What is Thread Painted Art?

Thread painted art is a fibre art that utilizes free form machine embroidery. Layers and layers of thread are added to create depth and texture to details. These are typically used a wall hangings for display.

How many hours go into a finished piece?

A large piece takes me approximately 100 hours.

Can you wash thread paintings?

I do not recommend washing your thread paintings.  I have had a situation where I needed to clean a quilt after it had been in a flood, I used gentle soap and a large bathtub to gently get the stains out. I then blocked it to dry it and used an iron after it was dry. There was little to no shrinkage or distortion. This is not a guarantee for all pieces. If you experience dust accumulation on your art piece, I recommend using a vacuum with the brush end to gently clean it.

Do you teach your methods?

Yes! check out my Learning Centre for courses that may interest you.

What materials do you recommend?

I use organic fabrics and threads, eco-stabilizers and naturally dyed fabrics whenever possible. This is a personal core value, not a requirement. Light weight cottons, canvas, any stabilizers may be used.

What type of thread should I use?

Threads that are designed for embroidery machines are sometimes difficult to use with free form work depending on your machine. A typical 30wt thread is generally used in my work, but sometimes depending on the effect I am looking for, I may use specialty threads. I use a standard cone thread for my bobbin and change the colour based on the top thread I am using. Light with light, dark with dark. Often I just use a medium grey for the whole project.

What kind of machine do I need?

I use a basic Jenome domestic machine for most of my projects, I have a basic Pfaff for quilting. Long arm machines can be used and most computerized machines can be set to successfully do free form embroidery, check your manual. Often it is the same settings you would use for free form quilting. A free form quilting/embroidery/darning foot is used and the feeddogs are either disengaged or covered.  I have heard reports that some high end computerized machines that do not have settings, are not compatible and can lead to thread shredding.

Do I have to use a hoop?

You do not have to use a hoop, depending on the size of the piece and embroidery you are working on, you may be able to just use a stabilizer or several layers, however I have found that with dense thread painting often a hoop is required.

I’m getting a lot of puckering, what should I do?

If you are using a hoop and stabilizer and still getting puckering on your background fabric you will need to adjust your tension. Check your manual on how to do this for your machine and play on a sample piece until you are happy.