It is monumental that I am quilting. I hope you appreciate the momentousness of the occasion. 😉
Really, I do quilt small things, but most of my larger pieces are quilted by someone else. Part of the reason is an old injury, which doesn’t allow the pushing and tugging a quilt through the machine required. I also have an older machine (though I bought it when it was a top of the line machine) and the arm is the old normal size, not one of the super sized free arms that look so fantastic. The other part of the reason is that I quilt very densely. I quilt about 1/8th – 1/4 of an inch away from the nearest line of quilting. I don’t know why, but it takes a long time.
Still this is a small piece, perhaps 18×24″ and I wanted to quilt it myself. I have been working on the background in small increments. I am really nearing the end of that part of the project, which makes me want to jump for joy. There are parts that I would have free motion quilted, but my machine is not up to it, so I just did straight line stitching. I like the quilting to melt into the background so it works for me.
In order to melt the quilting into the fabric, I needed to quilt the sky in three different sections using different color thread.
Another reason I quilt this way is to reward the ardent viewer. If a viewer comes up and puts his/her nose to my quilt, s/he will get the reward of seeing some additional details. I like to try and layer my pieces in an overt way, above and beyond the textural quality of the quilting.
I don’t really use special thread. I have a number of different colors of Aurifil and I use those to quilt with. I like that the they are thin.
I was particularly pleased with the blue background. I used some of Libby Lehman’s Bottom Line purple thread and it just melted into the background. I get good results when I unwind the thread from the spool and lay it on the area where I plan to use it. I find that the color on the spool – when the threads are laying nicely next to each other – is very different than the color of one strand.
I am sure more experienced machine quilters have better tips for you than this, but this post describes what I do and since I am pleased with the results, I thought I would share.
I am pleased that this project, which is on the 26 Projects list is moving forward!