Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Psychedelic Peacock

I have been away for two days speaking and teaching at the Burke Quilters’ Guild in Morganton, NC, about an hour’s drive west of me. What a nice group! And Morganton is a really lovely, interesting town. Before I left, I got a bit more done on my peacock – especially on his head – so I thought I would share it with you. I’m hoping to do a lot more work on it in the next few days. 

I am pleased with what I’ve done so far on his head. It is funny that when I crop it this way, he looks pretty reptilian, doesn’t he? Peacocks have small, rounded, short feathers on their heads, and longer, stringier feathers on their necks. I tried to imitate this with my thread sketching.

I am taking artistic license with the feather strands, and making them much curlier at the top than they are in real life. 

Where the strands cross each other, it creates really wonderful grid patterns.


  1. I really like how you stitched his head. Watching your progress helps me to think about how I can do things when I make art pieces.


  2. Looks wonderful. May I ask a question? Do you thread sketch with a layer of batting under the top? I have a quilt which I wanted to submit for a German quilt show (my first one) and I'm kind of afraid of thread sketching... It's lots of fussy cut applique and some embroidery and I wouldn't want it get wrinkled while I would start to sketch over it...
    I was thinking of thread sketching just the top with some stabiliser, and then quilt with invisible thread through all 3 layers of the quilt. I also bought your books, but shipping from USA to Germany takes quite a time.

  3. Once again, I love what you have done.. and I especially love the curlier wisps on the feathers!

  4. Wow, This is just beautiful. Nice to the progress as you go. Thanks For Sharing

  5. Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing the great close ups... they are so educational.

  6. Kirie: When I thread sketch, I only do it on the surface, with a layer of interfacing underneath. I usually use Pellon 910 or a product called "Heavy Weight Shaping Aid." These are fairly stiff interfacings. I've tried water soluble and fusible ones, and do not like the results for this technique.

    After all the thread sketching is done, I add the batting and backing fabric and quilt. With this kind of heavy stitching, and with doing more heavy stitching in some areas and not as much in others, using batting alone would probably result in a lot of draw-up and puckering. This has been my experience in the past. Good luck with your piece!

  7. You are truly amazing! Your peacock is gorgeous.


  8. Thank you very much for the answer Susan :)
    I have some kind of a heavy weight interfacing and will try the method which you described (if I will succeed I will send you the photo :).

  9. Happy to help Kirie. I hope it works for you!

  10. I have enjoyed following your progress on this quilt...love the colors and the texture you're adding with the thread-sketching. My
    Best, joni


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