Wednesday, July 27, 2011

thread play . . .

Saturday morning I attended my first guild workshop (not including the teddy bear workshop), and I have to say, I had a BLAST!! It was the Sulky thread workshop, and it really it was a time of instructed 'thread play'.

I came in and got set up. There was a pretty good crowd for the day -- about 15 of us participated.

The two women sitting to my left were friends and relatively new to the guild. One brought in a quilt top she'd found in her dad's attic . What a treasure!

Based on the fabrics, she's guessing it was sewn by her aunt in the late 30's. What a treasure! It reminds me very much of the unfinished top that I have of my grandma's.

I was really looking forward to this workshop because of the kit that we got along with it!

Look at all these fun and sparkly threads!! Yum! You know, I think I could become as addicted to pretty threads as I am to fabric! They sure are a lot easier to store . . .

In addition, we had some pretty fabrics, muslin, batting, and four different types of stabilizers in our kits.

As we walked through the stabilizer uses, I was *fascinated*! There a whole new aspect to quilting I'd never considered!

She had us start just by doing some free motion quilting. I've never really done a lot of that, and I admit I was a little anxious about it.

It's amazing to me what a difference the right threads (and perhaps a new needle) makes in the process! True test of ability . . . legibly write your name in script. Haha!

I had a little tension problem with one of the heavier weight threads . . .

But honestly, keeping 'art' quilting in mind, I thought it was a pretty cool looking effect.

The instructor had lots of beautiful samples to show off.

The embroidery work on those flowers was stunning.

She also showed us how to trace a quilting design on stabilizer like she's done on this one, with the elephants.

We tried it with polar bears and leaves. Again I'm completely captivated by the process. Your trace your design onto this water-soluble stabilizer, adhesive spray it to your fabric, and stitch right through the stabilizer. When you're finished, run it under water (or wash it) and it goes away, leaving just your beautiful quilting!

She also had us do a little meandering or stippling around our design to help make it stand out.

It was interesting to play with the invisible thread. Especially when we used colored thread up top and the invisible thread in the bobbin. I'd played with invisible thread before but had not had really great luck with it. Evidently it makes a huge difference when you're using polyester invisible versus nylon invisible. The polyester is better.

I just loved the fun quilting on this little dogwood wall hanging!

Of course I'm a sucker for dogwood flowers anyway.

In the span of the morning, I had my name drawn for a prize, too!

A transfer pen! I always wanted one of these!! No really -- I have.

Isn't this piece gorgeous? And I really think I could DO this!

What I found most interesting about this was that the center stitching was double (or maybe even triple) stitched, with different thread colors/styles.

I had the most fun playing with the metallic threads! I think I may have oooh'ed and aaah'ed over my machine as I sat there stitching. There may have even been a giggle or two . . .

I had always admired quilting that highlighted fabric pattern, but had no idea it was something I could easily do. It helped learning that thread lines didn't have to exactly match the lines in the fabric itself. In fact, that my thread lines were not perfectly fitted to the lines of the flower just gave it more character and dimension. Or perhaps that's just my justification for not staying in the lines!

Here's the back side of that same piece. You can see where I've outlined the flower and several leaves, even though you can't see the thread -- tah dah!

It was a workshop well worth the price. Not only did I learn several new techniques, I gained a great deal of confidence in free motion quilting, playing with different types of threads, and the freedom to try new things! Who knows what I'll come up with now?!


5 left a comment . . .:

Gmama Jane said...

I wish I had known about this in time to sign up! I want to learn about the stabilizers because I'm so ignorant of this aspect of quilting. I need to join back up with the Guild and give it a second chance, I suppose. I will have more knowledge of these classes. let me know about the next meeting.

Love Bears All Things said...

This was an interesting post...Your joy and enthusiasm shine through. I would enjoy attending something like this. And thanks for the info about invisible thread.
Mama Bear

Asiyah said...

That's so cool! The fun thing about quilting is that there is always something else you can learn.

Sarah said...

Hi Denise - looks like you had a great time. I want to take a thread painting type class at IQF-Houston but I am having trouble picking a teacher as there are several classes. I'm also happy to know that my "tracing" which is rarely 100% on the line is the way it should be! I'll be outling the firemen, hopefully starting this weekend if I can get the back pieced. I'm going to have to clear off my large table = yikes!

Pat said...

I think you did a terrific job. I especially love the floral fabric and the way you outlined the flowers and leave. (In fact, that floral print reminds me of the flowers you put in a vase and showed us in one of your more recent posts on your blog.)