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Thread painting: The Escapade Quilt Thread painting: The Escapade Quilt Courtesy of Libby Lehman

Thread Painting

Thread Painting (or Threadpainting), is a free motion sewing technique used to creating lines, areas of color and texture or embroidery designs and motifs by machine. Threads in various colors and weights are used to stitch on top of a base fabric. The maker stitches back and forth across the design area, layering the stitching and filling in shapes and motifs to create the design or desired effect. Thread Painting uses the built-in stitches of the machine.

Benefits of Thread Painting

  • Thread Painting can be a fast way to create embroidery by machine.
  • Thread Painting can add details and texture to Art and Photo Imagery Quilts
  • Beautiful threads in various colors, weights and materials are available for Threadpainting. Metallic and Rayon threads add sheen and shine.
  • Each motif created is a one-of-kind design, based on the threads and stitches the maker chooses.

Supplies and Tools for Thread Painting

You'll need the follwing to start Thread Painting:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Machine needles appropriate to the specific threads being used. Topstitch and Metallic needles are most often used.
  • Thread, in various colors, weights and materials.
  • Stablizer, used to support the base fabric as the heavy stitching is being done. It is removed when the Thread Painting is complete. Some stablizers tear away, others are washed away.
  • Embroidery Hoop for your sewing machine may be helpful.
What I Wished I Knew When I Started Thread Painting

THREAD PAINTING can be addictive. So is collecting many varieties of thread. Today's machines have a wide variety of built-in stitches, making it easy to create interesting designs.



Thread Painting Resources