|Safety-pinned and ready to whirl|
The dining room chairs are substantially built, but they're not the right height to wrestle with this monster. Add throw pillows and practically fall off the chair.
Now I have to learn how to work with the speed and rhythm of the machine. Result? Skipped stitches, uneven stitch lengths.
I think the bottom line for quilting on my domestic machine is to use its high speed, which is scary at first, and then the other key is: don't swirl too quickly (skipped stitches, broken threads).
I like swirling, but I think many of my swirls end up looking like velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movie. (Speaking of velociraptors, have you ever noticed that they move around and act distinctly like chickens?? If you're a chicken-lover, you'll notice it!)
I'm not done with this "monster" yet. I've imperfectly completed about a third of it. I figured that it's better to get this done so we can use and celebrate the love we share. Since it's for our use, who cares if it's not perfect?? I won't let the "quilt-police" examine it. And someday, when my children inherit it and realize it's not their style or colors, they can donate it to a quilt museum where the caption will read: "Had this quilter lost her mind??!!"
Thread Painting Experiment
During the local quilt show last week, I attended a presentation about thread painting. Of course I had to go home and try it.
My first attempt: a cup and saucer. I drew a crude picture with a Frixion pen. I used a light stabilizer behind the top fabric (an old cotton sheet) and machine embroidery thread, neither of which were thick enough for this project. I believe she recommended a thread weight of 30, but I currently don't have any. I hooped it on a wooden hand-embroidery hoop.
My second attempt: Thick, wash-away stabilizer, a layer of old cotton sheet sandwiched between the stabilizer and top fabric, raw-edge applique fabric scraps for tree trunk, tree roots and branches and leaves, multiple layers of that machine embroidery thread and varied colors. I used the wooden hand-embroidery hoop again and I suspect that it wasn't tight enough, since the fabric is rumpled or gathered. I might try my machine embroidery hoop next time and purchase some thick thread to try this out in the future.