Quilting Tip: 4

2 09 2007

I’m making a small table centrepiece quilt for a Christmas gift (shhh!), and using metallic gold thread for some freehand machine embroidery embellishing. Last night was the first time I’d ever used metallic thread—and it drove me MAD! It snapped regularly, and I had to continually rethread the needle. After doing two sections (of eight) I was ready to give up in frustration.

Ah, but what’s this? The internet to the rescue!!! I found some handy tips on dealing with breaking metallic thread here, and tried the first suggestion of loosening the top tension. That worked a treat and the thread only broke another two or three times for the remaining eight sections (it was breaking 10-15 times per section before that).

And the added bonus was that the other eight sections all remained flat while sewing (the first two puckered a little), giving a nice professional finish. Well, sort of… my stippling is nice and rounded in parts and looks like brain coral; but other parts it looks like schizophrenic brain coral, with sharp points and turns! It’s only my second attempt at freehand machine stippling, so no doubt I’ll get better…

Stippling examples

The stippling on the left of the star point is with a loose top tension; that on the right is with the top tension set for normal thread. Notice the flatness of the left compared to the slight puffiness/puckering on the right—and the smooth and rounded brain coral compared to the jagged brain coral!

Update: Finished! Here’s the finished quilt. The stippling is in gold metallic thread, and there’s some red metallic thread in the red centre star.

Christmas table centrepiece

Centre star



One response

24 11 2007
It’s show time! « At Random

[…] where the handcrafts, flowers, photos etc. were on display. I won TWO first prizes!!! One for my “Christmas Star” quilt (Category: “Item by first-time exhibitor”), and the other for my quilt tote bag […]

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