When the fabric I want to use is not quite what I want, but is close, I alter it. There are a lot of ways to do this. The methods I commonly use are commercial spray paint, fabric paint, Shiva paintstiks, acrylic paints, various bleaching or discharging agents (I love the Tide bleach pen) and markers. I have tried fabric makers but far prefer Sharpie markers. I stock up at Staples with the extra fine tip variety and the wider tips as well. All colors of the rainbow, of course! Truth be told, I have quite the weakness for new Sharpie markers...
Here I've used a khaki green sharpie to add some veins down the centers of the leaf portions.
I've used several colors of the ultra fine tip size to render all of the features of the face and the hair. I was rather proud of how the face turned out.
This one is much more simple. See the border fabric on the left? A simple black and white print. After I had it all together, I wished that there was just a little pink in the print to pick up that shade in some of the other fabrics. And so... I picked up my pink Sharpie and had some coloring fun.
After I had completed these beetle blocks, I felt that there was too much stark white for my design. So I filled it in with words. I had a brainstorm and spent a therapeutic hour jotting down all of the things that bug me and then transcribed them in a spiral around the beetles. This, then, inspired the name of this quilt: "What really bugs me".
Here is another face rendered in several colors of yellow and light brown.
All of these pieces are wall hangings but I've also used Sharpie markers on T-shirts that are washed along with all of the other laundry. They are truly permanent. When using Sharpies, care must be used with the color. The color on the cap is not always what the actual mark will look like--use a scrap piece of the fabric you are using to try it out and adjust your marker choice accordingly.