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, October 20, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 2

Spring Pond begins.

The background fabrics are for the sunset sky, grasses surrounding the pond, sand/dirt at the edge of the pond...and the pond itself.

I started with the sky fabric. It is already pretty busy so I just stitched around the random patterns made on the fabric. Would love to tell you how I got this pattern but this fabric has been around a while and I have no idea how I did it. It is dyed is about all I can tell you.

Here is a close-up 

The next layer is for the grasses surrounding the pond. I stitched vertically but not straight on purpose. Wanted the lines to look like the various directions of the grasses.

For the sand/dirt at the edge of the pond, I used the connecting fabric and stitched it in wavy lines to give it some texture and movement. 

The next part of the background took a while to complete. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! 

OK so this hand-stitching novice has a question...I remember from a hand quilting presentation I attended once...long time ago...that there is a way to "bury your knot".  I can't for the life of me figure it out again. Is it
difficult (if not impossible) because I'm working with embroidery floss rather than quilting thread?

Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. As you know I am not an expert with handstitching, but you do this like this: pull your needle in through the back and let the knot slip in through the fabric at the back, but not through the front. Do this a bit away from your starting point. The knot will bury itselve in the batting. But to be honest I do not care if you can see the knot or not.

  2. I've taught hand quilting skills for ages......and personally prefer not to see unsightly knots....no matter what they thread style is. Since your piece is small.....why not begin one edge....hiding the knot between the layers there.....making sure the length of thread will reach back and forth several times so you can burying the ending knot between the layers at the end...either at the side you started or opposite.

    Besides the appearance, hiding the knot protects it from coming undone!

  3. With embroidery on a quilted sandwich where the pieces are not even seamed together, it would be easy to simply slip your needle between the layers and come out in the position to begin stitching. The tail need not be knotted at all, just pull it until it is hidden and hold it as you begin to stitch - perhaps the first stitch could be a tacking stitch. There will be no stress on the thread in a decorative piece as there is on clothing.


  4. I saw on a tutorial by Lyric Kinard, that for starting she uses a little French knot technique and then goes through the layers (say in the gap between stitches on your seam)and brings it out where she wants to start. To finish, do a French knot, but when you put the needle into the fabric, come out a little ways beyond and tug sharply so the knot goes through the fabric into the layers. Keep the thread quite taut and snip it off on the surface of the fabric and it should slide back into the layers because of the tension.

    I have found this so useful with the beading I have been doing. No worries about the knot coming undone or being unsightly - which is quite obvious on a little piece.
    Sandy in the UK

  5. When using embroidery floss I do as :Diane suggested (for starting AND ending). The following video is a great way - the way I always sink knots when using thinner and quilting threads (and sometimes floss)-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3gl4K8Z7XM by K Grace Howes (she shared it with permission from Robbie Joy Eklow).
    Your piece is looking great and it is so fun to watch the evolution!

  6. Wow! I knew I came to the right group with that question! I'm using 3 of the 6 ply floss and have not found it easy (or sometimes even possible) to pull the know through the fabric. Maybe I need a smaller knot! I think also I just need to quit stitching sooner, before I come close to the end of a thread. Then I could definitely go to the edge of the piece or under a non-stitched down piece close by. It's just that embroidery floss is SOOOO expensive I hate to waste it! LOL!!

    And Merran....what on earth is a cheater needle?

  7. Currently I'm thinking about not making this one single art quilt. I'm thinking just now that I will be mounting them separately on 4 canvases or boxes (like the Distortion pieces unless the price is prohibitive at this size) So knots in the back would not be a problem anyway. But just in case I change my mind...again...I am trying to keep the back relatively clean.

  8. Love how the stitches follow the dye pattern on the red !


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