Practical Thread Magic

When I come to teach to a group, there's always a frantic rush of questions and concerns. I don't play with the same toys other quilters do. Though I talk about that at length in class, I thought it would be helpful to have that information available in a blog. So here we're going to discuss the nuts and bolts of the kind of thread work I love and teach. We'll discuss products, choices, threads, fabrics, tools, stabilizers and all the things that make my work work for me, and will help your work work for you.

If you have an upcoming class with me, you should know I bring almost all of the things I use for your needs. If you want to try something you've got, absolutely bring it. But if you're having trouble finding it, please don't stress. I'll have it there for you.

About Me

My Photo
Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
View my complete profile

Would You Like To Have A Class With Ellen?

Ellen would be delighted to have a class with you or your group! You can check out her classes at She also offers independent studio time in her studio in Indiana. Talk to Ellen about classes at 219-921-0885, or contact her scheduler Melida at 405-735-3703 .to set a date
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Designing Ways: The Container and the Contained

" Mother, Mother, May I swim? Yes my darling daughter. Hang your clothes on the highest pin and don't go in the water."

In the same way we read mystery and horror novels, and watch romantic comedy, we flirt with edges. Come hither, hold on tight, don't let go, what really is at the edge? There's a lot of drama to be gained from art in the process of making a box and then breaking out of it.

We need the box. We need the safety and the security of it all. But we crave the excitement and drama of the edge. Where one thing starts and something else ends. When that edge is clean, straight and clear, it's very tidy. But it leaves us wanting to break out.

Nature, life, the world, the universe is not full of a lot of straight edges. We impose those on our world, but they impose right back at us. A good example is mint in your garden. You may have planted it in a small plot in a straight line. Blink twice after a good rain and you'll find it across the yard and down the hill has well. My feeling is that I might as well just go along with it.

So within art it's worth building both. You build the surface of your work, which is a container. Then you break out of that container,as nature itself is bound to do. The stripes here create a sense of order as well as filtered sun, but the leaf refuses to stay in place. It pops out and our ladybug comes right along with it.

The vine here creates the border here, and our lady bug nestles within it. But it too refuses to stay just on the surface. It pokes out just enough that we know it's a living thing and not about to follow a ruler.

This bug is contained by the flower she's on. But not entirely. She's clearly heading for the edge.

Finally this bug and leaf create the border together. They are the container and the contained all in one.

Wrapping it up:
As quilters we're used to square corners and straight edges.  We depend on them. They make a container for our images. But as we make borders and let our work edge right off them, we can take our contained work and put it in motion, by breaking out of the border and refusing to be contained.


Essential Embroidery Stitches

Essential Embroidery Stitches
Get this free book from Quilting Arts. It has a series of articles I wrote called Defining the Line

My Blog List

Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery

Guest Blog On Quilt Gallery
A Beauty Beheld

Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!

Guest Blog On Subversive Stitchers!
The Stories Tell Me

Quilt Teacher Blog Ring

Quilt Teacher Blog Ring

Home/Join | List | Next | Previous | Random

Networked Blogs