Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First thread painting attempt

When someone tells me, "You can't mess this up," I take it as a challenge, because I can make a mess of anything. I've purchased a thread painting class on Craftsy, but haven't had time to sit down and watch it - instead, I've seen a couple of two or three minute long tutorials on youtube and every one of the instructors has used the above phrase.

When I was eight years old (approx.), something schoolwork related came up and my mother showed me how to draw a chicken. I don't remember what her chicken looked like, I just remember my dad howling with laughter and my mother swearing to never draw anything again. We laugh about it now, but I know she was pretty embarrassed (and angry) at the time.To the best of my knowledge, my mother has never even doodled since then. I inherited my drawing abilities from her. I couldn't draw my way out of a paper bag... actually, I couldn't even draw a paper bag... so the thought of painting with thread terrified me. But, I decided to give it a shot.

Not wanting to start from anywhere even in the proximity of scratch, I found a picture of the fossil I wanted for an applique and printed it on self-sticking, water soluble stabilizer. I slapped it on fossilish colored material, hooked up my free-motion foot and hoped for the best.
I outlined the dark areas with my darkest brown thread and scribbled in some of the larger dark patches.

Then I used a different shade of brown to scribble in the rest of the shading.

And here's where things got tense. I have never been terribly good at appliqueing circles this way and this shape has an indentation and a corner. I stitched more stabilizer onto the front of the shape, tracing just outside the image, then cut off the excess, leaving about an 1/8th of an inch past the stitch. Then I cut a slit in the stabilizer and turned the whole thing inside out... Leaving the stitched applique on the front and then I just stitched it to the background fabric and ran the whole thing under warm water until the stabilizer disappeared.My first venture into thread painting wasn't a howling success; but it was definitely good enough that I am a lot less scared to draw with thread on my next project.

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