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How-To Create a Life-like Dragonfly Using Terial Magic

Monique Kleinhans | May 8, 2017

This week we bring you the delightful work of Monique Kleinhans, owner and artist of Ladybug's Cabin Creations. Monique tells us a little bit about herself and her work and shows us some of her fabulous designs that she brings to life with the help of Terial Magic!

Ladybug's Cabin thread painted hummingbird

Ladybug's Cabin Class

Monique started her business, Ladybug's Cabin Creations, in 2010 with a simple Etsy page selling art quilts, specialized greeting cards, custom quilting projects and commissioned work and things took off from there. She now designs patterns for both appliqué and quilts. Monique tells us, "After finding Terial Magic at the Portland quilt market, my mind lit up with all the possible fun to be had incorporating this product into quilts and my patterns as well." Below are some of her patterns using 3D elements brought to life with Terial Magic!

Sunflower Quilt using Terial Magic

Hollyhocks flower quilt using Terial Magic

Patterns that use Terial Magic are Mirasol's Garden and Hollyhocks. Both patterns are available at and in a number of quilt stores around the country.

In this lovely piece called "Wind Whispers", Monique shows us how she used Terial Magic to create her 3D dragonfly which was inspired from an actual dragonfly outdoors.

Dragonfly Photo

Monique's 3D Dragonfly Demo With Terial Magic

"Living right on the Swan river, we are often visited by beautiful dragonflies." This photo (taken by my partner Bob a number of years ago) has been on my studio inspiration wall for a while waiting for the right moment and technique to create this beautiful bug in fabric. I have enjoyed playing with Terial Magic on cotton, but had yet to try it on some of my other fibers, and thought that this would be the perfect project to do some exploring.

Hand-dyed cloth

Stitching cheese cloth

To create the wings of my dragonfly I used a combination of hand dyed cheese cloth, a printed cotton, and some metallic lame. I treated each fabric with Terial Magic (which not only gave them the extra body to shape them, but made the specialty fabrics a breeze with work with!)

I started by placing the lame and cotton fabrics together and then encasing them with the cheese cloth. I did a simple stitch line to define the area that I wanted for each wing and then cut the individual wings just outside that line.

Stitching dragonfly wings

Zigzag stitching for dragonfly wings

Using my free motion foot and a zigzag stitch I created an outline stitch around all the loose edges of each wing, and then added some extra veins in the centers.

The body of the dragonfly was created using a technique called bobbinwork--thicker threads are placed in the bobbin of the machine and you work with the right side of the fabric facing away from you. It is a skill I learned from thread artist Ellen Ann Eddy and one of my favorite techniques to play with!

Dragonfly quilt

I attached my four wings to my dragonfly body and began to build the background for him to fly to!

Using my inspiration photo as my guide I built an appliqué background using a few different beautiful batiks to create my grass blades and then played with the perfect placement of my dragonfly.

To support the 3-D quality of my dragonfly I stitched down my appliqué and did some initial quilting before attaching the beautiful bug into the scene.

Monique draws most of her inspiration from nature and the beautiful surroundings she calls home and says, "I think it would be difficult to live in Northwest Montana and NOT be called to create some kind of art." She adds, " I also love to play with all types of fibers and textures and regularly have 'play days' with some of my friends to explore new ideas and products together. And I certainly draw a lot of inspiration from my students. I love seeing them take an idea or technique and use it to find their own unique voice."

Below are a couple of other examples of Monique using Terial Magic in Cherry Blossoms (pattern by Toni Whitney) and these lovely red poppies she's used for a Terial Magic Demo project!

Cherry blossoms quilt with Terial Magic

Cherry blossoms quilt with Terial Magic

Next up for Ladybug's cabin is a new collection in a series of National Park patterns: Yellowstone National Park! The first pattern to be released for Yellowstone will be a landscape appliqué of Artist's Point and more to come.

Yellowstone National Park Quilt

Terial Magic Flower Quilt

Monique will be teaching at several events so you should look her up if you are in the Montana area. She shares, "I'm excited to be doing a lot of travel with my teaching this year. It is so much fun getting to meet a new group of quilters, visit their local quilt stores and see what beautiful things they create in class. This fall I'm teaching a weekend thread art workshop in Red Lodge, Montana and in October I'll be in the Tri-Cities of Washington offering thread painting and landscape quilt classes." 

Well, that has been fantastic. I really like the way the cheesecloth worked out with the Terial Magic. The thread painting is also really beautiful on the hummingbird and yellow floral piece here that we close with. I will definitely be trying that. Thank you, Monique for sharing your fantastic projects with us. These were very inspiring!


Topics: Fabric Art

Monique Kleinhans
Monique Kleinhans on May 8, 2017

I was born in the Flathead Valley and raised on the farm where my grandfather grew up. Just as my father took up the plow from his father, I learned to love and work with fabric from my mother. An avid quilter and teacher, mom's works lit my creative fire, and much of what I've learned has come from our playing and experimenting together. My work includes traditional quilting techniques, appliqué, and thread painting, along with fabrics I hand-dye and paint. Many compositions include three-dimensional objects with a variety of fibers and textures.