Just be aware that the colored pencils are not usually lightfast (ie, not permanent) colors. Special lightfast artists' versions of colored pencils are much more expensive and are labeled as "permanent". If they aren't labeled that way, the color will soon disappear, no matter how they are surface treated, no matter that the quilt is never washed.
If it were MY project, I'd take my daughter's colored pencil drawings, scan them, and print them out in color on fabric, as many quilters are now doing.
The textile medium I have (got it at Michaels) is Delta Ceramcoat and it says "Mix with Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint for a flexible, non-cracking, washable fabric paint. Penetrates fiber for permanency. Paint won't bleed." It has directions for doing that with the acrylic paint. Sounds more like what you need. Only thing I would worry about since you'll be painting AFTER quilting is that it might penetrate the batting, too, and then move with the batting over the years.
The magazine article I mentioned was about Irena Bluhm and she colors her finished whole cloth quilts with colored pencils (irenabluhmdesigns.com has a gallery if you want to see the effect). She says she uses small brushes for precision and paints the textile medium over the colored areas. Again, she doesn't mention if she heat sets or anything. Also looks like she has a book coming out sometime about how to do it - Amazon has it for pre-order but doesn't mention a publication date - my daughter's patience might not wait.
Hope this helps with your project.
I know what you mean with the 4 yr old, lol. Mine are the same way. As for the pencils I am curious too as I have a whole cloth linen quilt I am making right now which I feel is screaming for some highlight coloring. I thought about using some kind of creme paint, like stencil paint, since I don't want bleed over as I will be adding color AFTER I finish the quilting. Has anyone tried that??
Does anyone know how to make colored pencils permanent on fabric?
I read in a magazine that one quilter uses "textile medium" on top, but she didn't explain. My textile medium gives directions for mixing it with paint to use on fabric, but I'm not using paint.... So my questions are: 1) Do you just paint it on top of the colored area? 2) Do you need to heat set? 3) How long of a drying time would you give it? 4) Is there a test for permanency before I embroider the edges and sandwich?
If it was just a project for me, I would just experiment for as long as it takes, but I want my 4 year old daughter to color some mermaids to make into a quilt and I made the mistake of telling her about it. She has a lot of virtues, but patience is not one of them. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
-Tina, in beautiful (if a little gray today) Washington state