Technique of the Week -Week 22- Thread Painting


Skill Level: Intermediate
Time Commitment: Weekend +
Cost: An embroidery hoop, about 8 inches across.

My friend Elin Waterston teaches a great class on thread painting, and I was a lucky student of hers many years ago.  Her big eye-opening change on thread painting for me was the use of an embroidery hoop instead of stabilizer to do the threadwork. (Another great lesson on this is available from my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, whose DVDs on Mastering Machine Quilting 1 and Mastering Machine Quilting 2  that cover thread sketching are super fabulous to learn from too!!!)

You can see in the piece above that the quilt doesn’t pucker at all around the octopus figure that’s thread painted.  Pretty cool, huh?

The other awesome thing is that you can do this on any machine that can free motion quilt. Because really, that’s what you are doing.  You are putting so much thread down that you are creating many layers.  You do need a very sharp needle for this technique, and I used standard threads that I normally use to sew with in the machine.  (We will cover decorative thread painting later in the series!)

Have you tried this before?  Give it a shot and let me know what you think, and be sure to share your work too!