Monday, August 10, 2015

hand quilting

I'm back to working on my medallion quilt! It has been snoozing in my ottoman waiting for me to find some good colors of perle cotton to use in the border. It was surprisingly difficult to find brick and mortar stores that carry very many colors of #8. I can find the basics - white, cream, navy, and black - but not much else. I know they exist though! I have the aqua to prove it. I may have to break down and buy a color card so I can just order what I want online. I'm happy I did it for the solid fabrics, so I bet I'll be happy if I do it for the thread.

In the end, I got some #5 to use. I've used it for embroidery in felt before but wasn't sure how easy it would be to quilt with the thicker thread. Dave helped me pick out these fantastic variegated skeins and it got me excited to get back to this project. The man certainly has an eye for color. 

Turns out it works beautifully! If you use a big enough needle, that is. I was sure I needed to bypass the traditional between (I doubt the thread would even go through the eye) but after one evening of using a slightly bigger needle and having a hard time pulling stitches through the quilt sandwich I went even bigger. The needle I ended up using (on the right) looks like overkill, but it isn't. It's much nicer to use the larger diameter because it paves the way for the bulky thread to breeze on through. My second evening of quilting was much more pleasant.

I've finished the straight lines and am partway through the dogwood blossoms. It sure zips on by when you don't have to keep tying off! The middle took me so long because there were so many patchwork squares and short spans of quilting. It should even out, fewer stitches more tying off/more stitches less tying off, but somehow for me the long stretches of stitches kept me more engaged and allowed me to get into a groove. I am positive this will be done before the end of the month, and I'm very excited for that.

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