Monday, November 8, 2010

Thread Painting Applique - Design Board Monday

Nothing new on my design board since I spent much of the week cleaning - including my sewing hole!  That said, there is something new on my sewing table.  I finally - yes finally - took the plunge into free motion embroidery.  With two books on the subject which I've read back to back,  you'd think I've done this sooner.  I have done thread painting on my quilt before but never attempted to make a stand alone embroidered applique before.  The Christmas pine boughs seemed  like just the occasion to finally put on my big girl pants and try it.

With all of that said, I would need some supplies.  I managed to buy the tulle  at Joann's but headed to my very traditional local quilt shop.  Now this shop is very nice and sells all sorts of fabrics and machine embroidery supplies.  I went in looking for film stabilizer and a machine embroidery hoop.  When I asked them for a hoop, they said the only hoops they sold like that went with their $2000 brother's machine and did I want to buy one LOL!!  Needless to say, I went back to Joann's and bought the hand embroidery hoop for $2.50 instead.

Last night, I sat down to attempt it and realized that there was nothing to be afraid of.  Using the clear directions in Quilt Savvy:Simple Thread Painting  it really wasn't hard at all.  All you do is basically layer your applique with two sheets of water wash away stablizer and two pieces of tulle that is in a color that is close to what you are making.  You draw or trace the pattern of the applique onto your stabilizer.

Then you drop your feed dogs, put on a good free motion foot and start moving the thread across the design to fill it in - just like a colored pencil.  I used bobbin thread in my bobbin and a mix of rayons, polys, and cotton thread on top. First I started by sewing in stabilizer lines - the book said to do this when you are thread painting it directly onto your quilt but I didn't think it was a bad idea to do it with a free standing applique either.  I mean - gosh - the last thing you want is a puckery design right??

I'm not sure what way I'm suppose to layer the colors since I couldn't find that in the book so I just did it the way I do with colored pencils - I started with some of the darkest colors first and worked my way up to the light highlight colors on the top.  It seemed like it was taking forever to fill in the pine limb but really it wasn't too bad.  As you can see, Kali was there to keep me company.  I did have some broken threads that needed to be cleaned out of my machine, but didn't have to adjust my thread tension or bobbin tension.
I didn't manage to finish the one limb but so far so good .   I just worked my way down the limb little by little going through layering the colors each time.  It seems to be laying nice and flat.   I can't wait to dunk the thing and see if water really will magically wash away the stabilizer!!
Don't forget to check out other great design board's at Judy's Patchworks!


Carol B in NH said...

WOW! I guess when you have your big girl pants on you really blow the pants off everyone else! :)
Nice Nina!

scraphappy said...

What an interesting technique. It seems like it will take a while to make a whole tree.

Quilter Kathy said...

How fun! I love to use Solvy with my tiny scraps.

AnnieO said...

Seems like a mesmerizing activity, watching that thread paint the surface! Looking good.

Karen S said...

Nice job -- I love the texture you get with thread painting. You were smart to do it as a stand-alone piece -- I rarely thread-paint directly on my quilts because it's impossible to remove if you goof. And you get even more texture when you stitch it on.

Denise :) said...

Love your feline helper there; Kali probably made all the difference in the world! :)

Diane said...

oh that looks great good for you for jumping on in to it.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I haven't tried thread painting either... it's on the list, though. :-)

Did you dunk it yet???


quilthexle said...

That looks really interesting! Will be fun to see how you continue. And Kali just - lay there??? My cat would insist of sitting ON me while I'm at the machine ;-))

Sharyn said...

I love before and after, in fact I think that was the very first blog post on my blog ;)

re: test driving the Horizon, If you have a trade in, you can usually get a better price, BUT they have a great special through December which is probably making a difference in what Janome will allow in mark-downs. But the machine where you like the dealer. If you were to get a lemon, you'd have to take it back...and how far are you willing to drive? :)
All the best, Sharyn