10/25/13

A Finish! Whoo Hoo!

After days and days of quilting, the White Trees quilt is finally finished! I am so happy about that!


It measures 58 x 74 inches, which makes it the largest quilt I've ever free motion quilted on my domestic machine...or any other machine, for that matter. It's also probably the most densely quilted of any other quilt I've done with the possible exception of some of my doll quilts.

I wish I had some better pictures to show you. It's pretty darned hard to photograph white thread on white fabric, but I've given it my best shot. My "tree bark" attempt in the gray border turned out okay, even though it isn't what I had planned originally. Certainly, if I had planned to do it this way, I would not have been able to.


Here's my feeble attempt to show you how the quilting looks from the back. The colors are a little off because I've worked with the contrast and brightness so that you can see the stitching.


Thanks very much to Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy who wrote the following comment in response to my thread breakage problems:

The Connecting threads thread is not strong enough for doing free motion when you are doing a pattern like swirls that changes direction often. Ask me how I know :) It may work fine for some fmq but swirls will give you endless headaches with it...even with a looser tension and larger needle. I use Isacord thread or aurifil thread for fmq now.

I had already figured out that a different thread was in my future, but sadly, I thought I might be stuck with what I had for now. Aurifil is recommended for my machine, and I will use that for any free motion quilting in the future. I didn't have any white Aurifil, but I did have a couple of spools of YLI Machine Quilting thread and I switched that out for the top thread. It worked sooooooo much better. I won that thread in a giveaway a while back. I'd still like the give the Aurifil a try next time around, however.

Interestingly, the closer I came to finishing, the more thread breakage I experienced despite the thread change. Could be I was just trying to go faster, or my arms and shoulders were tired, or something else completely. I tried slowing down and making those direction changes less abruptly, and then the problem went away. Could also have been a weak spot in the thread. Who knows the mysterious ways of the sewing machine?


So last night I started hand-stitching the binding and I'm already one-third of the way around it. And there are still 7 days left in the month to work on some of the blocks on my to-do list! Yahoo! Also, I need to work on my NewFO project for October. A quilter's work is never done.

So whadda ya' say...

And don't forget! The Blogger's Quilt Festival Starts today! 
AmysCreativeSide
I've entered my quilt, A Day in the Life of Mr. Bear, in the Baby Quilts category, but if you click on that button above, it'll take you to all of the show categories.

I woke up very early this morning, and then couldn't get back to sleep. Maybe I was thinking about all the housework I've neglected this week while working on my quilt. Frankly, I'm looking forward to taking a day off from the sewing machine, cleaning up the piles of scraps and other flotsam I left lying around in my sewing room, and doing some other houseworky things. Tomorrow, in our ongoing quest to find a camper for our truck, we are driving up to Tacoma to take a look at one that we hope will meet our needs. Tacoma is about three hours north of Portland, and with a drive that long, you can bet there will be a quilt shop in the mix somewhere.

So with all of that going on, I'm guessing I won't get back to the sewing machine before Sunday. Have a great Friday!

27 comments from clever and witty friends:

Ray and Jeanne said...

Your quilt is gorgeous! The quilting looks wonderful. Hope you get the chance to try the Aurifil or Isacord threads. I love using both and do not have trouble with breaking threads. The cardinals and the red border are absolutely perfect on the quilt! ~Jeanne

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It looks great! I have been wondering about the Connecting Threads thread. I've been using either King Tut or a German brand that my sewing machine repair place carries.

gpc said...

Whoop, whoop!! I love it. And I am impressed with your quilting -- my idea of free motion is still a straight line. :)

Vicki W said...

It's lovely!

Quilting Babcia said...

I love how your quilt turned out. I need to get started on mine - one of these days! I've also found Aurifil works best for my FMQ, though even that will break occasionally, depending on the direction and the drag of the quilt, especially the queen size ones. I love the Aurifil except for hand-sewing the binding down, for that I generally use C&C hand quilting thread as it seems to be stronger and tangles less than the Aurifil 50 wt.
Another beautiful finish for you!

Teresa in Music City said...

Love your quilt Barbara!!! It's well worth all your effort :*) I like King Tut thread by Superior for quilting as well. I love the way it lays so nicely on top of the fabric and looks wonderful on the finished quilt. I'm going to try quilting with Aurifil with my next quilt to see which I like better.

P. said...

Beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing your experience with the threads too.

WoolenSails said...

Congratulations on finishing, you did a beautiful job on it and it is a wonderful design, perfect for a wall hanging.

Debbie

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Yea, a finish, and a really nice finish, too. Great quilting!

Debbie said...

Great finish. I love this pattern. With the cold weather moving in, I need to pull mine out.

Janarama said...

Your quilt and FMQing is awesome. Love it!

Sher S. said...

Your quilt is beautiful. If you want to try the Aurifil thread just be warned....it is pricy. I bought one spool and choked at the cost. sorry.

Diane Wild said...

Kudos on your finish. Beautiful job. I've been using Connecting Threads thread for years and have had no problems with it in my fmq. Yes, sometimes there is a weak spot but overall I've had good luck with it. Your fmq is great.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I know you are so excited to be finishing this quilt. I'll congratulations you right now on a most excellent quilt.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Oh yes, just as lovely as I saw it in my mind's eye. You have such great skills and they are just improving with each new project. Good luck in Tacoma; hope you find Camper Perfecto up that way and a great shop too.

Patrica said...

Love the quilting on your trees quilt, just wonderful. Your perseverance has paid off in a great quilt entirely made by you - well done!

Junebug613 said...

Hooray for a fantastic finish on your quilt! It looks marvelous! With all the work we're doing this month, I haven't had any time for anything really. I am excited to see that there are finally 2 new blocks for Hello Moon! I might, maybe, hopefully, get some time tomorrow for some sewing or stitching.

Brown Family said...

WHOOP WHOOP! I have not been in the Tacoma area in over three years, but there were some lovely quilt shops in the area!

Tami C said...

You White Trees really did turn out gorgeous! You definitely deserve a Whoop Whoop!!

Kate said...

Congrats on the finish. The quilting looks great! Did you ever decide on a quilt name?

Michele said...

Yea for the finish. It does look great.

Lyndsey said...

What a great finish, it looks absolutely fabulous. I bought some Aurifil thread to fmq my happy anniversary quilt and I just love using it. It worked really well on my machine.

LynCC said...

Yes, you get a Whoop! Whoop! :D I love this quilt. That gray border turned out really super neat - I chuckled at the comment that if you'd tried to make it that way it wouldn't have worked - I feel that way all the time!

Jacque said...

Fabulous finish! I hope to get your Aurifil on the way to you soon! :)

Karen said...

I think all the hard work has paid off. It is a great quilt and your quilting has shown it off beautifully.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

This turned out so well... love it so much! I had no idea it was that big - somehow I was thinking wall hanging size. Glad you were able to resolve the thread issues.

Dar said...

Barb, your Snow birds are just lovely. Your quilting really looks wonderful for the subject. It just sets it off so well. Kudos to you.