Thread Painting: Tips and Techniques

Membership Options

National Quilters Circle Membership with automatic renewal

Please select from the available subscriptions above

  • Choose Annual or Monthly Plan
  • All-Access Video Pass
  • New Videos Every Week
  • View on Computer or Mobile

Select your membership plan and get our best quilting videos, projects and patterns with 24/7 access to tips and techniques from our quilting experts, automatic renewal and our ‘cancel anytime’ policy.


Learn More

Thread painting is a great way to add extra color to a project using free motion stitching- Ashley Hough shows you how.

Thread Painting: Fabric and Machine Preparation and Stitching

Whether you are stitching a small wall hanging project or quilting a bed size quilt-thread painting can be used to add extra color and design. Ashley explains what thread painting is and how it is done. Before you begin stitching, you need a design. Ashley explains that this can either be one drawn by hand onto the fabric or traced onto the fabric. She shows an example of a design that can be traced and shares where it was found and why it is a good choice of drawing for this technique.

Ashley then explains what changes need to be made to the machine for stitching, which include changing out the presser feet and lowering the feed dogs on the machine to allow for easier back and forth and side to side movements. She also explains that it is a good idea to match the bobbin thread with the needle thread in case there are any tension issues while stitching. Ashley then explains how to prepare the fabric for stitching, which includes adding a stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric. There are several different types and weights of stabilizer to choose from and the type you choose can depend on your fabric and design selection.

Finally, Ashley demonstrates how to begin thread painting on a design, giving several free motion quilting tips along the way. She explains that the length of stitches to use and the direction to place your stitches depends on your design. Once you’ve mastered the art of thread painting, check out more tutorials for more creative design ideas to add to your next quilting project.

Tags: Ashley Hough, free motion stitching, Premium Videos, quilting embellishments, quilting finishing touches, quilting techniques, quilting videos, thread painting