Superior Star


Lea McComas Headshot

Lea began sewing at age 6 and quilting at 16. While living abroad, Lea immersed herself in interacting and learning with the people and traditions of many cultures, including studying carpet weaving in Turkey and fabric dyeing in Japan. Upon her return to the states in 2001, Lea discovered art quilting. Her explorations in textile art led her to develop a distinctive style of contemporary realism using fabric collage and thread painting. Lea's award-winning portrait and genre quilts have been exhibited in many national and international shows and competitions.

Lea tells us, "Quality results begin with quality products and that means Superior Threads. My favorite is OMNI. I experience smooth stitching, low lint, and none of the tension problems and fraying that I get with other threads. I usually have a lot of ground to cover when I'm thread painting, so I don't want to waste time fixing problems. OMNI's strength means I can move quickly and efficiently. I pair it with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I achieve realistic results because of the subtle blending that I can do with OMNI's wide color range. I love to blend OMNI with variegated threads from OMNI-V and King Tut."

- Lea McComas -

Favorite Thread: OMNI, OMNI-V and Bottom Line

Non-Quilting Hobby: Hiking in the mountains

Quilting Since: 1976

Lea's Featured Quilts

Crossing Over

Crossing Over is the sixth piece in my series on the history of the American West. The horses and rifle indicate elements of European culture that have already supplanted the traditional weapons and transportation of the Native American peoples. The Sentinel, the left panel, stands proud and defiant, while the Rear Guard, the right panel, indicates the inevitable yielding to a stronger force. Crossing the river, to place a protective barrier that might isolate oneself and impede one's foes, proves to be an act of resistance that is inadequate to forces that besiege. The viewer, stands in the place of that force, likely unaware of the true essence and value of what is being lost, destroyed, or pushed aside.

I faced several challenges making this piece. My first challenge came in photo-editing. The inspiration photo included 5 figures. I had to isolate the figures I wanted to use, rearrange them, and adjust size to create the right sense of perspective.

The second challenge was selecting fabrics. I found wonderful choices in my stash and began putting together the environmental elements of the panels. It soon became clear I was going to run short of the fabrics for the river, mountains, and sky. I searched my favorite quilt stores, but couldn't locate additional fabrics that matched.

The final challenge was thread painting. The inspiration photo was grainy, dark, and blurry in places. It didn't provide clear details of the horses. I solved this problem with additional research to locate good images from which I could extrapolate the information needed to stitch realistic animals.

Crossing Over
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