Folding, Inserting, etc.  

SURFACE TREATMENTS » Discharging, Rusting, etc.  
Thread Painting, Sketching, etc.  

Landscape, Portraiture, etc.  

Needle-turned & Raw-edged, etc.  

Fabric Boxes, Bowls, etc.  

The Home, Wearables, etc.  


     Thread Painting refers to an image or design on fabric being completely composed of stitching. Similar to Embroidery, it is done using Free-motion machine stitching. The needle and thread are used as a painter would use a brush and paint with the Fiber artist guiding the fabric underneath. Using the speed of the sewing machine to keep the needle (brush) in motion, the image is built up with layers of threads that give form, color, depth, shading and texture to the artwork.

machine stitching enables the fiber artist to be as realistic or abstract as he or she chooses. Because of the density of stitching on flexible fabric, it is necessary to reinforce the fabric with a stabilizer allowing it to remain flat and not shrink as it is pulled in by the motion of the needle.

      Thread Sketching refers to a Fiber artist sketching with his or her sewing machine's needle and thread usually over some sort of design. The sketching gives the design an extra emphasis or appearance of spontaneity. The underlying design can be a photograph transferred to the fabric, a hand-painted, dyed or printed design or image or a plain, blank fabric where the Fiber artist uses the thread as one would a pencil. The resulting sketch has an originality that is very compelling. Different from Hand-stitching which is limited to how quickly one can put thread to fabric, Thread sketching is possible because of the speed of sewing machines. One can sketch almost as fast as one can draw with a pencil. There are no limits to the subject matter that can be Thread sketched or Thread painted. Techniques utilized are simply Fabric, Thread, a Fiber Artist and a Sewing Machine. (see Glossary for expanded technical details)

Scroll to view Samples below »            (see Contact page for info on purchasing artwork)







Lilies         12" x 11 ½"
Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Fabric discharging based on an original photo, Free-motion stitching.

This discharged design, derived from an original photo of Lily flowers, was Free-motion stitched heavily
with different colors of thread to create this "Thread Painting". (Privately Owned)






A View from Baker Court #6         10" x 8"
(Part of a series A View from Baker Court    SEE ALL »»)
Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Digital printing, Handstitching (Running Stitches and French Knots).

Based on an original photo, the image was digitally printed onto a water-soluble substrate and hand-stitched with black thread.




Artichoke  Series:

The Artichoke series is based on original photographs of dried artichoke "blossoms" I found in my garden after winter. They had stayed on the plants and gone to seed. The seed heads were in different stages of "puffing out" but had weathered and dried out so much the seeds couldn't blow away. They had wonderful coloring and very interesting shapes. Using these images as a guide, I tried my hand at "Thread painting". The key, I found, is to keep up the continuous motion of moving the fabric under the needle and constantly be planning where you will stitch one, two and even three steps ahead of where you are stitching at the moment. If you stop you lose momentum so it is important to have a sense at all times of where you are going. You often have to "travel" from one area to another as you blend colors and apply shading so you need to keep little "pathways" in mind to get from here to there without stopping. It is a challenge but very exhilarating.


Artichoke #1     9 ¼" X 9 ¼"     Artichoke Series
Cotton, Thread, mounted on Artist's canvas
Techniques: Thread painting, Fabric weaving, Fabric insertion

Artichoke #1 was my first Thread painting.   I painted it on a background of ripped, woven cotton
with a narrow border insertion around the edges. I couldn't wait to start the next one.
(Privately Owned)



Artichoke #2    
7" X 7"   Artichoke Series
Cotton, Thread. Mounted on Artist's canvas
Techniques: Thread painting, Fabric insertion, Free-motion machine stitching

I started Artichoke #2 soon after completing Artichoke #1. This artichoke was smaller than the first but the "blossom" was more advanced and the seed heads had almost escaped. I did my best to depict the "fuzzy" white seed heads trying to catch a breeze so they could blow away. The artichoke was "painted"on a stiple-stitched Cotton Batik background with "Free-motion" machine stitching to provide texture.
(Privately Owned)


Classical Artichoke    
11 ¼" x 9 ¼"     Artichoke Series
Cotton, Thread. Mounted on Artist's canvas
Techniques: Thread painting, Applique, Fabric Insertion, Decorative machine stitching

Classical Artichoke is the third in my Artichoke series. After completing the first two Artichoke Thread paintings, I realized I could not have only two. I had to have at least three and wanted to make this one very different. The artichoke itself had no color left in it. It was all black and gray and very symmetrical. It had opened out completely but retained all its seed heads so the top was very flat. I kept the existing monotone color palette and placed the blossom in a very formal setting like a cameo. The borders became more formal as I worked from the center out, each one demanding some treatment such as decorative stitching to give it purpose. As I finished the piece there seemed to be only one title I could give it: Classical Artichoke. (Privately Owned)



Clematis     14" x 12 ½"
Cotton, Thread. Mounted on Artist's canvas
    Techniques: Thread painting, Free-motion machine stitching, Applique, Fabric insertion, Decorative Machine stitching

Clematis was based on an original photograph I took of a bouquet of Clematis flowers from my garden. The large flowers on such spidery stems of this vine are attention-grabbers. The challenge here was to paint the flowers in different colors of thread while traveling around the design (continuously stitching) from flower to flower while keeping the stems thin and spidery (it is a no-no to rip out and redo. You only have one chance to do it right). I Free-motion machine-stitched the background in echo quilting and used decorative machine stitching and Fabric insertions in the corners to frame and add interest to the design. 



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