A Day of Thread Painting

It’s great to step out of the box and do something that makes you look like an artist! I know that many quilters out there say that quilting is an art, and I believe that it IS an art. But, for me personally, I believe there is a difference in me being a quilter and being an artist. I was never really interested in the art programs at school so didn’t learn anything about painting, drawing, or even colour for that matter. Over the last few years I have gathered together photos that I’ve taken with the intention of recreating them in fabric and thread. I am now ready to begin the learning process on how to begin to become an “artist.” On September 24th three of us went to the Fourth Corner Quilt Shop www.fourthcornerquilts.com and took a thread painting class with Jo Baner:  http://jbaner.wordpress.com/. It was an awesome experience and with instruction and encouragement from Jo, one really could feel that inner artist coming out.  It’s all about “practice, practice, practice.”

Practice Practice Practice

This was one of the first signs I learned at my first American Sign Language course: Practice, practice, practice! It definitely helped to learn ASL and kept the fires burning to learn even more. I believe it is true when it comes to learning new techniques for quilting and now thread painting. I am excited to see where this adventure will take me. Jo was an awesome instructor and the fact that she likes a little realism in her artwork made it easier for me as I like to know what I’m looking at. But then again, being a beginning “artist” I might be better off suspending that preference while I’m actually learning how to thread paint and step outside the box to create. :o

Protection Island Maple Leaf

The instructions were to take a simple picture and replicate it in thread. <–This is a very simple picture of one of my favourite things and I was able to mostly complete the thread painting portion of this project before the class finished. You need LOTS of thread and it’s good to have a variety of colours. Thanks so much to both Joan and Liz for sharing their stash!

Sunflower by Joan

Joan chose a Sunflower to paint. It was considerably larger than mine and definitely used up lots of thread. Many different colours of yellow, gold and brown in this piece, lots of shading.

Hibiscus by Liz

Liz chose to paint a Hibiscus flower that requires lots of shading too. This flower has a large pallet of pink threads and requires many thread changes during the process. It looks stunning and isn’t even finished!

Jo Baner wrote this on her blog:
Yesterday I taught a new class (for me) on thread painting. It was held at Fourth Corner Quilts in Bellingham, WA and I had 7 really great enthusiastic students! They all had a super picture to work from and recreate in a realistic way that photo in thread. I wasn’t sure how far they would get in a one day class, but it was amazing what they accomplished. So I have a few photos to share with you. Now remember these are works in progress and not even finished yet…but still amazing how far they got in about 6 hours! They promised me they would send me photos of the finished products so I can post them here, so stay tuned!
I was able to finish painting my leaf shortly after I got home. I had Joan add some free motion pebbles over the background rocks before I framed it. This was a really fun project to do. I have to say that I’m hooked and can’t wait to start another one to see how much better I can get. Jo Baner was an excellent instructor and made you feel like you could be an artist!.
So, as my ASL instructor Judy repeatedly told me, it’s practice, practice, practice!
Happy quilting…Valerie Raye
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