Painting with Thread

Painting with ThreadYesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a thread painting class with Sarah Smith, fiber artist, teacher and author.  Sarah likens thread painting on fabric to using the big box of crayons we had as children.  I wholeheartedly agree!We started with a lecture of Sarah’s techniques and were awed by her work.  This is the link to her website.

This class was informative in so many ways.  I learned about needles and how to branch out beyond universal.  It is recommended using a top stitch needle.  Having a larger eye makes less friction and fewer thread breaks.

I was taught about threads and how to bury them.  With another easy-thread needle — not a shovel!  Our class kit included threads that you would assume would be day lily colors as well as a shade Sarah called “lipstick”.  It looked too vibrant and too, too – burgundy.  But it works!  Auditioning threads is essential in thread painting.  And – gasp – having one of every color makes life so much more easy breezy.  But the expense…. GULP!Thread Painting Day Lily Art Quilt

Most important I was encouraged to JUST DO IT!  As I walked around near the end of class and saw others’ day lilies, I was struck by how beautiful they all were and how different.  Some people stitch very densely; others sparse.  Some put colors to contrast a bit on the flower; others to highlight; and still others seemed to have a paint-by-number approach.  It was all good!

If you ever have opportunity to join one of Sarah Smith’s classes, absolutely don’t hesitate.  You’ll be glad you did.

My day lily “painting” is not finished, but it will be!  I agree with Sarah when she said thread painting is her happy place.

Thread Painting a Day Lily Photo

I tried a bit of thread painting in a previous project and blogged about it here.  Having done this class, I’m encouraged to do more art quilts and continue my pursuit of landscape quilting.  I may even add more to this wallhanging.  It’s addictive!Quilted Landscape Quilt


  1. Breathtaking Emily! I don’t know if I would have the patience… I’m glad you do!

  2. Happy to find you doing what you love!

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