Friday, January 15, 2010

Thread Sketching 101, Lesson One: Focus on Color

"A New Box"

My first column on thread sketching is in the February/March 2010 issue of Quilting Arts magazine, which is hitting mailboxes now. Throughout 2010, I’ll be writing about using thread to add color, dimension, texture, line, pattern and movement to the surface of an art quilt. The first installment focuses on adding color with thread.

Thread sketching is something I discuss in my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD, “Master Machine Quilting: Free-motion Stitching and Thread Sketching,” but in the column, I’ll go provide lots more tips, go into more detail, and teach readers how to get great results through exercises and practice.

When I was a kid, I always loved getting a new box of crayons. Preferably the giant 96-count box with the built-in sharpener. I loved the look, smell and feel of those perfectly sharpened, waxy crayons. Pristine, before you had to tear the paper down. I’d take them all out and rearrange them in a spectrum. So when I wanted to demonstrate how much you could do with thread alone, crayons immediately came to mind.

Quilting Arts will be offering my “A New Box” design (above) as an online extra. It’s a great way to practice your thread-sketching skills. I don’t see it on the website yet; I’ll update this post with a link when I do.


  1. That is a wonderful way to show thread painting and color together. I think you will inspire a lot of people to try it.


  2. Thank you for sharing! Will be online extra for subscribers or for anyone?

  3. The online extras are available to everyone. You don't have to be a subscriber, although you might have to become a member of the Quilting Arts online community to access it (once it's there)... that basically means creating a sign-in and password. Once they post it, I'll find out and let you know in this post, okay?

  4. Looking forward to receiving my issue - CONGRATS!!!

  5. Can't wait to recieve this issue of Quilting Arts. In Europe they always arrive somewhat later than in the USA. I have to wait some weeks
    Congratulations! Your work is wonderful!
    Lya from the Netherlands

  6. I love a new box of crayons too. Great quilt. Have to get the magazine when I'm at this store on Monday.

  7. Susan, I think you just gave me a reason to get a subscription! Thanks :-).

  8. Susan, I can't wait to get my copy! Congrats again on all your sure are busy.


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