Here is Chisum assembled and ready to thread paint. But before we get to the thread painting, I will take you through the assembly.
A few words about my background: You see the two main colors plus and added layer of fusible pellon that I cut to be approximately .25″ smaller than the light colored body areas of Chisum. The lighter fabric would show the background through too much. Whenever that happens, there are a few choices:
1.You can cut away the background from beneath the light areas after gluing all the edges of the subject.
2. You can use white fabric or fusible pellon layer to keep the background color fro showing through too much. Check out the link to see another instance where I used white fabric.
I chose the pellon because it tends to be a lighter weight layer than the white fabric I have and it does the job. If it was a darker body color, I would only use the pellon on the area the will get a lot of thread painting to stabilize it – in this case, his face will be getting a lot of thread painting.
NOTE: Whenever I have an area I want heavily thread painted, I paint a portion of it with stabilizer – about half to three quarters of what I want painted. I reserve the rest to be added to the quilt at the sandwich stage. At that point the thread painting is also part of the quilting. I don’t like an excess of thread painting to be a part of the quilting so when I know I want a lot of it, I do it in two stages – one with stabilizer on the heavily painted area and the remaining on the quilt sandwich. I will show and mention this again in the thread painting portion of this tutorial.
It’s time to start assembling Chisum’s face! This is done on your light source with your master laid on top of it and taped down. I’m showing two stages above. On the left you see the background on the master and I have laid down the medium and dark orange pieces because they are behind Chisum so they get glued first. I use Elmers Clear School Glue.
On Gluing the Edges – Put VERY TINY dots of glue on the edge of the pieces. Not much glue is needed. As each edge gets glue, iron it to set it, being careful not to put excessive amounts of glue. Special applicator bottles with fine tips can be used or a toothpick or a fine brush if the glue bottle allows too much glue to come out. After ironing you may see dry glue that has seeped through the fabric but this glue is starch based and if after thread painting it’s still visible it can be blotted away with a wet rag. For more on Glue Basting and products, go here.
I am doing Chisum’s face on the right directly on the master which is on the light table. I decided to do this in order to make his face as one piece first and then put it on the background as a unit. There are so many pieces, it will be easier to do without the the background under it. I pin a few pieces to the master and only glue fabric to fabric, building from the bottom up. Even the darkest of my fabrics allow light to come through with a bright light table!
When I finished the face, I glued his body pieces to the background and lastly his bead. I was planning to thread paint his eyes entirely but as you see above, he looks like and alien and that really bothers my granddaughter so I put in some fabric eyes, below, and even drew in with black permanent marker where I want black thread painting to go…because I know she would ask until I did it… there’s just something disturbing about blank eyes to a 5 year old!
Next step is thread painting….
Have any questions so far?