I had planned on quilting today. There’s three quilts waiting to be finished. Instead, I spent the morning trying to find threads that worked on my Gammill Charm. Unfortunately, the threads that worked were the wrong color for the quilts I’m working on. So, instead, I played with tension and threads trying to find what works with this machine.
Just to give you an idea of some of the limits I went to, the top tension was lowered and raised, the thread path was modified, the bobbin tension was checked and modified, the needle size was changed from a size 12 all the way through a size 18, and the last thread track before the needle was sanded in case there were burrs. I ended up using a #90/14 needle for most samples and had Aurifil #40 in the bobbin (only because that’s what I started with).
At the end of this morning’s session, the result was
Aurifil #40 – broke at the needle despite multiple tension and thread settings.
Fantastico – Worked well – thread is more visable (see the tip of feather in lower right of photo)
Rainbow – Thread shred and broke despite tension changes.
King Tut – Thread snapped at needle much like Aurifil.
I’ve tried Masterpiece and Magnifico in the past. Masterpiece broke, but Magnifico worked well and the thread showed beautifully on the quilt top. It is not a thread to use if you want the thread to disappear into the quilt top. All of these but the Aurifil were ordered through Superior Threads.
I ordered Glide and a few other types of thread from BobbinCentral.com (Fil-Tec) that I’m waiting to try as well. That’s for another day.
If anyone has a suggestion for using Aurifil on the Gammill Charm or other longarm, please let me know.
There’s a signed copy of In The Studio by Angela Walters. Sweet! I have both of her books already. They are my go-to when trying to decide on quilting designs or just to play. I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to play with free motion quilting. My copy, which isn’t signed, is going to my niece who is just learning FMQ. The signed copy I’m keeping! I got to meet Angela at Quilt Con when I took two of her workshops and she is not only extremely talented, but a total sweetheart.
Then there is a Bari J Splendor Aurifil set. Love it! I’ve been wanting to try both the 28 weight and the new embroidery floss Aurifil just came out with. This set is the 28 weight thread in some gorgeous colors. I started doodling with it and they are great to work with.
Lighter than DMC embroidery floss, but it shows up really well in embroidery designs. I can definitely see how this would be fun to hand quilt when you want the thread to show. There was no tangling and it laid on the fabric beautifully.
Not shown above is the coupon included for a free Craftsy class. I’m a huge Craftsy fan. I have taken loads of quilting and sewing classes from them and have found them to be a fantastic value. I’ve been wanting to take the Tilton’s t-shirt class for a while and took advantage with this coupon I received.
After some disappointing stitching in my last hand pieced block, I decided I need the practice! This is a 6″ Oriental Star by Nancy Cabot using fabric scraps. There’s a little Tula Pink’s Parisville! 😀
My work is so much better this time around. I was more deliberate about tracing template edge and sewing on lines. Also used two strands of cotton thread instead of 50# Aurifil. The cotton tangled a bit. I’m wondering how 40# weight Aurifil Mako double stranded would work. The tutorials I’m finding for hand piecing don’t talk about single or double strands. Not sure what everyone is doing there.
I started this Love pattern by Tula Pink in November. It was super easy and fun to put together, but I was scared to actually start the quilting. There’s no hiding when quilting on all that lovely negative space.
I regret I lost sight of the diagonal lines in the gray and there is so much horizontal lines at the letters. But overall, I feel this is one of my best jobs yet.
To begin I was using So Fine thread and couldn’t get a good tension. I actually quilted almost half of one white square before giving it up. I’m not a believer in ripping out quilting, but I did this time. No matter how I moved the tension, I had thread sitting on top or on the bottom of the quilt. I switched over to Aurifil and the difference was dramatic. I read of a lot of quilters, particularly long arm, who seem to love So Fine, so I’m sure it’s a good quality thread. Maybe it’s the difference of quilting on a domestic machine, or perhaps my Bernina in particular, but Aurifil seemed to sink into the quilt with very little fussing with tension.
It may be hard to see, but the quilting on the left was done with So Fine and on the right was done with Aurifil.
And then there’s the binding. There’s something I despise about creating binding. I don’t mind actually sewing it on the quilt, but don’t like cutting it, piecing it, or ironing it. But I love the spools of binding when I’m done. It’s one of those little things that make me smile. And I love that Tula Pink recommends using a length of each fabric used in the letters. It’s a nice accent to the quilt. I roll my binding onto old wooden spools and, based on a suggestion in a recent Superior Threads newsletter, placed it on my thread spindle while sewing it to the quilt. (My Bernina has three spindles so there was room for the thread and for the binding.) It worked beautifully.
So that’s one finish for January. I still have a baby quilt and another special quilt to finish before the month’s out. I head to Florida for business for most of this week and lose some sewing time. I’ve gotten pretty greedy with my time and have begun to wonder if sewing is becoming an addiction. Hmmm..do I really want to find a cure?