We were to bring quilt sandwiches that measured 8 1/2" x 11" so that they are the size of standard paper. The top half was to be a light colour and the bottom dark. We used the embroidery stitches on our machines and experimented with all sorts of different threads.
This would give us the opportunity to see the effect of different threads on different colours. This in and of itself was a great lesson because different threads look very different depending on the fabric colour. This lovely variegated thread has a very different look on the two fabrics.
I experimented with some of the embroider stitches on my machine but decided I was more interested in experimenting with the threads and free motion quilting. I changed the foot to a darning foot and dropped the feed dogs. I wanted to quilt a little feather with a purple thread but I simply couldn't control the stitches and the needle was moving all over the place. What the heck? Oops, I still had the machine set for an embroidery stitch! Once I reset the mode it was fine!
I love the look and feel of silk thread. Very rich and it has a lovely sheen.
But no matter what I did I couldn't eliminate the whiskers on the back. I had a super fine poly thread (The Bottom Line) in the bobbin. I adjusted the tension from 1 to 9 and there was minimal improvement.
I eventually moved up to a heavier bobbin thread (So Fine 50 wt) and the whiskers on the back lessened but it still wasn't perfect. I have two Janome machines and had the same problem with both. The blue bobbin case doesn't help. I also tried a 70 and 90 needle with minimal change. If anyone has any suggestions I am open to them!
So what did I try that I thought I wouldn't like? Polyester threads such as Magnifico, Fantastico and Twist. They have a gorgeous sheen and my machine seemed to L-O-V-E them! And as it turned out I love them too! They have a rich sheen, are soft, hold their colour in hot and cold washing, don't shrink, do not produce lint and they are very affordable. I wasn't alone. Many of my classmates felt the same way!
I bought a cone of a green turquoise variegated thread that I think I'll use on Piccadilly to the Nines. You can see it in the bottom centre and the upper right in the picture above.
It will look great in the hourglass border.
My machine also really loved the So Fine 50 wt. It is another polyester thread and I'll use it to quilt the light background in the border and in the centre.
So Fine 50 wt.
So it was a good day and a wonderful workshop. Anita is a great speaker and extremely helpful and attentive.
I also purchased some spools of silk thread for the applique work on Love Entwined. I've almost completed Part 3. The red and pink hearts are pinned and ready for stitching down. In the next couple of days they will be stitched and then I can move on to the first vase and bouquet of flowers in the corner.
Finally don't forget to visit Quilting Gallery's Show and Tell. This week's theme is Stars. I'm showing A Pound of Stars but for all you hexie lovers be sure to check out Sheila's Stars Over Adelaide. It is gorgeous! You can vote for your favourites here.
That's it for today. Until I post again, happy experimenting with different threads!