Thread Sketching -a new adventure.

Since January, I have decided to try some new techniques in the

area of art quilts.  Thread sketching is the one area that fascinates me.

Thread sketching involes taking a photo, making a copy, fusing on

different colored fabric pieces, and adding the detail with thread.

If you want to know more about it, check out Susan Brubaker Knapp,

over at Blue Moon  She is one amazing art quilter.

I have  a copy of her book “Point, Click, Quilt” and I am

using the examples in this book to begin my new adventure.

Susan's book on thread sketching

Susan’s book on thread sketching

This whole process begins with a  picture that is blown

up. The next step involves tracing around each area of the

photo so that templates can be made from them.

Agave plant tracing

Agave plant tracing

I decided to try out the Agave plant and here is the tracing

that is provided in the book.  It merely needs to be enlarged

and fabrics chosen for each piece.  There are 4 different shades

of green to be chosen.  Once the fabrics are chosen, some type

of  fusible webbing must be ironed onto the wrong sides of the

fabric pieces. Steam -a-seam, Wonder Under , or Misty Fuse

are some of the fusible webbings out there.  I chose to use Misty

Fuse, as I find that the other products are too thick for quilting.

All of the stitching was completed on my longarm and even it

protested when there were triple  layers  of the fabric and Misty

Fuse to stitch through. Once this step is done, the fun can now begin.

Fabric pieces all ironed on and ready for thread sketching.

Fabric pieces all ironed on and ready for thread sketching.

Here is the piece with all the fabric attached and ready for the

next step: thread sketching.  Before, I forget, a heavy

stabilizer is also placed under this piece before the

thread sketching can begin.  The reason for this is due to

the fact that the fabric will bunch up if there is no

stabilizer under it to hold all that stitching.

The backing and batting are also not added just yet.

So, off to the races we go.  All the detail is added by

stitching  with different colored threads.  It is really

quite fascinating  to watch as the piece

comes to life with  each different  colored thread that is added.

Finished Agave plant

Finished Agave plant

Here is the finished piece.   After all the thread sketching is done,

the batting ,backing, and quilting  can now be done.  You must think

about which  areas you would like to come forward and which areas

you want to recede.  Here, I quilted around the agave spikes so that the

plant would look like it’s coming forward.  The blue sky was

quilted heavily so that the whole plant would come forward as


Close up of thread sketching.

Close up of thread sketching.

All the pointy spikes on the plant were added with a tan

colored thread.

Another close up

Another close up

I think that my only beef was that I didn’t pick dark

enough colors for some spikes of the plant.  Something to

remember for the next piece.

I thoroughly enjoyed this experiment and I plan to make

more of these art quilts.  I think, in total, it took me 8-10 hours

to complete.  It is roughly 20″ x 25″so it shouldn’t take as long

as a full size quilt to begin and complete.

Here is a small baby quilt pattern, another Jenny Pedigo pattern

called Metro Twist.

Metro Twist baby quilt

Metro Twist baby quilt

She has interesting patterns but I think I

need to make this a little bigger but have no more blue fabric.

Any suggestions- a border maybe?

Don’t forget to check out Freshly Pieced.

Have a great week.

10 thoughts on “Thread Sketching -a new adventure.

  1. Esther Aliu says:

    How interesting! I think your idea is a great one and I can see you’ve really progressed with it to, which is wonderful. I think as quilters that we can always keep learning, I love finding new ways to do things, it keeps my skills sharp. I think yes for a border, maybe in a block colour? It looks great.

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for giving a summary of the thread stitching technique, I think I may just give it a try out! And I agree with Dolores about extending the size of the baby quilt using the same pattern but with slightly darker colours — I have used this a few times on scrap quilts and LOVE the effect!

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