Tuesday, September 25, 2007


What's the difference between a crusty and a thready? Holly asked me ages ago and I've been waiting for a day with enough sunlight to get some decent pics.

A thready is a piece of fabric or canvas that I completely (or almost completely) cover in threads of some kind. This is Halloween Thready. I finished it right as we were packing up our belongings to leave Cairo almost exactly a year ago. It measures 5.25" x 6"

I started with a piece of this printed fabric. I used it as a guide to keep areas of light and of dark. I've made some threadies that look so cool close up but when you get back from them a couple of feet they just blur into a big mess. This fabric doesn't look much like the final thready, but sometimes they do.

A close up. I began by couched all the yarn and then and stitched with embroidery floss and thick rayon thread to fill in all the gaps until the entire base fabric was covered.

The back of the piece. If I hadn't done so much couching there would be even more thread here. I don't use any knots, just thread the ends through the stitching.

A thready only has one layer of fabric which is then covered. It's an embroidery (I guess), not a quilt.

Now here's a crusty I made ages ago in 2002. It was the third or fourth one I made. This is Danger. It measures 11" x 12" at its widest points.

It's a typical crusty [the technique is based on the methods of Susan Shie - there's a link in the sidebar] which consists of a backing fabric, batting and a top fabric (a real quilt sandwich) which is first bound, then appliqued, stitched and embellished. Lots of encrustation = crusty.

Here's a closeup. You can see the holes I cut through all three layers, used floss stitches to "bind" the three layers again, and then added a Halloween spider web organza behind them. I added plastic spiders as well and that's a glow-in-the-dark ant caught in the web.

A view of the back:

The terms threadies and crusties are mine (as is beadies). 3 Jacks was a true mutant creation in that it was threaded like crazy, but onto a crusty quilt sandwich, and then embellished. More of a threcrusty. Cruthready? Neither term sounds attractive.

I make threadies differently every time I do them. So the only "rules" as far as I'm concerned is that it has a fabric base and is covered with lots and lots of thread. There can even be some snippets of fabric too.

On a danger theme, I just had to include these Parisian photos from the rail station:

I have really been struggling with the overcast weather. It rained a bunch yesterday and I even went out for a bit anyway, but then we were lucky enough to have an hour of sun.

I'm slowly working on another tutorial but all the photos I took yesterday turned out abysmally. I may end up using the diagrams I did on the computer when I first started working on "the book" several years ago.

I've been making steady progress on Blooming Horrors while listening to podcasts and watching Rescue Me Season 3 (watched Zombie last night - what an excellent episode with an homage to Shaun of the Dead) and rewatching the first season of Bones. I tried - twice - to watch the Sandra Bullock movie Premonition, but gack. Dull. I'm gonna skip it.

And now some links:

Tanya is in my class and is working on a quilt about Home. She improvisationally pieced the words for cat and dog - in Japanese. They are remarkable. And her blog is always marvelous about her life in Japan, go visit if you haven't before.

ComicBookLady is also in my class and free-pieced not only letters but black cats. She made it extra complicated with the tails forming parts of the letters. Very fun quilt in progress and I love looking at the fabrics she's used. Black cats to make black cats and eyeballs staring out.

The Halloween link is for ceramicist Sharon Bloom. I love the black cats and jack'o'lanterns, the candy corn and skull flowers. Wonderful. I get all sorts of inspiration looking at her pieces.


de vliegende koe said...

Thanks for so much inspiration, lovely photos and links!

Ming said...

I guesss they are like thread painting? They do add another dimension to the quilts! Thank you for sharing!

Wild Thread Studio said...

I love that thready and think I need to try my hand at one. I feel as if I could hold it in my hands and stare at it for ages!

Dawn said...

I always love seeing those threadies, crusties and beady's. they always amaze me!

Shelina said...

I've been seeing pictures of people's work in your class as I go around various blogs. You are a great teacher - as all of these look wonderful - and different from each other.

andsewitis Holly said...

Thank you, Tonya, for the definitions and showing the front and back sides. I like the concepts of both the thready and the crusty. I think I'm going to try my hand at a crusty when I finish HT. It looks like so much fun.

jude said...

well i think what i do might fall in between, amazing new vocabulary words. i love them.

Sue in western WA said...

Thanks for the close-ups! I never get tired of seeing your Halloween quilts.

Sorry about the gloomy weather. I'm sure we're in for it pretty soon here too. We've had foggy mornings the last few days but so far it has always burned off later in the day. Rain is just around the corner; there's no avoiding it. :-P

atet said...

Love your crusties and threadies and whatever hybrid term you use. I'm also chuckling about the French sign warning about electrified fencing and, possibly?, a third rail.

I'm like you -- weather really can affect my mood. I've been lucky with the sun lately -- but, well, I know what's just around the corner!

Clare said...

I love Danger - I think it's brilliant. Cold and miz here today - boy has the temperature dropped. Hope it picks up for October - it feels like November!

I love the Danger de Mort signs - reminds me of a House Elf's CRACK! Can't you just hear it.

Diane said...

Your skull and crossbones is an amazing piece! Truly unique and inspired.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

The class sounds great fun!
I really enjoyed your crusty thread(y)s-they look fantastic....and are,of course, added to my list! Tracey

cher said...

I too appreciated the explanation of the difference between threadies and crusties..though I had a good guess going. I am leaning towards trying my hand at a threadie personally. I just need to find that bag of perle cotton I bought somewhere in here :-)
fabulous photos-it has turned chilly and wet here-so I am not surprised to hear it's close to the same in Paris-hoping for one more spell of warmer weather to come for both of us!

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