Tag Archives: Thread painting

a picture of my thread painted clematis quilt

Thread Painted Clematis Quilt

Welcome to The Quilt Journal  and My Friday Finish!

a picture of my thread painted clematis quilt
Thread Painted Clematis Quilt- pattern by Melinda Bula
I had a long list of things I wanted to finish or accomplish this summer. This thread painted clematis quilt was only one of them. For one reason or another this has been my only significant finish in a few months (funny how that happens when sadly you haven’t really had time to sew in over 2 months). I am so grateful to Laura over at TGIFFriday.blogspot.com for lighting that much needed fire under my butt to make me re-enter life and get quilting!

Some of you may remember that I started this quilt back in January after taking a class taught by Melinda Bula at my local quilt guild. This quilt is made from my friend Sherry’s and my stash (outside of the background fabric). Funny how saying it came from your stash practically makes you glow with pride….justifying all those purchases right??? lol :). Pooling our stash really helped. It’s harder then you think to come up with a variety of color values to try and make your palate work. I don’t know that you will ever actually see a clematis that looks like ours, but I love pink and purple…..so I’m a happy camper.

close up of front of quilt showing color fabric and thread choice

Things that did or didn’t work for me during this project

another close up picture showing thread paintingMelinda likes Steam-A-Seam 2 to fuse her quilts. I like Steam-A-Seam too, but it does add a lot of fusible . Not entirely a bad thing. Due to the Steam-A-Seam and heavy quilting my quilt is rather stiff and lays really flat. Both good things for a wallhanging. The negative is I had layers of the fusible, some areas 5 or 6 fabrics thick to quilt through. Not all thread or machines like that. I started quilting this on my Baby Lock Ellisimo with Sulky 30 wt Rayon (Melinda’s prefered thread). No matter what needle I put in (topstitch, mirotex, embroidery, sharps, jeans ,titanium) the rayon shredded. Changing my thread to Floriani or Glide helped, but my Ellisimo wasn’t in love with this project. Consequently, I quilted the bulk on my George.
 The other consideration is paying attention to your tension.If you look closely at the picture of the stitching on the back, you can see my tension wasn’t always ideal, not terrible, but not perfect either- depending on what area I was quilting.
 I thread painted this quilt with Floriani Polyester, Glide poly, and Superior threads variegated Omni and Magnifico, all 40 wt in top and in the bobbin. These threads were great- no hassle threads. I used a variety of manufactures to get the colors I needed to match the fabrics.
a picture of the back of the quilt more clearly showing thread painting
The small white spots are either fusible or the warm and natural batting being pushed through the back of the quilt on my occasionally gummy needle

Finally the last thing that didn’t work so well for me, was Melinda’s technique of starting and stopping a stitch line.  Melinda pulls her threads to the top takes a few stitches and clips the tails. She feels that all the fusible will fuse the thread ends in the quilt when you hit it with an iron and make your stops and starts invisible. I found that sometimes my threads did come loose in-spite of all my ironing. Little bird nests do show more on the back where I start or finish if I take a few extra small stitches with 40 wt to secure those tails. It’s also difficult to bury threads with the heavy stitching and fusible. I think it’s just one of those things that I need to work on perfecting that technique. Maybe my big ole Rowenta steam iron doesn’t get hot enough??? Inquiring minds may want to figure that out. haha

I had a lot of fun with this quilt and would love to do a poinsettia for the holidays….some year !?! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Now onto Thank Goodness it’s Finished Friday.
[inlinkz_linkup id=656774 mode=1]


Also heading over and linking up with can I get a Whoop Whoop!

Melinda Bula Art Quilt Class

Melinda imparting entertaining words of wisdom :)
Melinda imparting entertaining words of wisdom 🙂

This week I went to a fantastic art quilt class from Melinda Bula. If you are not familiar with Melinda Bula you need to go to her website http://www.melindabula.com and click on gallery. Her work is amazing! She is a many times over, award winning quilt artist. I took a class online from iQuilt called Fabulous Flower Photo Quilts that was really great- but if you get the chance to take one from her “live and in person” – do it! Melinda is warm, funny ,down to earth and above all informative. I spent 2 days with her through my local quilt guild and I loved every minute (okay…maybe not every minute…you know the drill when you have a sold out class of quilters and 2 irons :)…. ). I took her Clematis workshop the first day

Up close picture of The Clematis Quilt by Melinda Bula
Up close picture of The Clematis Quilt

and her Renegade Thread play the second.
Melinda approaches her classes as an artist or a painter would- working from the front -( not the back of the quilt as we so often do when we appliqué) building a quilt that looks very 3 dimensional.

Front of Melinda's Garden Quilt
Front of Melinda’s Garden Quilt
a picture of the back of the Garden Quilt
This is THE BACK of the garden Quilt !! Talk about Thread Play!

She does this by meticulously choosing a ton a of fabrics in varying shades, tones, and values.IMG_1486

Then she takes it even further by adding texture and more shading, highlights or color with her thread play. I am not going to say this is a quick process. Below is all that I have to show for my first full day at the Clematis quilt.

a picture of what I accomplished after 6 hours in Melinda Bula's class

I took this class with one of my best buddies and we are going to press through (no pun intended 🙂 )  this next week and at least get the top fused down and ready to start a little Renegade Thread play action of our own.

Now before you judge me too harshly and say….”is that all she got done in 5 or 6 hours??!!” , Melinda had a lot of information that she had in impart to us non-painterly individuals,… there was fabrics to pick (especially if you were one of the people (that would be me) that had carted all your scraps from the past 10 years to make a masterpiece, instead of buying a kit, so you could better learn to pick fabrics (sorry Melinda 🙂 ) lol) , fusing to be done, irons to wait for , and before you knew it , phew,  it was time to pack it up and go home!

a picture of a hibiscus quilt
As Inspiration I have included a few pictures from Melinda’s Quilts that she brought with her to our class. Some are finished, some are just fused and waiting for the next stage.  I hope they leave you wanting more as they did me the first time I saw them. I took these pictures with my phone- so they really don’t do it justice- but they are inspirational just the same.

poppy quilt by melinda Bula


Thanks for visiting!
Wishing you lots of creative happiness this week,

PS: Thanks to Melinda for letting me share photos of her work and for a great class!  🙂