What about the frosting?
Quilting can be like frosting on a cake! Like Chef Duff on the Ace of Cakes, I want to rise to meet the challenge!
I am working on finishing my Crayon challenge quilt and Jean, our Editor is working on finishing her cruise to Alaska quilt!
We have some great Sulky and Florianni threads we've been wanting to try. Both of us used batiks, and both of us love the range of colors that these companies offer!
But before I actually started stitching, Jean, who is a seasoned quilter, reminded me to take time in not only choosing my thread, but also in the preparation work before I even took one little stitch!
In choosing thread, don't just lay the spool on the fabric and expect the thread to look the same when you stitch. You need to pull out some thread and lay it on the fabric you will be stitching over. I was quite surprised at the results compared to how it looks on the spool! Lighting also affected it. I found that it is a good idea to walk around the thread and fabric to see if there is anything that bothers you about the color you chose.
Also keep in mind, that whether it is in your regular sewing machine or a long arm, you may need to adjust your tension, especially if you are using heavier, lighter, synthetic, or decorative threads that you are not used to sewing with.
Make sure you have test strips of the quilt sandwich on which to test your tension. There is nothing more annoying than quilting for a while and finding out your bobbin thread is leaving loops all over the back of your quilt. Make sure the top and bottom threads are meeting in the middle and there is no looping on the top or bottom.
Also, check your needle. If it is dull, it can poke batting through the quilt backing. It can also affect the tension. A rule of thumb that some quilters use is that they change needles every time they start a new project. I'm sure you'll develop your own way of knowing when it's time to change the needle.
It's a lot to think about before you actually start to quilt, but like using good ingredients in a cake, the results are worth the extra effort!
Happy quilting...and frosting!
Diane, Assistant Editor