Monday, November 7, 2011

YLI Sparkle Metallic Thread

I've been playing with YLI Sparkle thread, a twist of #100 silk, in this case ecru silk, and metallic thread, here in gold.  It also comes in silver colorways from pale to dark. 

The feather above is quilted on a very lightweight soft silk from an old blouse, washed and pressed.  In real life it is shimmery and elegant, really lovely with the slight sparkle or "fairy dust" from the thread.  It is a much lighter and more heirloom look, with a twinkle in the stitches, not heavy like a straight metallic.

Background quilting is done in pale yellow #100 YLI silk thread.

I used a #70 Jersey needle (YLI recommended Jersey needles for this thread) and had no trouble at all.  I could quilt at my normal speed, change directions smoothly with no fraying or breaking.  It looks really quite wonderful. 

If you are quilting through heavier fabrics, a denser batt or backing fabric, or a top with lots of piecing joins or fused areas, of course you would use a larger Jersey needle or even a Top Stitch needle. 

For every project with specialty threads you must try a stitch-out on the actual materials you will be using in the real quilt, and find the magic combination of thread, needle, tension, and stitch length that works the best, and looks the best.

#100 silk thread was used in the bobbin, and I lowered the top tension from default #4 to 1.75.

Thread spool was on the vertical spindle of the machine.

Many times owners' manuals will give so much info about needles and threads and how to use them on your particular machine, settings, etc.  Mine has pages of info, very nice.

Now I am busy quilting with a deeper shade of Sparkle thread on a medium colored fabric.  The feathers I have tried so far I did in the "old" method where there is no space between each one as in the one here, and I did backtracking or "travelling" to get to the next feather.  Again, it worked perfectly, and the doubling of the thread was not obnoxious or too noticeable.  It looks wonderful.  I'll post photos of that when this small quilt is finished.

If it turns out!  If not, I'll explain the problems.  It's fun to try new things and challenge yourself to improve your own style of quilting or give it a slightly new and fresh look.  I probably won't use metallics that often but I love knowing they are there in my toolbox of techniques for free motion machine quilting, and I know how to use them.

Try something new today, and keep quilting.....your work gets better everyday!


Kelly said...

Diane - I am such a fan of your work! Thanks for all this info on metallic threads.

Oliver looks quite please with himself!

Taryn said...

I appreciate reading the evaluations of different threads from someone who is so accomplished at machine quilting. I also appreciate the encouragement to practice everyday. It is frustrating at the beginning so encouragement helps.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Kheli and Taryn, thanks, and glad it was helpful. It is indeed so absolutely frustrating at the beginning, but I see in classes that I teach that getting things right, trying, seeing what needs work or change, trying again, repeating and repeating makes a huge difference very quickly. Take breaks as well, so you re-gain concentration each time, each attempt.

Then repetition in a real project of the skills is the way to go. It will definitely get easier, smoother, better with repetition and concentration. Then it becomes so much fun to do.

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

This one looks lovely, so many things to try, so little time....

Anonymous said...

Are you using wool batting? I am so impressed.


Diane Gaudynski said...

Caryl, Yes, this is wool batt, and I used plain washed muslin on the back. I think this was Pellon Legacy wool, as it is soft and not too poufy.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful quilting, Diane. Metallics are not something I've tried much but I have a few here so might need to try them. They haven't worked well on my longarm but the domestic machine is so much gentler.
cheers, cat stone.
For some reason I can only post as 'anonymous'.

Gini Ewers said...

I think the YLI looks more like "Diane" than the previous flat metallic. Lovely as always.

Diane Gaudynski said...

The home machine is indeed more gentle. I think if you use all the right combinations any of the metallics should work just fine.

Gini, yes, the YLI is definitely more "me." I already used it in one quilt as a line of echo quilting that blended in with the silk thread and it looked wonderful. I think it also holds some possibilities for the actual quilting motifs. We shall see!

The flat metallic was sent to me to try, and I probably would have walked right by it in a shop, not even tempted. Sometimes it's good to explore just a bit.

I don't like a lot of bling on my quilts so the YLI Sparkle is a nice compromise for drawing attention to designs without going over the top, for me at least.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing all the work, I love seeing the differences thread can make. Much appreciated

Anonymous said...

Diane, I love your work and hope that some day I will be 1/2 as good as you are. You make me want to do more.

victoria girl said...

Diane, by Jersey needle, do you mean ball point needle? Also, when you quilt with the silk do you use silk in the bobbin. I've never used silk before but want to try it on a hand appliquéd quilt with a wool batt. Your work is inspiring as always

Diane Gaudynski said...

victoria girl, yes it's a ball point needle. If you have that, give it a try. I noticed there are "stretch" ball point needles in my drawer too, but YLI specifically said "jersey" ballpoint, to that's what I used. You might even try a Universal first, but I have to say the jersey ones work great, no shredding or fraying at all quilting at normal speed.

I do use #100 silk in the bobbin as well, but find that a very fine Egyptian cotton works great too - my favorite is Aurifil #50, orange cones.

There are many "fine" threads now on the market - silk, poly, cotton. See what works best as a combo with silk in the top in your machine and to your eye for the back of the quilt. But do avoid the heavy cotton threads for the bobbin.

susan said...

Good morning Diane! I so enjoyed your detailed tips in using this thread! Thank you! I too just bought YLI with a sparkle. I didn't know about the Jersey needle -- now to find one.
I am so looking forward to the Machine Quilting Challenge with Sew Cal Gal. So so glad that you will be one of the teachers! It reminds me of your three classes I took in Seattle at the Pacific NW Quilt Show a few years back. Keep up the good work of teaching us! Thank you so much for sharing your tips and experience with us!

Diane Gaudynski said...

Susan, hope you have good luck with the thread. I really like it, it truly gives just a "sparkle" when light hits the quilt. Jersey needles for me worked perfectly. Start with a #80, and then try a #70 and see if it works; it did for me, left a smaller hole.

Anytime you have skipped stitches or frayed thread, the needle is probably too small, so go up a size. Something about the Jersey design that worked so well with this thread.

I think the Machine Quilting Challenge will help everyone, and will be fun too. Hmm, must start planning my part in that.

I loved the event in Seattle - next year it is in Tacoma and I encourage everyone to go, terrific show. APWQ

susan said...

Diane - will you be attending next year's event in Tacoma? I'm sure hoping you are!
Thanks for your quick response!

Diane Gaudynski said...

Susan, No, I won't be attending even though I was so very cordially invited to teach again. I can't do as much travel now, but I know you'll have great classes there and an excellent show.