Monday, July 13, 2015

Sing Your Song, Almost Done

Hi all -

I wanted to try some quilting on my new sewing machine and I finished the embroidery on the class project from my Twilling class in Kansas City, so I decided to pop the borders on it and start quilting. The border fabrics were part of the kit, so the only thing I had to decide was how wide to make each border. To choose my border widths, I just set the piece on top of the corner of the border fabrics and move things in and out until I find something that looks good to me. Then I just measure the fabrics and add seam allowances to get my cutting widths. Easy peasy!

Then I just sandwiched it up, spray-basted it and started quilting. Since this is fairly small, I statred by SIDing the borders using invisible thread to stabilize everything. Then I set about tackling the middle. The twilling stitch is pretty thick so I was worried about how to quilt around it. I decided to start with just quilting around the edges of everything with a 1/4" echo, since that's what you get with the width of the free motion foot.

I decided to use Invisafil for this part of the quilting because I didn't want the thread itself to show. I'd heard good things about Invisafil, but I had nothing but problems with it. After every couple of inches of stitching, I would get skipped stitches and the upper thread would shred and break. I started by reducing the top tension a bunch, but it didn't help. Then I started changing needles. I had started with a size 70 topstitch needed, so I switched to a size 80 to see if that would help. Nope. So on to a Microtex needle. I started with a size 65 since this is a really thin thread and I thought maybe too large of a needle might cause the skipped stitches. The problems persisted, so I switched to a size 80. That still didn't fix the problem so I switched to FilTec's 100 wt silk in the top, leaving the Invisafil in the bobbin. Increased the top tension a bit and finished the echo stitching without a problem. So, I think the Invisafil is too weak of a thread to use in the top of my machine, but is a nice thread to use in the bobbin with silk in the top. Good lesson learned.

I did the echo stitching in the middle, then decided to leave the rest of the middle quilting for later. I need to decide what I want to do in the middle. I think the 1/4" echoing is fine for the words and the notes, but the bird itself needs more work. It's just too big to leave unquilted, but I really need to figure out how to quilt right next to the stitching or I think it'll look funny. I also need to decide on what to quilt in the background. I could do swirls, but then I'm feeling like there are too many swirls if I do that. I could also do pebbles, but that might be too tight. So I'll leave that for now and just think about it and finish it later when I have some inspiration.

But I wanted to finish the rest of the quilting and add the binding so that I didn't have to keep track of the binding fabric.  I decided to quilt swirls in the blue inner border using gray thread to tone that border down a bit. I then put beadboard in the outer border with a swirl background in the corners:

I'm iffy about the swirls in the corners -- sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't -- but I really like the inner border and the beadboard. Here's a picture of the whole thing for now:

It'll probably be a while before I finish this since I'll move on to other things while I think about it.

While I'm sharing, I thought I'd share some wildflower pictures from my yard. We've had an incredibly wet year, and it continues to rain, so the grasses in my yard are waist-high and the wild flowers are glorious. My favorite plant is my Columbine:

I have one Columbine plant in my yard and it only blooms in wet years, about once every four years. So I'm really excited when it blooms and this year it's at its best ever:

And, of course, I always have Indian's Paintbrush:

And I found a cool mushroom that's about 6 inches across:

Very cool!



  1. Love your quirky little quilt and love to see your garden its so cheerful but where's your little dog.
    Is invisifil a rayon thread. I really like the fineness but it is sensitive to problems.
    Wendy x

    1. Thanks! According to the spool, Invisifil is a cottonized polyester. The dog was stepping on the flowers as I was trying to take the pictures. He's lucky he's cute!