Showing posts with label thread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thread. Show all posts

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Showing off and some thoughts on thread...

It's been a busy few months.  I have forgotten to take photos of some of the quilting I've been doing,  but here are some for inspiration.   My list of quilts to make keeps growing and growing! I'm doomed!
   I am always in awe of people's work.  
This quilt is one for husband.  I can't show much of it, but I can show off my quilting.   I'm in love with the texture and the effect I made on the white fabric. 
Thread:  Wonderfil MasterQuilter in White
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 
Freehand quilting

My client gave me free range of what to quilt on her quilts.  This can be very difficult, especially when one doesn't know the client's taste.   
Pantograph -  Keukenhof
Thread - Aurifil Variegated purple/pink
Batting:  Warm and Natural
 Freehand 3's and e's create a swirl/spiral/filigree effect.  
Thread:   Superior Magnifico in blue
Batting:  Warm and Natural

 Freehand Playing around  - continuous curves and some fill work
Thread: Superior Magnifico
Batting :  Warm and Natural
 Freehand scroll/filigree style 
Thread: Glide gold
Batting:  Warm and Natural
 A beautiful modern pattern with a mix of modern and traditional colours
Freehand 3's and e's 
Thread - Glide Gold 
Batting - Warm and Natural
A simple modern design with fresh colours in blues, greens and orange
 Freehand basic meander
Thread - Superior 4069 green
Batting - Hobbs 80/20
Backing - Minky
The texture of this minky backing was outstanding.  It was a high quality minky fabric with no stretch to it, and was amazing to quilt with.   This minky was so soft, I didn't want to give the quilt back.  
I will be purchasing some -  my client purchased it from

I like to list my thread usage as I go along for my reference.  I'm still trying to narrow down the threads I like,  but so far my favourites (in no particular order) are  Aurifil 40 poly,  Superior Magnifico and So Fine, and Wonderfil's Master Quilter. and Glide.   
I have clients that prefer matte finish and some that prefer the show or sheen of a thread (and some that don't care at all), therefore my preference for a bunch of brands.

Here are my millions of thoughts  (mine and only mine...I am NO expert)  on each one:

Aurifil polyester -  only 10 colours (variegated) to work with in the larger cone.   It quilts like butter,  the variegated threads look stunning in the stitching lines, but only 10 colours.  Jewelry for a quilt! No breakage, shredding or lint issues, ever.  Tension is always perfect. 

Superior Magnifico - Poly thread with a shine.  Beautiful colours and a large selection to choose from.    Quilts up beautifully with no shredding or lint.   No heavy thread buildup with dense quilting.  Shinier thread and smooth finish.  When I use this, it really does feel like a superior thread.  

Superior So Fine -  look of a matte traditional cotton in a poly thread.  Strong,  no shredding and very little tension issues.   Great thread...I'm not totally sold yet using it on dense quilting.   It gives a linty looking buildup that I can't describe other than it looks like a cotton thread buildup.     I'm used to the look of the MasterQuilter and Magnifico which looks a little cleaner with thread buildup.   Can't think of how else to describe it.   Maybe I should do a sample showing the difference between the two! 

Wonderfil MasterQuilter -  I love this thread.  It looks like cotton, in a poly form.  But it is slightly less dull looking than the SoFine, without it having any sheen.  It is very smooth.  I really love working with this thread.  I just wish they had more colours in their selection.   Good selection of colours, but not as expansive as say,  Superior or Glide threads.  This can be a problem sometimes when trying to match the 'right' red, like I did recently and had to switch to a different brand.  

Glide thread -  a shiny 40wt poly thread.  Very affordable.   Beautiful and huge selection of colours - dare I say too many?  (I know, I said not enough in one paragraph - too many in this one)   This is a lovely thread to work with.  My only complaint is that I find it does shred somewhat and untwist when I snip  my threads, or have to rethread my needle.   A tiny complaint, nothing huge but enough to notice the difference between Magnifico and Glide.  This thread is beautiful when it quilts up,  it does have a slightly less smooth look than Superior Magnifico.  I'm thinking it is the 'twist' of the thread that shows.      

Again, these are just my thoughts to write down so I can reference later.   I like to look back and see how my tastes and preferences  have evolved over time.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Are you a tosser? Part 2

Awhile back, I had posted about my habit of tossing threads to the floor as I work.  Well,  I'm happy to report that I haven't changed and I don't plan to.  (except when I'm teaching on someone else' s machine. Why is it that my conscientious behaviour works in this situation, and not my own?)

I was a little bit worried about how my vacuum would like this habit.  I finally came across something that works...
Voila,  your $1.00 toilet brush.   

It's clean of course!   I picked this guy up from the dollar store.  It works like a charm!  So I 'sweep' this brush over my carpeted area and pick up all of the tossed threads - Aurifil, Wonderfil, Glide, Superior, Guterman.  It doesn't play favourites!  It doesn't get every single one of them, but it does the majority.  And my vacuum is grateful.  

And I found another use for it:  

My design wall -  it's been a disaster.   I've tried vacuuming it, and the vacuum doesn't pick up the threads without sucking up the flannel.   I've tried the sticky lint roller - which works somewhat but not that great and I hate wasting all of that paper!  
Look at the after: 

Amazing right!? 

A great little tool for you tossers working on carpet.   

You're welcome!

