A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
First I took (had my husband take) a picture of me which I downloaded to my computer and played with on Photoshop Essentials. I am not an expert of the program so primarily that means I experimented till I got the effect I wanted. Thank goodness for the undo button!
After getting a picture I liked, I printed it out and traced it on clear water-soluble stabilizer.
I decided to use linen for my substrate due to the texture. I layered the linen onto felt. I chose the felt rather than another batting for the stiffness of it. This was never going to be a bed quilt and did not need to be soft and drapable. I secured the layers by spray basting them. I pinned the stabiler onto the linen/felt sandwich. Please note, I did not have a backing on the quilt sandwich at this point.
Now it was ready for the thread sketching. I chose a thick cotton thread because I wanted the stitched lines to have some presence. I turned the speed down on my machine and slowly went around the lines. I wanted to stay on the lines. This was me and not a flower that could look good with exaggerated parts if I went off the lines. It actually took me two days and two stitching sessions to get it finished. It was a first attempt at thread sketching and I was quite apprehensive.
Step Five, Six, Seven, and Eight.
After washing out the stabilizer and letting the sandwich air dry, I machine appliqueed my shadow that I had previously pieced. With the thread sketching part finished, I put a back on the quilt sandwich and I quilted everything. I did quilt the shadow but not me. I didn't want any more cellulite or stretch marks on my body. To create a background that did not blend in with the neutral fabric of the body, I used diluted acrylic inks to paint the fabric to create a backwall and a floor.
The back of the quilt looked okay so I decided to simply face.
Overall I am quite pleased with the resuls although I would prefer that my mother not see it. Here is the link to my self portrait post. You will need to go there to see the art quilt with the thread sketching of me.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
|Wisdom ond Lor', 2010|
|Pause I, detail|
Saturday, May 25, 2013
|Leaves of Grass|
Friday, May 24, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I'd like to share an example of threadsketching I made a few months ago from a picture (typical dutch trees with cloudy weather by the way):
Just to get an idea, I looked at this picture through a filter in Photoshop to see the lines:
Actually, I think I should have made some other choices in this stage. I love the emptiness and the role the fabric plays. But unfortunately I didn't realize that in time, AND I had to hide some dark lines (good lesson, never use a waterresistant marker...) so I made the grass with thread and scraps:
It still turned out as one of my favourite pieces. To finish it nicely, I sew a dark fabric strip around it and stretched the piece on a canvas:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The 2 crow pieces were sketched with pencil onto soluble stabilizer and stitched from the back.
The ginkgo was done free motion with no pattern. I just winged it.
This is a bobbin sketch done from the back using a sketch on tissue paper which I picked off. I later did the crows with the soluble stabilizer - much easier.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This is my first attempt at thread sketching. I took a photo and traced an outline onto a piece of hand-dye from the "needs more" pile.
This is the back side -- I used a piece of Decor-Bond for stabilizer. There are lots of issues with thread tension here -- I can't remember if it was the needle, tension, or just inexperience. I used 50 wt Aurifil thread.
This is a self-portrait I did for another group. I took a bit of Golden Threads paper and traced the outline from a photo with a Sharpie, then went over that with my machine. I ripped off the paper and filled it in with more 50 wt Aurifil in gray.
This is a detail shot of the pelican that shows the finished threadwork. I'm not sure whether this qualifies as painting or sketching.
The fused tree was done first with batting only, then I layered the whole piece and finished the background. This way, the fused tree stuck out from the rest of the piece.
The owl was done separately by hand, then attached after I finished the rest of the piece.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I like thin thread. My favorite is Aurifil 50 weight. I like it because it's thin, strong, and comes in any color I can dream. My only problem with it is that it is in short supply in my small town and I have to acquire it at quilt shows or drive an hour or so to obtain it. And I have done that drive. More than once... but I digress. I do use other manufacturers and weights but I like the thin thread because it's forgiving. If I scribble-sew all over, mistakes aren't obvious. With a thicker thread, it would be. But thick thread has its place. I like to cover things with thread because I think it gives an organic look. My favorite subjects have hair or feathers. But thick thread is really great for trees. And for less organic things.
With my thin thread, I use small needles. I like 75/11 or 80/12 sizes. I usually use Schmetz jeans/denim or Microtex. The shop where I purchased my machine suggested a new brand, Inspira. I have been using their denim and Microtex and sometimes their titanium-coated needles and they seem to work pretty well- they're cheaper too. I change my needles a lot. When they make that popping noise, it's time for a change. Sometimes I will notice nests or loops on the back -- time for a new or different needle. I don't change my machine tension a lot after I make my sample. Just the needle. When using thicker thread, a larger needle is in order -- without a lot of blather about technical stuff, I suggest 90/14 Topstitch needles.
As for fabric, I use anything I can lay my hands on. My favorite stuff to use is hand-dyed cotton, but I'm not proud. I'll use anything that suits the project.
Which brings me to stabilizers. I have been using Decor-Bond for a while now -- it's fairly lightweight and doesn't feel too crinkly inside of a quilted project. A friend recommended Sulky Totally Stable recently, so I'm going to be experimenting with that this month. I have a project that I abandoned because I didn't use any stabilizer before I started covering it with thread and it puckered. I'm going to see if I can reclaim it with stabilizer. Sometimes I use batting and sometimes I don't. I like thin batts when I do use them.
And don't forget feet: I use my freemotion foot with the feed dogs down. Sometimes I forget and leave them up -- I usually don't notice until I remove the piece. So I'm not sure it's all that important.
Next: thread-sketching and the value of making samples
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I am not enough full of myself to think that I can provide the definitive definition of thread-painting, but I think that a lot of what I do qualifies as such. So this month, my month, I want to explore the art of painting on fabric with thread. Because it's really just another form of my favorite thing: putting color on fabric.
Here are a couple of examples to get the creative juices flowing:
Ellen Anne Eddy does some fabulous work with thread. Here is a link to her website: http://www.ellenanneeddy.com/ and her blog: http://www.ellenanneeddy.com/weblog/
Terry Aske has a nice portrait of a thread-painted dog here:
Shannon Conley has a nice thread-painted dog here:
and for those who are not necessarily fans of dogs, Quilting Arts is offering a free ebook on thread painting and sketching here:
Next up: the basics. Threads, needles, fabrics and stabilizers, oh my...