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 River.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
All the pointy spikes on the plant were added with a tan
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.
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.”
Your thread sketching quilt turned out quite nicely. As for the baby quilt, why not stick with the pattern but make a border using darker fabrics. Make sense?
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.
Ruth, it is lovely to see some art quilting on WIP Wednesday. It’s a lovely piece – great colours and good design.
I find this so interesting!!!
This is sew great!
stopping by from Linky Party Freshly pieced. .. I love art qults..
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!
Love the agave plant!
what type of stabilizer did you use for the thread sketching part?
I used a stabilizer from Fabricland. It almost feels like paper but it is not fusible. It may be a Pellon product-it is white but feels like paper. I hope that helps.