Thursday, July 26, 2018

Newest finish

I'm excited to share my newest finished quilt with you today.  This is for the Paint Chips challenge we have at the Valley MQG.  I  picked an envelope that had a color card in it.  My card had purple, grey and white and I pulled these fabrics out of my stash.  It's amazing that I have a purple fabric that's pretty close to the color on the card considering that my stash is pretty small.  Thanks to Helen, my dear friend, and Eileen for giving me the fabric.

I only had a fat quarter of the purple fabric so I designed small blocks.  I had a lot of fun piecing these 3" curve pieces.  It was a bit challenging to me but it was good practice.  In the future I have to remember that when using white fabric, iron the seams open.  Did you see some colors show through?

When it was time to quilt it, I decided to use the nylon quilting thread instead of cotton 50 wt. thread that I normally use.  I loaded the nylon thread in the bobbin as well, despite the rumor I heard not to do that.  For this thread I set the tension to almost zero and it seemed to work well for my machine.  The quilting was almost hassle free except when I had to reload the bobbin.  Two new bobbins were completely destroyed when I tried to reload them with the nylon thread on my Janome 6500.  I was quite surprised because it has never happened before.  Is this a problem with plastic bobbins or the nylon thread?  Here are pictures of the broken bobbins.

In the second bobbin picture, the middle part where the thread is supposed to be came off totally.  It's buried in the tangled nylon thread.  Those of you who own Janome sewing machine, what do you think about plastic bobbins?  Have you had the same problem?  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  
Luckily I have a bobbin winder so I used that instead of using the sewing machine, and went back to quilting.  Despite all that, I had a lot of fun quilting this piece without any marking.  I felt so adventurous!!  It took about 4 hours for me to finish the whole piece, including the mayhem that I had with the bobbins.  I chose to do facing in the back instead of binding.  Facing gives the quilt a clean look and I really like that.  

Lastly, I want to share my personal feelings about nylon thread.  I'm not sure if I want to use it on a quilt that will be used everyday.  I don't know how the thread will hold up to frequent washing and drying.  But for art quilts, I love quilting with nylon thread.  The stitching is smooth and stitches come out so even and nice.

 Have a great sewing day!!

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  1. I don't see any colors showing through your beautiful quilt!
    It's a beautiful quilt-all the curves and your quilting make it look swirly--at least to me!

  2. 1. I am absolutely IN LOVE with your challenge project. The combination of HSTs, plain squares and Drunkard's Path blocks looks so fresh and modern.
    2. I would not try to iron those curved seams open. There are other tricks for the show through problem, like grading the seam allowance slightly so the darker fabric is slightly narrower, or you could clip the darker seam allowance just enough to let you press both of the seam allowances toward the dark side. I think that it would be very difficult to maintain a smooth curve to the seam if you were trying to press the seam allowance open, and any time seams are pressed open it limits quilting options as you can't stitch in the ditch without a ditch.
    3. Is the monofilament nylon a new thread for you? I'm wondering whether maybe you have your tension balanced but way too tight top and bottom. Nylon thread stretches as it goes through the tension disks, so it needs a DRASTICALLY lower tension setting than your regular thread. I'm wondering whether your nylon thread was stretched super tight as it was wound on your bobbin and that pressure and tension is what broke the bobbins? When I use monofilament in a quilt I usually use it in the needle only, with my tension reduced from the default setting of 4.0 (for the quilting straight stitch on my Bernina 750) all the way down to 1.5 or even 1.25 -- and that is the upper thread tension that will let the nylon feed and stitch beautifully without stretching, snapping or breaking. But other quilters have used nylon successfully, either with prewound monofilament bobbins, or by reducing the speed AND tension when they wind their own bobbins. Of course not every machine has a way to adjust the tensioner for bobbin winding. I think I can adjust the bobbin tensioner on my Featherweight if I had to, but not the bobbin tensioner on my Bernina (the thiny that you wrap the thread around right before it goes to the bobbin). But the industrial bobbin winder that came with my APQS longarm machine DOES have a way to adjust the tension for how tight thread is getting wound on your bobbin. Maybe your separate bobbin winder does, too? I have used monofilament nylon thread in lots of quilts, and it's fabulous. It's especially good for baby quilts with Minky/cuddle backing where cotton threads can "grab" some of those furry Minky fibers and pull them up to the top of the quilt with every stitch. The super smooth monofilament nylon just glides through beautifully and, when the tension is properly adjusted (loose enough that the thread bends in and out of the stitches rather than laying tight and flat along the quilt surface), it really looks like you changed your thread a bunch of times to match every fabric in your quilt perfectly.

  3. What a fun quilt! I really like the mix of straight lines and curves. Like that quilting, too.

    I've had my older plastic bobbins do that. Such a pain!

  4. Oh. My goodness, it’s gorgeous! I can’t stop looking at it! Sorry about your bobbin problem. It’s never happened to me on my Janome 8200.

  5. Beautiful quilt!! You certainly did have the perfect purple. And truth be told, you had me at paint chips. I have a little granddaughter who is addicted to them. I’m hoping it is the beginning of a love affair with art or maybe even specifically quilt-making. She does love to make. I have never used plastic bobbins or nylon thread, but I’ll be interested to see what others have to say.


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