301: Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day - Combining Two Passions

Jennifer Day is an ASID Interior Designer, photographer and goldsmith. Since 2010 she has added Art Quilting to her repertoire, with quilts that have taken the show scene by storm. She photographs a subject then prints the image onto fabric. Then begins the process of covering the image in thread blending the 10 to 40 different colors seamlessly together. She then incorporates free motion quilting into the background of the piece as well as appliqué and many times trapunto. Jennifer’s style of thread painting is very intense and the projects may take as long as 150 hours to complete.

She and her family live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Week 1

Jennifer Day combines two passions – photography and quilting – in her distinctive art quilts. First she has her photograph printed on Jacquard Inkjet Fabric at her local print shop and then completely covers the subject with thread painting. Free motion stitching covers the background. The quilts are heavy as they use up to 4,000 yards of thread in the stitching.


Week 2

Jennifer shows Jodie how to prepare a photograph for printing. She imports the photo to her computer. Using Photoshop, she “posterizes” the photo so she can see where all the colors go. Next step is choosing the thread colors for the stitching. She uses Superior Thread and prefers the matte finish for most of her thread painting. A very high resolution image is given to the printer using the paper backed fabric she supplies.


Short Takes on Longarm Quilting with Vicki Hoth

Vicki gives Jodie hints on successfully putting together the quilt sandwich. The backing must be stretched taunt on either a table or the floor. Next is attaching the layers together. She covers the options including spray adhesives, safety pins, hand basting and micro tacking. Of course, if you have a longarm machine the procedure is much simpler. Some longarmers will baste the layers together for hand quilters.


Week 3

Now that the prep is done it’s time to stitch. Jennifer demonstrates her thread painting technique, starting with the recommendation of an open toe foot which allows her to see where she’s going as she stitches. Her trick to change threads without rethreading saves time with all those changes of thread color. Jennifer displays some of her award-wining quilts to point out the subtle blending of colors she achieves with her thread painting technique.