I am involved in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge at SewCalGal’s Blog. Each month a tutorial by a skilled quilter covers some aspect of free motion quilting and participants are asked to post their response to the challenge.
This month Ann Fahl asked us to play with various background fills. I was familiar with the fills she used so I decided that my challenge was to fill a sandwich with many different backgrounds using the same thread throughout so that it would be easy to compare them.
I am not at all pleased with the beauty of the result but my intent was not a beautiful piece, but to see several different fills in close proximity so that I could compare and contrast their effectiveness.
I was hell bent on keeping my challenge but it was soon obvious that several of my choices were not the best. This summarizes what I learned:
-I used a great thread (Superior Highlights), but it was not appropriate for this piece for two reasons:
-Several of the motifs required backtracking-this thread is too thick for that.
-It’s too showy for background fills on this small of a piece.
-A better thread choice would have been one which melts into the background-silk would have been excellent.
-Some of the fills are pretty on their own, but way too busy for this diminutive of a piece. This particular section worked well with the thread choice as there was very little backtracking.Here there is some backtracking and you see how it gets thready in some of the swirls. I get impatient sometimes and fail to correct the tension when I know I should. But beyond that, I have a machine issue: see how wobbly the stitches are in some lines, especially the second one from the top? That is not operator error.
I don’t think proper tension would make that go away. I had the correct needle (Superior Topstitch 80) and bobbin thread (Superior Perfect Quilter from when it was 50/2 ply). That is some machine issue which I need to get fixed.
Oh dear, I will be without my machine for a few days while that gets fixed-how traumatic! The back view shows how much better the same piece looks with a better thread color and one which melts into the surface a bit. Still you can see here where it gets thready in spots. Again, a Bottom Line or silk would have been a better choice.
TESTING THE “URBAN MYTH” ABOUT FRIXION PEN COLORS COMING BACK IN THE COLD:
AH! To confirm that “urban myth” that marks from Frixion heat erasable pens will “bloom” back when they get cold. IT’S TRUE! I marked with the Frixion pen, steam erased it, then put it in the cold for a bit and sure enough, the color bloomed back.
Now, you ask, do I care about this as long as I don’t freeze my quilts? Good question! I wonder, if my quilt were hanging by the door in a show in cold weather, would the color bloom back? Anyone have any experience with this?
What’s up next for me? I am at the “quilt or garment” pivot point: I was all set to go forward on a larger version of my Lily quilt and I ran into a roadblock: none of the fabric choices I had on hand were going to work. So, I have to wait for fabric to come. I am not good at waiting!! Why don’t they have fabric ambulances?? So I thought I would just go on to garment sewing. I have some fabulous finds from last year’s trip to Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara-maybe I’ll just work on those for awhile.