Last Friday night, David LaValley from the Bittersweet Fabric Shop gave a talk at the Guild meeting. He spoke about thread and needles. We learned a lot about thread and using the right needles in our machines. He had some supplies and I bought purple machine quilting needles and some Teflon needles to use if I make something with fusible applique. It’s always nice to be able to buy something that will make quilting easier. I did use the purple needle today and it made a smooth stitch. I also bought a little black plastic thing that holds a needle when a needle is replaced in the machine. It does work. It was much easier to change the needle. I have always had trouble hitting the right spot.
On Saturday morning we had a rescheduled class with David Taylor. He taught invisible machine applique. I did have the same class last year at the Vermont Quilt Festival, but wanted a refresher.
The other students made a small piece with an apple tree, a basket and a wine bottle. I had already made that piece last year, so I was able to make a sweet pea piece. I was given a beautiful piece of hand dyed fabric to use for the sweet pea. It took a while to position the freezer paper pattern on the fabric. I wanted the lights and shadows to be in the right spot. I took two pictures of the pieces with different colorations and decided which one looked better.
When the sewing machine settings were just right, I took a picture of the screen so that I could finish at home if I didn’t finish in the class. I can also use the setting to make other projects.
The applique was finished this morning.
David has a CD that teaches how to quilt pictorial quilts. The CD is short, but it has a wealth of information. He quilts slowly on a Sweet Sixteen. All the instructions can be transferred to a domestic machine. When I started quilting I found it harder to forget my way of quilting than to quilt his way. David recommends using the stop and start button when quilting. I found that hard to do at first, but by the third petal, I was remembering to push the button to stop. After a little while, I really enjoyed quilting his way.
He quilts with variegated thread. I have some, but not the right colors so had to use plain thread. The thread is the same in the top and bobbin. The quilting starts in the middle and works out to the sides. Each petal has to be completed before going on to the next one so there are many thread and bobbin changes within each petal. It was worth winding all the bobbins before I started. Every thread is pulled to the back, knotted, and buried between the layers. This seems to take longer but when you are done, the back doesn’t need to be cleaned up. The tension can also be checked on a regular basis.
Maybe, I can make the old world Santa wall hanging, now that I am comfortable with this procedure. I’ve had the pattern for years.
Have a great day and happy quilting.