Bee Thread Painting!
In the fall of 2014 I decided I wanted to join a quilt swap. I had seen all the beautiful swap creations on instagram and I knew I had to join in on the fun. I signed up for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. I was so excited when I got the scoop on my partner, so I of course began social media stalking her and realized she loved Heather Ross. I was thrilled to learn that she liked Heather Ross, because I did as well, so I had plenty of fabric to choose from.
I decided I wanted to thread paint her a Heather Ross design for her mini quilt. I chose to thread paint the bee from the Briar Rose collection. I at first wanted to choose the bee holding the baby bee and quilt, but I figured I should try a less detailed bee, so I chose the one collecting pollen.
I began by drawing the design out onto an orange fabric that was close to the shade of orange she used in the fabric collection. Next, I started thread painting the face; I layered the Aurifil thread down lightly to lessen the puckering. Heather Ross’ designs present a certain challenge because she uses dark, thin, sketch lines in the designs to add detail. Thin small details are the most difficult to thread paint because they are usually made up of only one or two stitches at the most and if you stitch too much the design will not be proportional. (You can see in the scarf on the bee’s head there are a few of these dark sketch lines.)
I thread painted the bee’s body next and finished with the wings.
Now I had to make a decision, “What was the piecing/ border going to be?” I stuck with the simple route as to not distract from the thread painting. I had a 2.5” mini charm pack of Briar Rose that I knew I wanted to incorporate. I had the idea to make it appear that the orange background fabric was shattering into the border. To do this I added random corner pieces of orange fabric to the Briar Rose 2.5” squares. I then decided on the most balanced layout and sewed the squares together with the orange corners facing inward toward the thread painting.
Now to figure out how I should quilt the mini. I quilted around the thread painting in a micro stipple to take up the puckering and extended this quilting into the orange points. I really wanted to show off the chevron-like design that the orange points created so I echo quilted on both sides of the seam. For the border I kept it simple yet unique by matchstick quilting. I bound the mini in the strawberry print with white background.
Although this mini was a little guy at only 13” in diameter, I loved it so much and it was so hard to give away! I know it has a good home with Cassie (@sassypants12). Here is the entire package of goodes that I sent.