Nancy Prince
Thread Painting

Thread Sketching

Thread sketching is a new venture for me and one I can’t wait to share with you. One day I had some play time at my machine and quite by accident I sketched a design in the hoop. Now while my accidental sketching was very simple, I was encouraged to take my playing around with thread one step further. So I drew up a small landscape, traced the design onto stabilizer (just like in thread painting), hooped it up with fabric and stabilizer backing and gave it a go.

I realized very quickly that I was onto something that was not only exciting, but also produced immediate results. I know you are saying, “Yes, you got results quickly because you have been thread painting for years”. It just doesn’t matter how much experience you have!! In the workshops I have taught to date all the students just “get it” right away. Not only do they “get it”, but they also completed Flowers Along the Way in approximately 5 hours. Now compared to the time it takes to thread paint many of my designs that is a nano second. This doesn’t include borders, bindings and a bit of quilting, but still thread sketching is a quick and easy process. And only a straight stitch is required although from time to time we might let the zigzag make a cameo appearance

By definition a sketch gives the essentials without all the details – in other words, an idea of the design. The thread follows the outline of the design and the major interior lines thus creating a sketch of the landscape.

For best results use a solid, neutral background fabric. The neutrality of the background fabric also helps to define the negative space within the interior of the design. So what is negative space? Negative space is the space between objects or parts of an object – in other words, the space not filled in.

Take a look around the thread sketched vignettes on this page. These too were quick and easy to make.

Hopefully you will be as intrigued as I was and give thread sketching a try. I know you will be addicted!! Click on Workshops to find all available in class thread sketching workshops or click on Online Video Workshops to find all available online thread sketching workshops.