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.

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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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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
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Designing Ways: Ornamenting Grids: The Zentangle Dance

"A good artist should be able to draw with a berry on a fence." Tim Powers, Reach for the Sky

Like everyone else, I'm in love with the whole Zen Tangle thing. I tend to find these things later than everyone else. I finally lift my head up and see what's been going on for a long long time.
But I've always been a full believer in more is more. I'm in love.
What I've enjoyed most about this is the division and ornamentation of space. I also love the whole low tech part of it. These are done with a ball point pen on notebook paper.
All of this started with a simple grid. We quilters tend to thing in terms of squares and rectangles, but really there are no rules.

Here are a series of different grid fills. Left to right, we've filled in with spirals, a wonky ninepatch, a spider web, scallops, and a larger spiral. How fun is that?

How does that translate to quilting? We're still filling in space. Only with thread.Can you say "stipple?"

You'll find some very cool books on Zen Tangling on Amazon. See if it doesn't expand your thinking about space, design and the filling of space.

You'll find more of Sandi Steen Bartholomew's work at


Nina-Marie said...

I've been doing these type of doodling on the back of my church note sheets for the last 4 years. As I finish them - I slip them into the back of my bible case - so I have this whole stack of them - dated when I did them. I took them out at a quilt conference recently to gain some inspiration as I was working with line that week and one of my friends mentioned the books that you talk about - Had no idea LOL!! So there are two of us that are catching on late!! Love your blog!

Gloria said...

Tangles are sooo addicting!

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