Still being fairly new to FMQ (2.5 years now), I’m still enchanted with all the possibilities for stitches. To celebrate these stitches as an art form, which they are anyway(!), I wanted to do a quilted art piece using just one piece of fabric and one color of thread. I chose black sateen cotton fabric and 40 wt Glide thread in Aquamarine and quilted this on my Q20.

In progress… I created a quilt sandwich using the black sateen on top of two layers of Quilters Dream Wool, and a blue background fabric. As much as I love Dream Wool, it does shred, sheds, little fibers come off as I quilt. This is because on a sit-down machine your hands, gloves, rulers, and the quilt itself is chafing against the exposed wool batting. So, I leave extra backing and turn it up and over the edges of the exposed batting (providing I remember to leave enough fabric for this purpose)! I then baste the turned edges over and it keeps my work clean. Here you can see I have quilted some lines from top to bottom in gentle curves and have started quilted between the lines. You can also see how ridiculously fluffy the batting is. It was actually harder to quilt with this much batting, but I wanted fluffy elements, not elements which would look like deflated balloons. Whenever you have fluffy batting and quilt densely next to it, you will achieve a trapunto effect (that’s a very raised effect, btw).


I have quilted between all the lines. Looks pretty ok so far. What do you think? I could quit here, but looking at the spaces around the round circles I know those need to be quilted, or smashed down!


Just finished smashing the areas down around the round circles. I could stop here, but no. No. Not me.


I decided to do spirals inside some of the larger circles. I think it added more visual interest. If you’re unsure what to do, remember there is no deadline. You can set something aside for 10 minutes or 10 weeks or 10 months! Don’t leave it for 10 years though, or I’ll find you and give you a hard time! OK?! Inspiration comes, and it’s better to wait and be inspired than guess wrong, be unhappy and ripping out stitches! Even previewing your stitch ideas as a drawing on paper, or using a clear piece of acrylic and a dry-erase marker on top helps a lot. I have a sketchbook full of ideas.


A close up of one area. You can really quilt anything you want inside your lines, or other shapes! Just about anything turns your fabric into ART! You can use different color threads, too. I recommend laying the color down first to see how to looks against the others already done.

And, for added impact, if you turn the edges under by sewing strips of fabric and then gluing the turned edges under, or sewing a solid piece of fabric to the FRONT of your piece 1/4″ around all 4 edges, then cut a slit in it and turn the thing inside out, you’ll also have edges which you can turn under. Then use fabric glue or acrylic gel medium to adhere it to your canvas. Tell me this is not ART! Modern art at that! This might also be called thread drawing, thread sketching, too. Your needle and thread is your pen and ink. It is fun to create textures, shapes and visual interest without depending on printed fabrics. Of course, the contrasting thread means you can’t make obvious mistakes, and any backtracking will show up more than a single line of stitching, so plan accordingly! My canvas is 18×24″ and my art piece is 16×20″. If you can’t find a black canvas, paint one using some black spray paint as I did here.

Don’t forget to sign your art. I sign mine by quilting my signature. I use my Q20 set at 16 spi (stitches per inch).

What are you waiting for? Go make some ART!!!!! 🙂