoop to complete my stitching using a Crewel needle and in this case the lovely Presencia Finca Perle #16 threads.


and there you have a sweet little finished design to use as you please -


Or of course you can use it without the colouring if you are just not ready to try.

If you really did like Colouring then this is the Bible of Colourque® published by The American Quilters Society or available here. 


Thankyou for visiting with me here today and sharing my passion – its my daily therapy and something I cannot live without. Please come visit me and show my your results – I’d love to see them or just to say hi to a new quilter, stitcher, embroiderer or Colourquer..

hugs and kisses from me today


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Written by Helen Stubbings, designer,  teacher, quilter, author, mum and mad stitcher.
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