Monday, December 30, 2013

APQS expert in training

Over the holidays I had a bit of time to 'play' with the kids and this one especially was keen on trying Millie.  He knew exactly which fabrics he wanted to use, and how he wanted them assembled.
He was an expert from the start. Relaxed, focussed, and he knew what and where he was going to run those stitches.

I was equally impressed with how he caught on to using the controls of the machine. I was not allowed to help. So we practiced saying, toggle blue, toggle green..and away he went. 
He chose the colour - Aurifil 50wt in a turquoise blue. 
As I opened the drawer of thread, he gasped at all the colours and zoomed directly to the colour he wanted. No second guessing at all. 
I know right?  Like mother like son....thread candy!  Can you imagine his reaction in the Aurifil Warehouse?  

And even though it looks like someone scribbled the design...he really thought about filling the space and keeping the curves nice and rounded and flowy.

I made his little sample piece into a zipper pouch for his handheld device. 
I am so not a garment, bag, pouch sewer. 
at all. 
such a project reminds me of this always. 
And now I get reminders of my inept pouch making skills every time I see it. LOL

I did the same project with my other son. It is remarkable at how different this experience went. 
How he had no interest in being part of the camera action. 
How he had little patience and was indecisive of fabric and thread colour.

And how with his experience, I learned that my mag wheel adjustment from a few months ago is slightly incorrect - when the cutter is activated, it catches and jams on the needle - meaning, I need to re do my mag wheel adjustment and possibly retime my machine again. ARGHGHGHGHGH!

Totally not his fault, he just pushed the cutter button and the cutter jammed because of the needle positioning (my fault -mag wheel adjustment)

All for the love of my kids, right? 

And you thought my story had a happy ending!!!!

Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Spools of Colour

Is it possible that my addiction to solid colour fabrics could easily transfer over to threads?  

Look at this gorgeous pack of thread I bought from  
This is Glide thread, which has come highly praised by many longarm quilters from what I read.  I also received a colour card - and it's actual thread wrapped samples too, so no distortion in colour. 

Three other brands I want to try out -  the new Aurifil longarm thread, Superior and Metro/Sigma.  
oh this could be trouble...

Only thing I realized.... I didn't get any grey.  And I have a King size top to quilt soon with grey thread.  sigh. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Longarm Quilting Machine Unpacking

She came with a bow!   I don't want to take it off, ever!  
First thing I unpacked:
Update on my boxes: -  it looks so far like there is no visible damage to my items.  I did however, receive an extra table leg that was to be delivered to someone else.   I didn't realize it until I got the call from the freight company.   
My dealer Matt Sparrow -  is such a gem. I emailed him about the condition of the shipment and he called me immediately and talked me through it. 

The 8 boxes of items were not difficult to move. The 12 foot pole boxes were definitely heavy, and a two person job.   Before you even consider buying a longarm quilting machine - make sure it will fit into your that I mean make sure you can get the 12 foot poles around stairs, corners, etc.   A 2x4 piece of lumber was recommended to test out if they will fit. 
Confession:  I cheated and used 3 hockey sticks taped together.   

Unpacking the boxes was fun.  Kind of like Christmas actually.   

I was supplied with a selection of threads of Aurifil,  Omni, Filtec, Superior, Signature and KingTut.
(I want to get my hands on some of the new Aurifil longarm quilting thread that was announced)  
I received two pantographs (12 foot long sheets of paper with an allover cool design on it.  You basically trace the design with a laser pen and the machine stitches it for you)
One thing I was very happy to receive was a sampler guide of batting.   It is only from one company (Pellon Legacy), but it is great to have a feel for what each type is like.  There's 100% cotton with and without scrim, wool, poly, rayon, soy and the 80/20 blends.   Now I know what kind to order without guessing! 

 Also received these cute stickie note pads.  I'm going to wallpaper my studio with them.

I was able to assemble not much on my own yesterday.  Poles and rails are heavy, but I did get a start on two things.

Here I am putting the cross bars in.  Yes, I put the damn timer on the camera and ran over to the space, tripping on my way....and still managed to smile and pose.  LOL

The instruction manual is NOT LIKE IKEA.  CHEER!!!  It is so thorough and detailed and dare I say easy.   But I only did a few things so far. 

The manual should state that you need lots of soap and or wipes in between steps.  :-) These are my hands after putting ONE crossbar on.   please don't judge my dry cracked hands...I live in such a dry place!

The next thing I was able to do was adjust the height of my table legs....that was easy.  

This next part looked easy, but when the instructions say 'may need a helper', they are right.  This is where I left off.  The ladder/rails are super heavy. See?  Not much done.

Also,  if you notice, the photos in my studio are all light and bright.  I had daylight fluorescent fixtures put in and I cannot believe how awesome it is down there now!   All of the photos were taken without a flash....awesomeness.

The rest of the setup will be assembled tonight and tomorrow with my husband.  I'm sure we'll have lots of laughs and snarky remarks as we put this thing together.   We never fight when we do this stuff as many people we know do.   We just resign ourselves to being feeble at it and laugh our way through it.  :-)  I love him for that.

I'm working on a quilt right now that I detest.  I've ripped the layout apart twice now, with hopes that this next layout will look better.  Thank god for the design wall to help me through it.  I'm just not into the colours or fabrics so it's making it a bit tough.  I want to share it with you for feedback and suggestions, but I have a feeling the recipient reads this blog on occasion.