As promised, here is the scoop about my resist/dye-painting technique. I mixed up a flour resist (equal parts AP flour and water), poured it in a baggie, and sealed it. Then I cut off a tiny corner of the baggie.
I had my dry soda-soaked fabric taped down over a plastic dry-cleaning bag on top of my pattern. Using the baggie like a pastry bag, I squeezed a thin bead of resist around the outer edge of the flower. I used my small putty scraper to scrape and smooth the resist toward the center of the flower. I wanted the color stronger toward the center of the flower, so I used less resist there. I set up a fan and let it dry overnight. Then I rolled the dried resist-covered fabric up and flattened it to crack the resist before I taped it back down on the pattern.
I mixed the dye thickener with the dye powder (while wearing my mask!) directly in this plastic muffin tin. I used a thin mixture of dye paste (one quart water, two teaspoons of thickener): to 1/4 cup dye thickener I added 1 teaspoon dye powder. These cups hold about 1/8 cup so I reduced my amounts accordingly. I found that I needed much less than 1/8 cup of any of the colors to finish my painting.
Using my synthetic brushes (the same ones I use for acrylic paints) I painted right over the resist with my thickened dyes. I like the white plastic muffin "tin" because I can see the color I'm working with. I can mix shades on the plastic in between the cups. There is one cup full of uncolored dye thickener that I use to make the lighter shades. Then I rolled up the plastic and let it batch in a warm place (outside on the front porch) overnight. I have left these pictures pretty large, so click on them for a closer look.
Here is the finished piece after the resists and all the excess dyes have been washed out. I have already added the foil on the beetle in this shot. Now it's ready for layering and thread.
The dye thickener is available at Prochemical and Dharma Trading. The brushes and plastic muffin "tin" are available from Dick Blick. I like the Blick's student brushes -- they are good quality and not terribly expensive.