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Thread painting with DecoBob

Finishing up my Caran d’Ache Neocolor 2 Water Soluble Wax Pastels Tulip

To paint my tulip, I traced the photo onto PFD (prepared for dying) white cotton fabric and then used the wax pastels to shade in the different colors. Once finished, I used a paintbrush to paint water onto the fabric, which caused the wax pastels to bleed into each other causing a watercolor effect. It was so fun! Now that the tulip is dry, I’m going to use my Tutti, Fruitti and Spaghetti threads to do some thread painting with DecoBob in the bobbin.

Thread painting and free motion embroidery basics

There are lots of videos online that show how to do free motion stitching, thread paint, and embroider. In my posts back in September, I talked about some videos that I found on YouTube, but here’s one more that’s very good.


Free Motion Machine Embroidery – Part 1 – with Christopher Nejman – YouTube

Learn the secrets to free motion machine embroidery using metallic threads and more. This is part one of a video series.

 

 

 

Starting with the background

Since the lines of stitching in the background would be fairly straight forward, I decided to use my green threads to do that stitching first and then work my way to the more complicated shading of the tulip. I dropped the feed dogs and put on my free motion quilting foot.

I did some sample stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to get my tension just right and then started to stitch on my tulip background. Since my fabric had been treated with polymer medium (to prevent the wax pastels from rubbing off on my fingers), it’s fairly stiff and I don’t need to have a stabilizer on the back.

Picking threads for the background of the tulip
Picking threads for the background of the tulip

 

Stitching the background
Stitching the background

 

Start with the medium tones of threads

For my tulip, I stitched with the medium tones of threads first and then added the darkest and lightest threads at the end.

Close up of stitching on the tulip
Close up of stitching on the tulip

 

Finished thread painting on front of tulip
Finished thread painting on front of tulip

 

Make sure to raise your foot!

One thing to keep in mind when you’re changing thread colors often is to make sure you always raise the foot of your machine before threading. This ensures that the tension discs are open when you pass the thread between then and will ensure that your tension is always correct. If you find that your tension is suddenly not right, the best thing to do is to re-thread your machine.

DecoBob thread to the rescue

Since the DecoBob is such a fine thread, even lots of stitching on the front of the piece did not cause a great build up of bobbin thread on the back of the piece.

DecoBob on the back of the tulip
DecoBob on the back of the tulip

 

Even though the DecoBob in the bobbin prevented a build up of threads on the back of the piece, once all the stitching was done, the fabric was a bit rippled just from all of the threads on the front. A quick press with the iron, a pressing cloth and steam made the fabric lay nice and flat!

Pressing using a pressing sheet
Pressing using a pressing sheet

 

Artwork worthy of a frame

Now that my thread painting with DecoBob is complete, my tulip’s finished. I quite like it and decided to frame it. I found a nice frame with a mat included, popped it in and voila! one of my UFOs is finished!

Tulip in the frame
Tulip in the frame

 

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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