I am about 1/3 of the way through my #100daysofthreaddrawing on Instagram. I’ve written my thoughts here before about the power of a daily practice. I thought I would update those thoughts now that I’m 30 days in. Let me preface by saying 30 days is not that much when I’m committed to doing 100 days, but it feels like enough to give me a little perspective on my personal process, what I want to get out of it, and what I enjoy/dislike about it.
First let me say that committing to do this for 100 days doesn’t necessarily mean I will do it every single day for 100 days. I have to be realistic about that. The days I’m running everywhere, meeting deadlines, not at home, or too involved in other things to do a thread drawing, I give myself a break. But part of my commitment is that these types of days MUST be few and far between. Otherwise, what’s the point? The repetition of sitting down, prepping the sewing machine settings, picking the thread, getting an idea of what I want to draw, etc. is part of the success of this project for me. I want to achieve a comfort level in this that requires daily attempts. Over and over again. So, I went into this realistically knowing that there will be days it isn’t logistically possible to complete a drawing, but those cannot happen very often. My goal is one every day, plain and simple.
Secondly, with each thread drawing, I am actively exploring different types of thread types- thicknesses, variegated colors, fibers, etc. Which means I am playing with different needle sizes, machine tension settings, etc. I am doing all the usual machine set-up that I do in free-motion quilting- dropping the feed dogs and sewing with my darning foot, etc. But I am also playing with things like stitch length and tension, observing how it affects thread delivery, etc. Many of the threads I am playing with are not cheap (at least where thread is concerned) so my hope is always to use a bottom weight in the bobbin (less expensive) and see as little bobbin thread (if any) on the front of the piece. Its been very interesting to observe all these things each day. I usually note any interesting bits on Instagram when I post the piece.
Third, preparation is everything for me. When I started this project, I had precut 40 7″ square quilt sandwiches (a “sandwich” consists of a backing layer- in this case muslin, batting, and a top layer of fabric). Being prepared has made it SO easy to do a thread drawing on those days I may be short on time, or not so into doing one. I spent the hour before writing this prepping a whole new stack of sandwiches (photo above). These now sit, ready to go, by my machine. No excuses! (Plus I’m using up all those odd scraps of batting and fabric.)
And lastly, look at all these pieces!!! Repetitive work like this makes me so happy!! I don’t love every one of them, but I never thought I would. I’m willing to suck at this until I’m better at it. If I have a win some days, then yay! If I don’t like the result that day, I still post it. Seeing this entire body of work makes me really happy and motivates me to keep going strong.
You can follow this Instagram-only project and my daily creative pursuits on Instagram.