Oh Holy Night Week 7 … The Camels…

Oh Holy Night - The Camels

Welcome to Week 7, The Camels…

Yep, believe it or not, I’m on time this week….Are ya proud of me? 🙂 hehe

I  think the camels are very fun, and so cute. Unlike most of the animals, I did two each of the sitting camels, but you really only have to do one each if you prefer or are worried about space.

It’s like the cows last week, I did one of each for those, I like the idea of one standing and one sitting.. So the camels are the same, 1 standing and one sitting, but it does look cool to have the two camels sitting next to each other on my finished wallhanging.

2015 Nativity

Two weeks ago, I just didn’t have the time to sit and write out a little tutorial about how I changed up my wallhanging, so this week I’m going to give you a brief overview.

I drew them, plain and simple, I colored in the eyes, and drew the outlines. It’s quite fun to draw on fabric. When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I had this really old raggy pair of jeans I would put on when I came home from school. Even back then I use to sit and doodle on my jeans with a Bic Pen. My pants were literally covered with what I’ll call “Pen Art” .. it was fun, I’d sit their while watching tv and draw on my legs in a free spot I could find… Soon, the front was all covered but the back had nothing on them, so I had to find a new pair of pants, and I took the old ones and drew on the back.. Somewhere stored in my Hope Chest, I have those pants, and perhaps someday I’ll take a picture of them and share them with ya’ll.

The point is that drawing on fabric is easy and fun.

You can read all you want about what pens hold up and which ones don’t, but drawing on fabric with any “permanent” ink pen works. No pre-preparation is necessary to use pens to draw outlines etc.. 

Coloring is an entirely different story. While you could technically use pens to color in eyes, etc, it is harder to get a good coloring. With coloring you want to either “paint” or use markers.

My preference is using markers, it’s done quickly, you have quite a bit more control over the pen aspect of a marker than you do a paintbrush. One really needs to have experience with using paintbrushes to feel secure about staying within the lines.

I have two favorite brands of markers. 

My first is the Fabrico brand of markers, 


Fabrico Markers are dual tip, one end is fat,
the other is a thinner point for when you outline outside of your shapes. I don’t use the fat end as much as the thin end and this is because I think it’s harder to get a clean line, when I do use it, it’s to do things like outlines that are by themselves, such as on the camels legs, where your emphasizing the leg itself.

They do not need to be heat set, and do not leave your fabric feeling stiff.

Tulip Fabric Markers

However, I also really like Tulip.. I know it seems corny, because I never see quilt artists recommend these, but I think these are amazing markers. They flow nicely, no need to heat set them, and they also do not leave your fabric feeling stiff.

The cool thing about Tulip is their is a wide variety of colors. While Fabrico also has a wide variety, Tulip offers far more, including metallic, glitter, neon, glow in the dark, pastel, dark, opaques and all are almost always available in large packs. They are not dual tipped like the Fabrico are, but they are cheaper than Fabric pens are.. so it’s a kind of balancing act.

Sharpie Fine Tips

I also like Sharpies.. and this is probably where you might want to toss my tutorial away, but Sharpie is a perfectly good pen, and it is totally permanent also without heat setting.

The biggest problem with Sharpie is that you can’t butt the colors up next to each other when filling areas in, because Sharpie does something the others above don’t do easily. It has a tendency to bleed. If you want to avoid the bleeding of sharpie pens, you have to wait for them to dry between uses.

The fine point is a nice pen when you want to write text, it just flows beautifully, it’s why I love it best for text.

sharpie 2

Sharpie Markers are nice to use when your coloring in individual colors, lets say the flesh of skin for instance.. when it’s just a single color by itself, the pen flows nicely without worry of bleeding.

When it comes to “White” pens, there are several brands on the market, but the very best is the Signo Brand

UniBall White Signo

The only problem with this pen is that sometimes it can look grainy, and this happens because when you first start to use the pen, you need to give it a little shake, then draw a bit on it before you work on your project. If you immediately start to draw, you’ll see the graininess come thru on the coloring. 

