A simple feather design quilted on soft, washed muslin with wool batt takes on an entirely different look when a metallic thread suddenly makes a surprise appearance!
After reading "Mastering Metallics" by Ann Fahl I decided to try out a few threads I had in my thread drawer. Here I used Superior's "Glitter" thread, a flat type very sparkly metallic, and a #80 Jersey needle.
I know it is not the type of needle recommended, but it worked so well for me with my YLI Sparkle thread, a silk and metallic blend, that I wanted to see if it would work on something more challenging. I much prefer it to the horribly big spear-like #80 Topstitch needle.
It worked beautifully in my machine, a Bernina 730 with a rotary hook. I used #100 silk thread in the bobbin, but could have used a fine cotton like Aurifil #50.
Top tension was reduced from default #4 to #2. The thread was on the vertical spindle to keep it nice and taut and flat. There was no looping or twisting or skipping stitches. I used a fairly small stitch, quilted a bit slower than usual, and it worked well.
The larger the stitch the more sparkle/glitter you get. But, the larger the stitch, the less puff in the batt, and the design loses its oomph.
The background quilting was done with pale yellow #100 YLI silk thread and really sets off the metallic nicely. I think this thread combo has possibilities!
Next I am trying YLI Sparkle for a feather design on ecru silk fabric instead of muslin. I'm using a #70 Jersey needle. I'll post my findings later.
Below, another photo of the design.
The sparkle of the thread is very apparent in real life, not so much in the photos. Sorry about that.
What I didn't like about this thread is the lack of smoothness for smaller designs or close echo quilting.
Curves were not smooth, and the stitches tended to go off a bit from a straight line. On the back, the silk stitches looked perfect.
I think it is an anomaly of this type of flat thread but I didn't like that it made my quilting suffer just a bit. I didn't wobble, the thread did! I would not use this thread for tiny designs or micro fills, froth, or baby pearls.
Sometimes it's fun to go off your normal path, and try a new road. I am having some fun making these samples and will keep them around to remind me of possibilities for future projects. I took notes with a Sharpie pen on the back so I can refer to what was used to create each sample.
Oliver loved this thread; he let it run through his teeth as I quilted. Yikes.
You must know your tools and materials to have success in your quilting. Taming a thread is always a good thing, and knowledge is power. Try something new today, just for fun.
Keep quilting! Your work gets better everyday.
Happy Halloween from a sleepy Oliver, still in his nightcap.....!