Eke Krug – Song about a rose – Black and white

‘This is a song about a rose, or perhaps the shadow of a rose….. ‘, a beautiful song, written by Thomas Rapp and performed by his band Pearls before swine. And the inspiration to my series. Lots of ideas were spinning through my head, I almost decided for faces of old people. And then one morning,  washing the dishes and looking at the little pink roses, flowering in a vase in front of me, the decision was made,   a rose would be the subject for my series. And the first one had to be in black and white,  really challenging for a colour freak like me. To come to real black and white,  I decide to use threadpainting. White fabric and black and white threads. And a totally new technique for me.

Started by taking a photo of one of the pink roses and translating that to black and white on my computer. Many steps had to be taken to get the grey out of the picture. When ready, the picture was blown up to the right size,  also by using the computer.  Now it is ready to work with. A piece of water-soluble fabric on top of the picture and taking it over with a black marker. Again, many decisions to make. Do I take over all lines,  how about the shadows and the veins in the petals? In the end,  the lines and surfaces are there and the sewing can begin. First filling all the black lines and surfaces, directly on the fabric, without using a stabiliser, next time I use this technique I know what to do… Washing away the water-soluble fabric,  making a layer with background fabric and batting,  and then filling the rose petals with white threads. Different white threads were used,  mat and shiny. Resewing the black lines,  making shadows around the rose and filling the background,  using different types of thread and playing with the thread tension on the sewing machine. At last hand embroidery was done on several white petals.  It was a real challenge…

Techniques: threadpainting

Materials: white fabric,  coloured fabric for the backside, table runner batting, white and black sewing threads,  metallic thread in black, water-soluble fabric

Black and white threadpainting, black and white rose, metallic thread in black, water-soluble fabric, song about a rose, pearls before swine





  1. Fantastic, your design is so strong and yet the delicate nature of the rose is not lost, in the interpretation, the black stitching is an appropriate background. Bravo

  2. carolinehiggs

    Excellent, the use of the thread painting has given this piece a real depth and character; I love it!

  3. You have created the 3D effect of the petals so well ! your rose really stands out from the background. Beautiful !

  4. You created a beautiful rose with only thread painting. It works so well in this design. Especially the darker background is so good in this piece. Well done!

  5. I am so impressed by the beauty of this quilt. The crosshatching lines for the shadow are so effective. All the thread painting is awesome. I LOVE it.

  6. Your thread painting is fabulous. From afar it looks likes a pencil drawing. I love it…

  7. joanbrailsford

    Wow, what a wonderful use of thread painting, and so many processes to get to the finished item. This is so impressive and beautifully worked, I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your series.

  8. Very cool technique. Very unique and innovative. I like it a lot!

  9. Your thread painting gives the illusion of ink sketching, beautifully done and well worth all the work. Love it, congratulations Eke!

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