I’m going to show you some samples…
I own a lot of fabric pens. More than I ever thought I would to be honest. 🙂

Drawing On Fabric 1

These are pens just for drawing on fabric. They have no other real purpose for me, since I’m not into paper crafts, or other types of crafting.

Many were bought for my Silhouette Cameo, and I’ve used them to draw on, so they aren’t just sitting in the box getting no uses. I intend to use them more often.

The following is a sampling of the different pens.

Drawing On Fabric 8Clicking the image will show you much finer detail.

I did this sample by writing the names of the type of pen they are.

These are all “permanent pens” with the exception of the Crayola Washable. The idea of the Crayola Washable is that it will wash out if you don’t heat set it first. If you heat set it, it becomes permanent.

Their is a lot of info on the internet on using pens, markers, paints, and dyeing on fabric.
However, what their isn’t a lot of is showing you preparation.

For the most part their is no prep to the fabric, most pens don’t even require that the fabric be pre-washed prior to drawing on the fabric.

The biggest problem with drawing is what to place your fabric on so it doesn’t move while your drawing on it.

Some people use sand boards, this is a good solution, but the problem with a sandpaper board is that while the fabric stays in place, you pick up the course nature of the sandpaper in your drawing.

So I use a quilters standard…

Good Old Fashioned Freezer Paper.

You can also use a sticky stabilizer, but freezer paper by it’s very nature works quite well. The difference is that with sticky stabilizers, the fabric will stay stuck to it, where with freezer paper, you might have to re-iron it on after awhile if your working on an area like an eye for instance where you have several colors.

Reynolds Freezer Paper

So let me show you how I do it, along with a few samples of working on an eye.

Drawing On Fabric 3


Drawing On Fabric 4

Gather your Supplies

Drawing On Fabric 5

Cut a piece of your freezer paper, this is where if you have scraps you’ve saved you can use them, they are perfect, because you can simply iron a small scrap into the area where your drawing on.

Drawing On Fabric 6

Iron it onto your fabric.

Drawing On Fabric 7

Make sure you have no bubbles anywhere, this is particularly important to do, a bubble will screw up your drawing.

Drawing On Fabric 8

Look at your samples, and then play by drawing shapes and getting your pens ready to draw with. Giving them a little “play time” first allows the ink to flow more freely, so practice some of the shapes your going to draw.

Drawing On Fabric 9

Then grab your fabric and your good to go.

Brush your “nerves” aside

Drawing On Fabric 10

Grab a marker, in this set of samples, I’m going to show you several different pens and their effects. It’s one thing to see text, it’s another to see an actual drawing.

So I’m using above a normal, everyday average pen, this is the Uni-Ball Vision Elite. They are my absolute favorite pen to write with. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I buy them by the case. My husband takes them to work and I never see them again. 🙂

Drawing On Fabric 12

Tape or place your fabric on a hard surface, like your rotary mat, or a table of some type.

Painters Tape

Use painters tape if your going to tape the fabric down.

Drawing On Fabric 13

Start drawing your eye

Now you may be asking, why didn’t I trace this on first… well…. because I think about it and draw it, but most of the time I’m just looking at the pattern of how the eye is drawn on and do it myself, but you could also trace it with a light pencil first if you own a lightbox.

Drawing On Fabric 14

Then using a “white” ink pen in this case I’ve used the white Uni-ball Signo pen and color 

Drawing On Fabric 15

in the white of the eye.

Drawing On Fabric 16


Drawing On Fabric 17

Add more color, in this case, I’ve only used Black and white pens.

When you need a quick simple eye, this is about as easy as it gets.

Drawing On Fabric 18

The eye on the left is drawn with the Tulip pencils, it has a little green on the inside area … My green was to dark, so I’m not sure you can see it all that well..

Drawing On Fabric 19

Both of these are with the Fabrico pen, and the Crayola Oil Pastel .. I used the Pentel in the picture by mistake, but it is the Crayola brand in the eyes.

