craft easy sewing project free pattern free-motion tutorial

Picasso thread sketching tutorial

Thread sketching is something I had wanted to try for a while.

To do thread sketching you only need to have a machine that can have the feed dogs down while you stitch away so you can move your piece wherever way you want.

I chose a Picasso drawing, a pastel to be precise, to do my first test run. The drawing has very few simple lines and I thought it was easy enough to start.


  • Some fabric scraps
  • Stabiliser (I used printing paper because I find it easier to remove than proper stabiliser though it didn’t turn out to be so easy in the end)
  • Thread in a contrasting colour. I used cream because my fabric was black but black on white/cream will work too
  • Picasso drawing outline (pdf)


Print pattern on an A4 piece of paper.

Cut a piece of fabric the same size as the paper pattern and get another piece of paper the same size.

Lay one on top of the other as in the photo.


Now simply, with your dogs down stitch along the lines.

It may be necessary to stitch twice along the same line. This is even desirable to add a nice effect.

This is the back of the sandwich.

Remove the paper.

WARNING: this can be a bit time consuming.

The outline is done. Now add some zigzag stitching on certain spots to add some interest.


I added some zigzag stitches on some areas of the outline. Notice how some areas have double lines.

This sketch is done. The sketch can be turned into a potholder at this stage.

I will make something else with it… Stay tuned…


  1. New to the blog, thanks so much for your great tutorials! I’ve not tried thread sketching this way but taken fabric that was printed with a floral design, in one color. Like a black on off white linen, the design was a like a sketch or had a hand drawn look to it. Used various stitching to add more detail to the design. Picked certain areas to stitch, some were left unstitched to look more like background. Had a very “modern art” look to it.


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