Tips Needed: Thread & Fabric Painting

Cindy reporting in today.

At the most recent quilt show, sponsored by my guild, there were several quilts on display that used thread and fabric painting techniques.  These quilts captured my attention because of their beauty but also because I am intrigued by the process of making art quilts with thread and painted fabric.

The center of these flowers were “fuzzy and furry”.  This “fuzzy and furry technique”, for lack of a better term, added another dimension to the flowers…very life like!


The photo below is striking but this quilt is even more beautiful in real life.  I think I stood in front of this for at least 15 minutes.  There is so much to see and so many techniques to study.  The shading of the sky, the log, the feathers, the grass…and even the dragonflies!


Here is a dragonfly up close and personal.


Look at all these fabrics working together…wow!


The Kingfisher  shown below is another quilt I studied for quite some time.


So…after seeing these lovely art quilts, I think one of my goals for 2019 is to begin my art quilt journey and attempt fabric and thread painting.

I would love to hear from you!

What’s the best way to get started?

Do you have any beginner tips to share?

9 thoughts on “Tips Needed: Thread & Fabric Painting

  1. Mary says:

    Hi Cindy, I started by making postcard size pictures backed with Peltex. Not much waste of material if it flops, and the Peltex doesn’t pucker as I do free-motion embroidery.

    • Gray Barn Designs says:

      Thanks, Mary! I’ve not used Peltex and will be sure to get some. Puckering is always a problem from me when I try to do free motion! I think I will start with making Valentines!

  2. Meg our-house-quilts says:

    I make a few quilts somewhat like these, but they are not really my thing. I’m in an art quilt group and I have even sold a couple of quilts (to strangers – my definition of a proper sale) but I struggle conceptually every time.
    My advice is that it is not as difficult as it looks. Paint goes on fabric very easily, acrylics are inexpensive and work well. I painted the sky, brickwork and garden for Fremantle Federation Twins. Cut fabric was roughly appliquéd for Balbuk’s Country. You do need to know where you are headed before you start.
    For a very skilled and award winning art quilter, check out my buddy Phil at . She’s a particular fan of Susan Carlson at which was also one of last year’s best quilting blogs.
    Just dive into art quilts, you may find you really love it.

    • Gray Barn Designs says:

      Thank you, Meg! I tend to overthink everything so I appreciate your advice about just diving in! Thanks for the links to Phil and Susan!

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