The right side eye is the fat side of the Fabrico pen.. this is where I don’t prefer this pen, it just really hard to get a nice fine drawn line.

The left side is the fine side of the Fabrico pen.

Drawing On Fabric 20

The last eye uses the pentel oil pastel dye sticks for fabric. and my Sharpie pens.

With these pens, I didn’t wait for a drying time, I should have, but I wanted to get the samples done, so the green bleeds into the black part of the eye, but still it’s a better eye than some of the others.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these samples

As I noted, for the most part the Tulip and the Fabrico do quite nicely, and just picking up a few packs will net you a lot of colors. With Fabrico, there are only 6 pens to the pack, so picking up a basic colors pack is probably better than trying to get all the colors.

While the Oh Holy Night series, will not have as involved of an eye, and the eyes are very simple, I think it’s good to show you what you can achieve by drawing.

Hand Embroidery is also nice, it’s not like you can’t do that to, but when you want a quick simple solution for something you may only keep hanging for a short time, their is nothing wrong with using a pen and some fabric.

When we start doing the wisemen and shepherds, I’ll show you some more finished looks with the pens.

The only other thing I’d recommend to you is to draw the shape of your face with the seam allowance on to the fabric’s right side, so you can see the area your working in, cut out the fabric when your done, then iron your freezer paper shape on the wrong side after you paint to turn your edges under for turn edge applique. 

Do not wait to draw/color until you’ve added the applique to your background, you can’t stick the fabric to anything and even if you leave your freezer paper on inside the applique, the turned edge is still going to shift the fabric around.

Another tip: Test Wash your samples, take the time, see how they will look after washing. I have actually not used pens that took a lot of color out, or bled into another area, so please don’t chance not doing a test wash, and I mean… put it in with old towels, and such that you don’t care about and wash with hot water, so you know exactly what will happen with that pen after it’s washed. I think the brand was RoseArt. I had nothing but problems with these pens, and they were cheap, so I will advise you that while cheap can work, do not use these, you won’t be happy with the end result.

Sources you can find on the web are:

Cloth Doll Faces – (most of these are drawn on the fabric, there are many sources for this)

While this class at Craftsy isn’t for fabric, learning the drawing skills also can be valuable. This is a Free Class at Craftsy:

Drawing Better Portraits

More Sources

How To Draw Doll Faces
How to Draw Faces on Cloth Dolls
Photo Realistic Tutorial and Youtube Videos

The exceptional are the following at Youtube via The Quilt show:

Quilting & Sewing Tutorial: Drawing Faces on Quilts Introduction–Lauren Vlcek
Quilting Tutorial: Drawing Faces on Fabric—Lauren Vlcek Lesson 1
Quilting Tutorial: Drawing Faces on Fabric—Lauren Vlcek Lesson 2
Quilting Tutorial: Drawing Faces on Fabric—Lauren Vlcek Lesson 3
Quilting Tutorial: Drawing Faces on Fabric—Lauren Vlcek Lesson 4

 More Tips About Today’s Pattern

Stitching Fringe Tips

If you want to do fringe on your normal sewing machine, it is best to use a fringe foot.

If you don’t know how to do fringe on your sewing machine, here are two videos showing you how:

How to use a Fringe / Looper Foot

How To Sew Fringe and Hemstitches with the Bernina Tailor Tack Foot #7

Two very good tips for sewing fringe on your sewing machine:

these may have been mentioned in the videos, but I will reiterate them here:

Use a different color of bobbin thread in your bobbin, this makes it easier to pull out the proper thread.

When you do the stitch over the fringe, you want to be sure your touching over the top edge of your fringe, because that is what is going to hold your fringe in place after you cut the bobbin thread. Be sure it’s a stitch that covers the top fringe well, that’s why a zigzag, french knot, braiding, or even stitching ribbon over the top is good, because it’s giving weight to the fringe so it won’t fall out easily.

