Thread Painting

Last week I posted a link to the beautiful embroidery art of Meredith Woolnough. Not everyone has the talent, creativity and the patience of Meredith. However, according to Nancy Prince free motion embroidery or thread painting as it is commonly known can be achieved with some practice.  As luck has it, Nancy has lots of information on her website  and great videos on YouTube:

stitches with attitudes

Stitches with attitude:

First Flowers

First Flowers:

Intro to thread painting

Intro to Tread Painting:

There are more videos on YouTube by Nancy Prince and other artists. Too many to list them all here’

However, there is one artist I definitely want to mention and that is Cathy Franks. I first saw her work several years ago on The Quilt Show and I was blown away. Cathy’s method is more or less the same, except she does it on a longarm.  One of Cathy’s techniques is to thread paint on water solvable stabilizer that is later dissolved and the painting is then treated like a appliqué and stitched to the background fabric.

Here is one of her pieces:

Cathy Franks

Thread painting by Cathy Franks and a short video with Linda Taylor in which Cathy explains her technique: .

There is more eye candy on her website.

Although I could never aspire to reach the expertise of the above ladies, I have used the technique of stitching on water solvable stabilizer and then appliquéing the finished piece to a background with good results. The difference is that I did the embroidery on my BERNINA  embroidery machine. I made several items and then arranged them on a background and stitched them down with monofilament thread. That way I solved the problem of placement and avoided rehooping. I was quite pleased with the final result. I will show you a picture at a later date as soon as I have the time to finish writing the instructions and the pattern.


My October quilting designs available on my website for all popular computerized quilting systems.

FL-320 Hunters Star Block
FL-321 HS Leaf Border
FL-322 HS Star Border
Example of a possible layout
SCF-480 Fun with Spirals v1
SCF-481 Fun with Spirals v2
SCF-482 Fun with Spirals v3 and v4


SCF-483 Fun with Spirals v5
SP-016 Athletic Shoes

And finally a stitched designs of last month’s Hol-087 Christmas Quilt with close-ups

HOl-087 Christmas Quilt


IMG_1732 IMG_1744


Embroidery Art by Meredith Woolnough



I just had to share. Can you believe that this was created on a sewing machine? Absolutely stunning. You can see more of Meredith Woolnough’s work at and her blog: and there is actually a video showing how she does it at:


I am not a Free Motion Quilter, but I do design quilting patterns and with Halloween just around the corner I thought it would be fun to add something for those of you who quilt on your regular sewing machine. Or perhaps you are fortunate enough to have the Handiquilter Sweet 16. We all know that free motion quilting takes practice, but this bat design should not be too hard to do. Even if you are not into quilting, you may find some other use for it. More about that later.

Here it is: the friendly bat.


Just connect several of them with long flowing lines, like this:


Or add some loops in between if you think there are too many empty spaces:


Not into free motion quilting? No problem. How about you cut them out of black fabric and applique them to a simple quilt with some fusible web. Stitch them down with a satin or blanket stitch.

Not up to applique either? I have another suggestion. Cut a whole bunch of them in different sizes from black cardstock and hang them from the ceiling in a kid’s room, on a porch, from a tree, in a hall or……?  Let the kids help you if they are old enough to handle scissors. Or, if you have a Silhouette Cameo or Scan and Cut machine, cut them from vinyl and stick them to the wall. Your kids or grandkids will love it.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Please leave a comment.

©Quilters Niche. All rights reserved.
Design is intended for your own personal use. Please do not share or sell. If you want to share, please share the link.

A New strip (quilt) club design

Whenever I design a quilt I pass it on to my daughter, Daniela, owner of Cozy Quilt Shop and Cozy Quilt Designs. Daniela then puts the design in what we call her bag of tricks until the time is right to publish it.  With Christmas just a few months away and some fabulous new fabrics she had in the shop she judged that the time had come to reveal Winter Solstice. Now I have to admit that although I came up with the design, I did not write the instructions. That is Daniela’s job and a big one at that because all Cozy’s strip club patterns include multiple sizes, often as many as 5 from baby to king. I know full well what a job that is because I have written a few myself and up to a few years ago I used to proof her instructions. It involved a lot of math and was was definitely not my favorite job. I was happy to give it up when I got too busy with other things.  So, even when a pattern has my name on it, it really is an endeavor by the two of us. Anyway, here is the quilt:

winter stolstice

If you would like to get a quick overview of how the quilt was put together,you can watch this video:

The quilt uses a bundle of precut strips and some additional fabric for background, borders, etc. available at

Free Motion Quilting

I am overwhelmed with the interest shown in my new blog. A big thank you to everyone that signed up. The post on burying thread was a big hit. I hope to find some more great tips.

I may be a designer of digital designs, but I enormously admire people that free motion quilt. From time to time I dabble in it myself, but the results are not great. I usually stick to some stippling or meandering with monofilament thread. However, I just came across a blog with great tutorials on Free Motion Quilting and I want to pass this on. The site is the Inbox Joint Jaunt by Lori Kennedy. dizzy daisy by Lori Kennedy  is one example of her charming designs. And best of all her tutorials are free and so are her designs, but those are for personal use only, so please do not abuse her copyright.

Next time Ill show you a quilt I designed that was published by Cozy Quilt designs in their strip club series. So stay tuned.

Quilting – tying off or burying threads

When quilting, either free motion or with the help of a computerized system, do you take a few tiny stitches at the start and end or do you pull up your threads and bury them in the batting?  Tiny stitches is fine for a lot of quilts and are hardly noticeable, but for extra special quilts you may prefer to hide the loose end in the batting. That is a lot of extra work, but I have come across a video of a dynamite method that makes it quicker and easier.  Have a look: