Sew What? with Karen Charles: Thread Painting and Free Motion

Posted by Karen Charles
The fall is my favorite time of the year in Vermont. It has inspired my love of landscape quilts.  Last week I travelled through New England, starting at Merrie Stitches in Portsmouth NH, then Nashua Sew & Vac., in Nashua, NH, Middlebury Sew & Vac. in Middlebury, VT and Sewing Machines and More in Barre, VT. 
As always, I was enthralled with the rolling hills and beauty of the landscape.  It seemed a good time to share some easy ways to create landscape quilts.  If you have wanted to make a landscape quilt but didn’t know where to start, download the free instructions and pattern and give it a try!
I find it helps to take a picture or two of a landscape you love or look on the internet for landscape inspiration and see how color changes in a real photo.

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Thread painting is a technique that can help you achieve realistic effects on art quilts and portrait quilts.   I usually do most of the heavy stitches without the back fabric in place because the heavy stitches can make the quilt unsquared.  If the back is in place when you do the messier thread painting you will not be happy with it. When I have finished free motion thread painting, I square the quilt up and add the borders and the back.  The last step is to do a little more quilting to quilt through all the layers so it looks well quilted. 

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Free motioning grass stitches is usually up and down stitching motion, where a rock would be more circular.  Select a zig zag stitch to add more volume quickly for trees and larger areas that you need to fill.
 
Start playing and have fun!  At the worst, you will have spent a few dollars on fabric and learned more about free motion; at best you will have developed a new passion.  Download the instructions and pattern to start.
 
Hope you give it a try!
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