This is my first attempt at thread sketching. I took a photo and traced an outline onto a piece of hand-dye from the "needs more" pile.
This is the back side -- I used a piece of Decor-Bond for stabilizer. There are lots of issues with thread tension here -- I can't remember if it was the needle, tension, or just inexperience. I used 50 wt Aurifil thread.
This is the self-portrait I did for Art Quilts Around the World. I took a bit of Golden Threads paper and traced the outline from a photo with a Sharpie, then went over that with my machine. I ripped off the paper and filled it in with more 50 wt Aurifil in gray.
I make samples for bigger pieces -- it's good to get the thread, needle, and tension issues out of the way on a sample. For this one, I fused a piece of cotton on top of more cotton with a wool batt. I did exactly the same thing for my sample -- same fabrics, batt, and fusible web. I auditioned the threads -- I had trouble deciding which colors to use and this made it much easier.
This is a detail shot of the pelican that shows the finished threadwork. I'm not sure whether this qualifies as painting or sketching.
The fused tree was done first with batting only, then I layered the whole piece and finished the background. This way, the fused tree stuck out from the rest of the piece.
The owl was done separately by hand, then attached after I finished the rest of the piece.