Friday, July 20, 2012

Machine Quilting with So Fine Thread

IMG_8930Another day another machine quilting sample.  This one was done with So Fine! by Superior Threads, a polyester thread – 50 wt. and 3 ply thread.  This is a great thread to quilt with.  So Fine comes in 3 different weights, 30 wt, 40 wt, and 50 wt.  The website says this 50 wt. thread would be good to use for bobbin thread but it worked great as a top thread.

I used Bottom Line for the bobbin thread for this piece and it was quilted on my Bernina 730 with the BSR foot.  The cotton batting is not identified again and the tension was kept at the default setting as was the stitch length.  I used an 12/80 topstitch needle to do the stitching.

I would use this thread again as it was so easy to quilt with.  It left a fine line and since the color (403) is a light beige it doesn’t stand out too much against the light blue fabric.  The puffiness of the batting make the designs show up well though.

Happy Quilting,


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Machine Quilting with YLI Silk Thread

IMG_8928This is one of my favorite threads to use to quilt my miniature quilts.  It is YLI Silk thread and is a very fine thread.  The spool has #100 on it so don’t know if that is the weight for sure but am guessing it is the weight as it is a very fine thread.  It is 100% silk thread and machine stitches so nicely.  I used a small 70 topstitch needle to stitch with this thread.

This sample has cotton batting but I don’t know what kind or brand as it was just a scrap.  From now on I hope to label all those scraps but have quite a few small unidentified ones I am using for this project.

I love that I can quilt small motifs with this thread and not create bulk like heavier threads do.  I used my Bernina 730 with the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator), Bottom Line thread by Superior Threads in my bobbin, Color number 241 for the silk thread and I didn’t have to adjust the tension or stitch length on this sample.  If I were quilting a miniature I would shorten the stitch a bit to make it more inline with what a miniature should be.

Seems like these posts are getting shorter and shorter.  I guess another thing I want to stress is when I have been quilting these pieces I do not rip even if the quilting turns out not so hot and wiggles all over the place.  I want to try out these different designs and sometimes it is the first time I have tried them so the quilting lines don't always go where I want them to go or the lines don't flow.  I don't want to spend the time ripping so everything stays as it is first stitched.  Some designs I will try again and some just didn't work.  I am planning on using these samples not only to see what the threads look like s they are quilted abut also as a recording of  different quilt designs I can look through when I am quilting a new piece.

Until Later,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Machine Quilting with Premium Sulky Cotton Blendables

IMG_8916Sulky has two weights of Blendables thread – the 12 weight and the 30 weight.  The 12 is really heavy but the 30 wt. feels similar to the YLI Machine Quilting Thread, King Tut and Signature threads and that is what I used on this sample.  I believe it is a 3 ply thread and this variegated thread has color changes every 2 1/2” – 5”, color number 733.  The thread did blend from one color into another and there were not too many spots where the thread was too light or too dark.

It is a very smooth thread like King Tut so leaves very little lint in the machine when stitching.  I used a size 14/90 topstitch needle, Old Glory Old Fashioned Cotton batting (will not buy again as is tough for needle to pierce), Bottom Line bobbin thread.  Like the other samples I quilted this with my Bernina 730 with the BSR.  I need to practice more without the BSR as my skills at free motion quilting on my own without the aid of that foot have diminished lately.

This thread comes in lots of different colors so is easy to find something to work with most any project.  The spool has a pop top to wrap the thread ends so the spool doesn’t come unwound when stored.

One thing I might not have mentioned is that I spray basted the fabric front and back to the batting in all of my samples.  Normally I don’t use spray basting for my quilts but needed something quick and easy and since the samples are small the basting holds just fine.

I am using Machinigers Quilting gloves to aid in moving the fabric sandwich as I quilt.  Normally I like to use the Halo Ring by award winning quilter, Sharon Schamber, but it doesn’t work so well right next to the edge of a quilt and since the samples are small they are mostly edges.  Here is a YouTube video of her using this rubberized metal ring.

That’s all for now folks…

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Machine Quilting with Mirage Thread by Wonderfil

IMG_8913I purchased this Mirage Thread by Wonderfil while I was in Paducah, Kentucky at the 2012 AQS show.  It is a 30wt. 2ply thread (think it is 2 ply after untwisting it).  This is a Rayon variegated  thread with a great shine and a subtle variegation of color.  I have heard that some rayon thread fades in the light but don’t know about that as this is the first time I have used it.

It is a dream to stitch with and is not as fine as the Invisafil thread but did not seem as heavy as the 40 wt. threads (YLI, King Tut and Signature).  Maybe it seems finer because it is soft and a different fiber than those cotton quilting threads.

I stitched this with my Bernina 730 with the BSR foot, size 12/80 topstitch needle, bamboo batting by Fairfield and used the default settings for tension and stitch length.  The bobbin thread I used was Bottom Line by Superior Threads.

The cone is small but I can't seem to find any way to secure the thread so ended up putting one of those little girl ponytail elastics around it.  Let me know if I am missing something on the spool to secure the thread.

This is beautiful looking when stitched and I would use it again but do want to do some research on how Rayon thread holds up over time.  Anyone have any experiences with rayon thread that can offer some insight?

