Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Trialling threads

It has been an industrious couple of days.  After almost 2 weeks of wet weather, when the rain has at times been literally bucketing down, we have had a couple of gorgeous sunny days.   It certainly makes for a more positive attitude!
So to start with, I have made a batch of marmalade, and 18 bottles of various sizes are sitting quietly waiting for me to print of labels for them.  This time I used a bunch of citrus fruit kindly given to me some time ago.  I chopped up all the fruit when it was given to me and had it in the freezer, so out it came on Monday.  It's a five fruit marmalade - tangelos, grapefruit, mandarins, oranges & lemons.  Haven't made that mix before, but it seems OK.  I will have to let the Marmalade Aficionado, a.k.a. David, do a taste test to pronounce it fit for human consumption. 
In the mean time, I have been trialling different threads for quilting.  Back a couple of weeks ago I bought a whole selection of different threads at the Darling Harbour Quilt Show.
The first of the trials was on a Stitching Hearts quilt made by Ellen recently.  For this one, I used Wonderfil Tutti in a variegated pink, which I think is called Hibiscus.  The Tutti is a 50wt - 3 ply Egyptian Cotton, double gassed & mercerized.  The recommendation was for a 14/90 top stitch needle.
I started off by stabilising the blocks in the ditch with regular thread and then swapped to the Woderfil for the blocks and sashing.  As you can see, there is still a bit of binding to sew down on the left side.  I should get that finished tonight to take with me to Cabarita tomorrow.

On the blocks I used a commercial quilting template with 4 tulips which I have had for many years and never used before.  Quite like this pattern and I'm glad I used it. 
For the sashing I made a template from a pattern by  Keryn Emmerson She seems to only do pantographs these days, but way back in 1995 she produced a couple of packs of patterns titled "2 Easy" .  I have the "30 simple borders" and another for blocks.  They are great designs.  Thank you Keryn.  The one I used here she calls leaf and scroll, and was quite easy to do.
Well, the bottom line is that I didn't enjoy using this thread.  I have a Bernina 440QE and prior to that I had the 150QE.  I don't think that Berninas enjoy "fancy" threads.  I really tried to do the right thing and oiled the machine before I started and put in the right needle for the job.  But the thread shredded, and where I used small stitches at the start & end of each section it bunched up too much leaving rather an ugly lump.  I probably needed to take the thickness of the thread into consideration and not do those tiny stitches.  Guess its the operator not the tool, but I don't think I will rush out to use this again.
In contrast, my friend Di gave me some Isacord thread which she purchased here.  It is produced from high-sheen top quality triglobal polyester, and comes in a gazillion colours.  Well, maybe only 367.  LOL
I used it to quilt a baby quilt for a lady from Church.  The craft group at Church made the quilt and asked if I would quilt it.  The baby is a girl so predominantly pink.   It is made of nine patches set side by side with occasional embroidered blocks.  The centre blocks of some of the nine patches are appliqued with numbers from 0 through 9.  It is cute.
I did an edge to edge meander with a few stars and hearts thrown in. 

The embroidered blocks I echo quilted, and for the fish I did some tiny bubbles.

And the chimneys on this house got some spiralling smoke.
I loved using the Isacord!  It just glided through my machine and produced a lovely effect.  I will certainly be buying some of that!
I still have about 4 different thread to trial, and I want to buy in some Aurofil.  Gemma at Pretty Bobbins swears by it, and uses is to hand quilt as well, so I am keen to try that out. 
What is your favourite thread to quilt with?
Til next time....... Keep on stitching

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