Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thread Painting

In this post I'm going to describe the thread painting technique that I used in the Pam Holland workshop.  The rooster in the art quilt above has been thread painted using this method. 

As previously described, we started with white fabric with a line drawing of our image on the fabric. The white fabric was spritzed with water and then ink was dropped on the damp fabric. The color of ink we dropped matched the color on the image you wanted to create. The inks bled into each other and that was fine. The goal was to create a guide for stitching so you knew what color to stitch where. 

ink painted fabric rooster and pin basted top

After the inks dried the fabric was pressed and fusible was ironed on the back. The image was cut out and fused to your pieced background. The top was then sandwiched with batting and the fabric back that you selected and pin basted. That is the first step in the thread painting process. The next step is the stitching.

The stitching is done using a domestic sewing machine. A zigzag stitch is the primary stitch used. Once in a while you use a straight stitch but most of the stitching is done with a zigzag stitch. I used a darning foot on the machine with my feed dogs down. I started the stitching by selecting one color of thread and zigzag stitching in that area. Then I changed thread color and moved to the adjacent area.

In each area I tried to thoroughly stitch to cover as much of the background fabric as possible.  I overlapped the stitching into adjacent areas for blending. Sometimes I used more than one shade of a color in an area to add depth. 

Here are some detail shots that show the stitching:

I continued on in this manner until the entire rooster was covered. I was very happy with the way it looked when it was done.  I thought it gave a more three dimensional appearance to the subject. 
I intend to use this process again on another quilt.  It is ideal for texture I think!       

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