If you want more fringe, do a second layer, just slightly above your previous fringe, however, before you do it, run a straight stitch down the first layer, with a very tiny stitch length, so that you are covering over that first fringe.

Then use a different bobbin color than you used previously.

For each layer you do, use a different bobbin color, and be sure to straight stitch over each layer before fringing a new layer.

A very quick way to remove the bobbin area thread is by using an electric razor, or

peggys stitch eraser

Peggy’s Stitch Eraser

or my personal favorite and a lot cheaper

the quick ripper

The Quick Ripper

This one runs on batteries, good for me, because I already use to many plugs in my sewing room, so I love battery operated toys. The other gem, I can easily put this in my little sewing storage pockets that lay below my embroidery and sewing machine and it’s right their should I need to rip embroidery out, and believe me, if you ever have to rip out machine embroidery stitches, you will want this tool, it just makes life sooooo much easier.

Today’s shapes have been combined to make downloading easier.

Clicking the images takes you to the same download links.

This pattern does include machine embroidery files for those of you who would like to try that technique. It also includes a fringe stitch on the sitting camels blanket.

I will be back in two weeks Oct 9, with the last 3 animals, and then we will go back to a weekly schedule to finish up Nov 6th as planned…

Again, I want to say, thank you so much for your patience these last few weeks, they have been much appreciated.


10 thoughts on “Oh Holy Night Week 7 … The Camels…

  1. I just found your page and love it so much!! I found week one “Oh Holy Night” and this one (week seven) but I am having problems finding the others. Is there a place they are all located? I plan to start now and maybe have it finished by Christmas for my sister.

    I am not even sure how I found your site, but I hope you are still posting because I plan I sticking around. I did mark to follow you on Pinterest as well. Have a great day and thank you!

  2. This is an excellent post on markers and marking for quilts. Thank-you for all the information. I am bookmarking you.(I am using Tulips right now but may try the Sharpies and your reccomendations for the white Uni-ball)

  3. Hi Marian I have been re-reading your instructions about coloring on fabric. A friend of mine has been coloring her blocks with colored pencils. They looked great so I asked her what all she did. She said she just ironed them. I have a lot of blocks that have a 4 inch center to embroider on and I planned on using vintage flowers. But the embroidery doesn’t show up well on the big block with all the different fabrics I used.. Sooo,I thought the pencils would be perfect. The color was amazing after ironing-really rich and vibrant looking. The problem–All the pencil coloring came out after washing. Have you ever tried these? Any suggestions? Thanks so much.
    P.S.–New computer-new email address LOL

    1. Which brand of pencils did you use?

      I have never used colored pencils, I use markers, because markers are more likely to give you a permanent coloring than pencils are. I do know their are pencils that are suppose to work, but I have not used them. Unless you used Crayola Washable markers, or pencils that are suppose to wash out, I think you need a different brand, one that either heat sets, or notes that it’s a permanent bond.

      Congratulations on the new pc. 🙂

  4. Thanks for all the info, Marian. I have a very cute pattern that uses markers to paint them with, but I wasn’t sure about which markers to use. I have purchased some of the Tulip ones so I am happy to hear that these are some that you use. I love the camel patterns and have printed them out even though I haven’t been stitching this quilt. I think these would be so cute in a childs’ quilt. Thank you so much.

  5. Thanks for all the great info and review on the variety of fabric markers available. I used to paint on fabric a lot. Recently I have added color with crayons. I have just started using markers and have some of the three brands you mentioned. I love this Nativity Scene.

    1. I have looked over some videos with using the crayons and I’m definitely intrigued, but I think that when your trying to achieve outlines, or draw in some areas like eyes, lips and such you want more color.. Recently, I discovered that Tulip has some “spray” paints that come from a spritz like bottle. I’m quite intrigued to see how these work and hope to work some next summer with them when I could spray on fabric outdoors. I’d love to get back into dyeing fabrics, but you need so many supplies with dyeing that the idea of spraying paints on intrigues me greatly more than getting back into dyeing at the moment.

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