Category Archives: Thread tangles

Thread Tangle from a Photograph

  This past week I did two more thread tangles from the same picture.

The picture is one that I took of my nephew when he was small.

I sketched the picture and then traced it, outlining the areas with a different values.

In my embroidery software, I choose a different colour and pattern for each area.  This allows me to do different versions more easily.

As these tangles originate from a photograph I seem to want to do at least one version in more realistic (but not necessarily accurate) colours.

As the picture is almost square I couldn’t decide whether to do it in portrait or landscape orientation. So I did one of each.

Two Versions of a New Thread Tangle

Here is another thread tangle. After I stitched this one out I decided to remove the outline stitching around the individual areas before doing another version.

Because of the lightness of the thread colour in the face there was not enough definition between the features so I added some of the outline stitched in by hand in a rust colour.

Black on White Iris Thread Tangle

The inspiration for this Thread Tangle was a close-up photo  I took of one of my Irises. However, that is not what most people see. What do you see?

This is the original photo.


Most of the Thread Tangles I have done so far are of faces. “Wink” was the first of my Thread Tangle faces.

I soon realized that with a little bit of planning while I was programming  the embroidery  I could have different versions.













I could also embroider them in different colour combinations.


Thread Tangle Evolution

The thread tangles have now spread to my dolls! The pattern on the arms, legs, face and neck were drawn in with pen after the doll was put together. The crocheted scarf is removable.

Thread Tangles

I am a firm believer in artistic cross training. It helps you grow as an artist, strengthens weak areas and is fun. Sometimes it can evolve and become  part of your  area of specialization. At  the very least it allows  one to take a break from your regular work while still being creative.

My machine embroidered doodles started out as just plain doodles with black ink on paper. After making several doodles I noticed that a lot of the patterns I was using to fill in the spaces were very similar to the built-in stitches on my sewing  machine. As I have a software program that allows me to program the built-in stitches into embroideries that’s what I did!
First I do a complete doodle with pen and ink.

Then I trace the outline and the areas to doodle, scan it, bring it up in my my embroidery software and choose the stitches. That is almost the hardest part. You have to decide which stitch, how large to make the stitch etc. I use my original doodle to help decide how dense the stitches in each area should be. The drawback to the embroidered doodles is that the stitches have to go in a straight line.

This one has beads added (in the centre of the flower).

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