Cut fabric into approximately 20"x 20" squares until you have a number of them in a pile. Mix a palette of colors. Have a rough idea in your mind of what you plan to work on. For me today it was to create some gestural handwriting compositions using various viscosities of paint and several different brushes and screen prints. Take a deep breath, grab a fabric and tape or pin it down and just start working.
Once you've made a number of samples that respond to one another and to your original idea or intention, take some time to pause and reflect. This first piece was a true warm up, I just grabbed a brush and began to put marks on the surface, then responded to them with varying brush strokes and colors.
Once I completed four or five samples, I dried them with a hair dryer and put them up on my design wall, then photographed them and loaded them on my computer. Looking at them as images on a computer screen really gives me a different perspective on them. Details that didn't seem prominant when I looked at them on the design wall become very apparent when I look at the image; the reverse is true also. Areas I think will be very dominant may not always come forward in the photograph.This piece was painted with diluted paint on dampened cotton. When the fabric was still wet, I added the black letters using thicker paint and a thin tipped applicator bottle. The letters hold their basic shapes but some of the paint migrates and creates interesting halos. Some areas of this piece work better than others. I like the migration of the thicker paint applied to the wet surface. The partially erased line of letterforms at the bottom is another idea that works for me.
Here's a detail so you can see the halos better.
On another sample, in contrast to the more defined shapes in the first composition, I decided to create a more subtly painted surface and leave some less defined areas to develop with stitching -- either machine or hand.