At this year's Sewing Expo, I was able to take the all-day hands-on Thread Calligraphy class with Nancy Kazlauckas. I bought her book last year, but never really took the time to sit down and DO it.
Here are some samples from that first day :
One thing I discovered was that the Madeira Metallic FS threads are wonderful! As Nancy says, they stitch on "like butter" with excellent coverage for the letters. They also add a classy and elegant sheen that almost looks like little beads are sparkling with the thread. Now I wish I had purchased more than just the one spool! Fortunately, I know where to get more!
This is a remarkably easy technique. And Nancy is a very down-to-earth person who happens to be a good teacher, too! The best part is that you don't need some kind of fancy embroidery machine to do thread calligraphy -- Just a sewing machine that can do a zig-zag stitch and drop feed dogs. Nancy K. recommends a free motion foot. My open-toed stippling foot was not happy about the wide zig-zag , or even a not so wide zig-zag. I had much better results (with my machine and set-up) once I switched to an open-toe zig-zag foot and dropped the presser foot pressure down to 0. I do need to get a closed-toe quilting foot ...
As for prospective projects with this technique, dog tombstones. For about 6 years, I've been meaning to make broken glass mosaic stepping stones for my dad to commemorate all his faithful dogs he's had over the years. I did get so far as to design the tops--I've never gotten around to pouring the QuickCrete cement to finish these projects. I think Nancy's Thread Calligraphy technique will help me to get the job done. Each "block" will contain the dog's name and their years. Becasue it's cloth, I should be able to easily "add on" block through the years as he continues to outlive his faithful companions.