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.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thread painting - the freedom of motion

I used to find thread painting tedious several years ago. But about 4 years back I started to make monoprints and dye-painted wholecloth-quilts and I’ve realized, that intensive machine quilting was that, what I wanted on the surface. I’m still not quite sure where the definition machine quilting ends and where thread-painting starts but that is no matter for me.
As said, the first intensely quilted piece was this monoprint: Earth Lines #2. I used free motion quilting and Madeira thread.
 Earth Lines #2
A few months later I started to use Aurifil and has been with it since. I love the textures, the colours and I use them in different weights. I’m rather unorthodox in these things and do use them mixed.

These two monoprints are intensively quilted, but they mightn’t “qualify” as thread-painting. Though for me the definition has more to do with spontaneously sewn lines on the surface, just like drawing with a pencil. Moving around, drawing thin lines has the quality of sketching - looking for "the right line" with your pencil. Not each line is supposed to have a perfect sit, I can improvise and this gives me a kind of freedom I cheerish. 
Midsummernight's Dream

Leaves of Grass 
The last one I’d like to show is a dye-painted wholecloth-quilt called Long Shadows and I did it as the others, rather spontaneous, just “drawing with the machine.”
The last three ones are made with Aurifil.


  1. These are wonderful examples of what I think of as thread painting or sketching, Beata! The lines and textures really enhance your monoprints beautifully! Thanks for sharing them with us...

  2. This is awesome. really drawing with the machine. I Particularly like the first one.
    Sandy in the UK

  3. Beata. Fabulous stuff but you failed to mention leaves of grass was used as the cover for a book or CD? Tell us about that!!

  4. These are striking! I really like your version of thread sketching.

  5. Beth, I didn't think it was too relevant, but yes a German Edition House used the image of "Leaves of Grass" as a cover for the german audio-book-edition of Walt Whitmann's poems. The funny thing was, that the quilt was created with these poems in my mind. It just closed the circle nicely.

  6. I agree, it is not important how you call the technique, it's just great work. And you made it into your own 'sketching voice' instead of copying a picture, which is fabulous to see and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Fabulous!
    My favourite is 'Leaves of Grass'

  8. I really LOVE your work!! Thank you for sharing it.

  9. these are wonderful just love them.

  10. These are fabulous examples of threadwork! Totally inspiring!


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