Hey Creative Friend,
In this chapter of My Moxie and Me (Then story of my longarm machine), I’ve been challenging myself to learn to thread paint on the long arm machine.
Before we go on, I want to be clear that I know the long arm was not built for thread painting. However, I like to challenge myself to use tools in unconventional ways. Ultimately, I may or may not be successful in doing this. The results of this challenge, in my opinion, are not really important. What is important though is the experience and learning that comes from the experimentation and creative play.
I’ll definitely continue to use My Moxie for its main purpose – to quilt. My intention is to use it to quilt the negative areas and background spaces in my work, especially my larger pieces.
I want to share the results of my first attempt at my thread painting challenge with you. The results are in no way stellar. I’m sharing them anyway. For me, it’s all about showing you the journey – the difficult starts, the messy middle and the beautiful ending. I don’t want to hide away in my studio and perfect a skill and then come show you how wonderful I am at it. I want you to see the growth process.
Many of you who have been following me for a while often comment on my growth – how far I’ve come. It’s because I take you along the journey to show you behind the scenes. So, you know where I’ve come from to be where I am.
When we watch ourselves (or others grow), we gain confidence to move forward in our own personal journeys.Clara Nartey
So, here goes, my friend.
I started with a simple sketch that goes way back to a sketch I made of an Aladdin Lamp when I was doing my Stitch the Sketch challenge. You can see how that original sketch turned out here. Since this is all about experimentation, I’m focusing on practice and play not pretty. Hence the rough sketch. I drew it directly onto black fabric.
I loaded my black fabric onto my Handi Quilter Moxie and sketched directly on the long arm. Now, I’ve overcome my fears of loading the Moxie. Each time I load my Moxie, I’ve gotten more confident in my abilities to the point that I have no anxieties about doing it anymore. Yay!!
Getting Started with the Thread Painting Challenge
After, I was all setup on My Moxie, I started to thread paint. If you’ve watched any of my thread painting videos, (there are a ton of them on Youtube including me thread painting this same sketch on my domestic machine a few years ago), you’ll notice I use simple straight stitches.
I can quilt on the longarm without much of a problem. Of course there are things I still want to learn about quilting on a longarm. I’m just getting started. 🙂 When you think about it, transitioning from the domestic machine to the Moxie hasn’t been difficult at all. I can even quilt with one hand. It’s pretty neat. Thread painting with it though, is what I’m still working on. Will I be able to use a great tool for the wrong purpose? I don’t know. That’s the challenge.
Below is the first result of my Thread Painting Challenge on the Handi Quilter Moxie
Finally, you be the judge. You can find the original sketch here. How do you think I did?
That’s it for now, my friend.
PS: Find all the other posts in this series here – My Moxie and Me
Beth Berman says
Hi Clara. It’s wonderful to see some humility in the art community. It’s just like you said, ” the difficult starts, the messy middle and the beautiful ending”. No one is born knowing how to do things although some people like to make it appear so. I like your “if I can do it so can you”. Thanks for the encouragement!!
Clara Nartey says
You’re most welcome, Beth. And if I can do it, you certainly can too.