Until Later,


Friday, July 13, 2012

Machine Quilting with YLI Machine Quilting Thread

IMG_8917Another green sample, this time machine quilted with YLI Machine Quilting thread.  This is a 100% long staple cotton thread that is 40 wt and 3 ply like the last two threads I reviewed.  This thread is also a variegated  thread like the other two.  This is the color Jewel 12V.

The variegation is not subtle and the color changes are obvious but most of the colors in this thread seem to be pretty much the same value with just a bit really dark and really light.  The thread is pretty smooth but does have a little more fuzz than the King Tut
I enjoyed stitching with this thread – used my Bernina 730 with BSR foot, size 14/90 topstitch needle and the default tension and stitch length.  I sandwiched this with Old Glory, Old Fashioned Cotton Batting.  I did not like this batting as it seemed tough for my needle to pierce.  Like my other samples I used Bottom Line for the bobbin thread.

The spool itself is an odd size - too big for my Jammer Boxes and the wrong kind of spool to store in the box with my cone thread.  I have the few spools I have purchased over the years stored in a small drawer but forget they are there occasionally when looking for thread to use.

This thread gives a bold look so if that is what you are looking for this would be a good choice.

Until Later,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Machine Quilting with Signature Thread

IMG_8912This next sample was quilted with Signature Machine Quilting Thread by American & Efird, Inc., color 457.  This is a 100% cotton thread and is a 40wt, 3 ply thread.  Like the King Tut thread it too is a variegated threads in shades of blue.  I found several differences between this thread and the King Tut thread and for me it put the King Tut thread above this Signature Thread by a mile.
Here are the differences I noticed…the color changes are not so subtle and go from very light blue to very dark blue so when stitched some of the tread almost disappears since the color value blends into the background fabric color.  This gives a blotchy look to the quilting at times.
Second it is very, very linty which means that I needed to clean out the bobbin area and had to stop a couple of times with this small sample.  If you were doing a large quilt this could become quite annoying.  This thread is less expensive than the King Tut thread but I am thinking I would rather pay a little more and not have to deal with the lint.

Good things about this thread is that it stitched well on my Bernina 730 with the BSR foot and a size 14/90 topstitch needle, stitched well with the Bottom Line thread and required no tension changes on my machine.  It is a thicker thread so will give a more bold look to the machine quilted stitches than a finer thread.  Again stitched on a cotton batting of unknown brand with the default stitch length.

Guess that about covers this thread.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Machine Quilting with King Tut

IMG_8910This sample was quilted with King Tut thread by Superior Threads.  This is a 100% cotton thread that is a 40wt 3 ply thread so it is a thicker thread than some.  I used a size 14/90 topstitch needle in my machine to accommodate the heavier thread.  This particular color, 902, is a variegated thread that has a very subtle shading from dark to medium blue. The Superior Threads website says the color changes are every inch and is available in 133 colors.   A beautiful thread that has a medium sheen and is not linty at all.

I loved the way this thread stitched and it was easy to get even stitches and it paired well with the Bottom Line thread also by Superior Threads in the bobbin.  I didn’t have to adjust the tension on my machine even though the King Tut is a heavier thread and Bottom Line is a finer thread.

I have used this thread before and loved quilting with it then too and would recommend it for any quilt that you want the thread to stand out more.

Other facts about this sample – stitched using my Bernina 730 and using my BSR, the batting is cotton but I don’t know which brand as it was again just a scrap and the stitch length I used was the default stitch length even though the thread was thicker.

I am practicing some of the motifs I want to use when machine quilting and trying out new ones in these samples.  If you want a closer look at the samples just click on the photo to get a larger photo.

Good news here today….we woke to rain!  It has been so hot and dry here lately and rain was not forecast but guess it developed during the night in a small area of Nebraska right over us.  We feel like we won the lottery!  We ended up with 1.5” here at home and close to 3” near town which is 5 miles from our home.  Knowing how much it has rained is important to farmers so they all have rain gauges out and it is a topic of conversation among them.  Enough rain, like this morning, means the irrigation wells can be shut off for a while at least – this is a big deal as each engine burns about 4 gal. of fuel an hour and we have 11 irrigation wells on the land we own and rent.  You can do the math so even with a few days of the wells not running can save $$$.  Enough farm talk for now but suffice it to say we are walking around with big smiles on our faces today.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence Day

July 4th is tomorrow and a very full day for me.  I will be giving two trunk shows on my quilts in Seward tomorrow at 11 am and 1 pm.  I have the quilts packed up and already in my car since I will need to be on the road pretty early.  The title of my program  is Small, Smaller, Smallest as I am taking wallhangings, miniatures and doll quilts.

I also have the Five Bean crock pot recipe for tomorrow night stirred up and in the refrigerator so all I will have to do is get it plugged in before I leave.  We are invited to the annual pot luck dinner at friends tomorrow night.  We will watch the town fireworks from the street outside our friends house as they are setting them off just a short distance away.  You can tell it is a really small town as we set up our lawn chairs right in the street...isn't that great.

Hope if your are an American you have a great 4th of July tomorrow and celebrate the freedom we all enjoy!


Click on this link to find the recipe I used for the beans


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