Monday, May 26, 2014

Threadpainting the Day Away

Threadpainted Letters
Memorial Day Weekend was quieter than expected. We cancelled our BBQ because my husband came down with a nasty cold so we were hanging out at home. Which suited me well enough, as it gave me time to make progress on the challenge quilt. Here is a shot of the background.

I probably figured out the most tedious way possible to get words on this background. About half way through I thought, "most people are going to look at this and assume I used an embroidery machine to make the letters." But no. I went super old school. Printed words on tracing paper, cut and arranged them on the background. Held the paper in place with a little spray glue (the same 505 I use to baste my quilts) and outlined each word free motion, then tore away the paper, filled in each letter with variegated thread, then on to the next word. And, because I didn't have enough of the variegated thread I started with, I bought a second, slightly different thread, and randomly changed threads at various points along the way.

My first thought was that I wanted the words to be truly in the background. I layered the quilt with batting and backing before starting the letters. About a third of the way through I decided I'd rather have the letters not sink in so far. So, I separated the batting and backing and pinned it out of the way, pinned a tear away stabilizer behind the quilt top and went back to work, outlining and filing in each word. I would not normally switch techniques like that mid-quilt. I wonder how noticeable it will be in the final analysis? Whether it turns out to be horribly noticeable, neutral, or a brilliant design decision won't matter though. If it is a challenge, I decided I must be unafraid to experiment.

In the spirit of this piece, that started with a title and dimensions and has taken shape as I've gone along, I still have several technical issues to solve before it will be complete. I wish I could say it was going to be magical when it gets done, but this one has its own ideas!

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