All Quilting All the Time

Hopefully, I'm going to be able to finish the White Trees quilt today. Since last we spoke, I finished the gray border (for the second time), and I did one side of the outer white border. For all the gnashing of teeth I've been doing about that gray border, I think it's going to turn out just fine.

I'm just doing some swirls in the outer border. They make me think of wind blowing the snow.

I got started on the second side yesterday morning, but then I was having such a problem with thread breakage that I got frustrated and quit.

Here's the thing about thread...at least I think it's "the thing". I love the Essentials thread I get from Connecting Thread for everything I do. It comes in a variety of colors, it is priced right, and in general, it gives me no trouble. For this quilt...for whatever reason...it has given me no end of grief with thread breakage. I started thinking that it was a problem with my needle, and so I switched to a new needle. No help. Also, I tried cleaning out the substantial accumulated fuzzies under the stitch plate. Again, no change. Possibly, it could use some oil, but the last time I oiled my machine in the middle of quilting, I ended up with oil on the quilt. Don't want to do that again. In case you're wondering, I did oil the machine before I started, and so I don't think that's the problem. Today, I might try putting some Sewer's Aid on the thread. 

It's a silicon thread lubricant. I rub it right onto the spool. It doesn't stain the thread, but it makes it slide through the needle a little easier. I've used this on those pesky metallic threads with good results, and maybe it's time to try it on this cotton thread. It can't hurt, right? Also, I might try putting my regular sized spool on a thread stand, which is another trick I've learned for working with metallic threads. It allows the thread more time to "uncoil" before it passes through the needle. Thankfully, I'm almost finished so if neither of these things help, I'll probably still have hair left on my head when I'm finished quilting. (And if I can get the binding sewn on today too, you'll hear me "squee" on the Atlantic coastline. Really ready to be done with this quilt.)

Speaking of hair on heads, this morning I stitched the hair onto my quilted snow ladies. This is the part I dread most when I'm working on these blocks because, up until now, I've been having a hard time finding a good stitch diagram for how to do this "fringe stitch". I'm completely self-taught where embroidery is concerned, and so a new stitch requires a good diagram. Anyway, here are my little snow ladies with their new doos:

This morning I used a tutorial I found on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread for "Velvet Stitch". I feel as if I have their hair anchored down better than previously, and they also have more hair on their heads because of it. Of course, any woman likes having more hair on her head. Am I right about that?

Now, here's the latest on my Birdcam. As I've said in the past, I'm not sure it is working correctly. Yesterday, I was pretty sure it was not. After having it out for more than 24 hours, I took the pictures off the card to find only 35 pictures...which was surprising given the time frame. I would have expected three times that. Then, I took them off the card and had a look. Here's what I found. This is the 6th picture (note the time stamp):

And here's the very next picture. Picture #7 (again, note the time stamp).

A full 35 minutes later. The peanuts are gone, and not a single bird has been photographed. 

Now I've given this Romulan Cloaking Device thing a good hard thinking-about. I'm still not ruling out the possibility that the Romulans inherited their cloaking device technology from their ancient bird ancestors. And just to prove my point, check out this image of a Romulan starship:

It makes total sense now, doesn't it? (I just love these glimpses into the future. Ya' gotta love the internet for that.)

Actually, I was miffed enough about my lack of success that I called the company to see what they thought about it. They suggested it could be a problem with the batteries. I'm doubting that very much, but Mike stopped on the way home from work yesterday and picked some up anyway. So now the bird cam is outside again. I've carefully checked and rechecked all the settings, and we will just see about that. Watch this space.

So, I think that's about all I have to tell you. I need to write up my post for the Blogger's Quilt Festival that starts tomorrow. Are you ready?


Clearly I am not, or I wouldn't be talking about it. Also, I need to go to the grocery store and do laundry today. If I'm going to finish the White Trees quilt, I'd better get my butt a'bobbin' (as my mother used to say). To clarify, that does not mean I need a bobbin for my butt. It means that I'd better get my butt moving...now. (Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm writing for a tough sewing crowd.)

Hopefully, I'll write again later today and show you my finished quilt. Or not.

May all your thread stay intact today.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

I think it sounds like a glitch in the motion detector.
It is funny though, how they steal the food and no shots, lol. I wonder if the grab and run, just as it shoots.


gpc said...

I had never heard of sewer's friend -- I need all the friends I can get so it's on my shopping list now! Your quilt is beautiful, I love the windy swirls (on the quilt -- I am not liking them so much in real life. We had frost all over everything this morning and I am becoming winter-phobic.) As for the birds, batteries won't overcome Romulans. Everybody knows that. But good luck to you.

Debbie said...

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.

Sheila said...

I love the quilting that you have done on your "White Tree" quilt. It looks perfect to me. Thanks for sharing all of you remedy ideas, I have never heard of Sewers Aid. Take care :)

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You quilting is so excellent. Sorry you are having a hard time with the thread. I would be bald....giggle.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I am loving your White Tree quilt and how you are quilting it. I wonder if there is too much motion at your feeder (as in a swarm of birds) because that is a lot of eating going on in 35 minutes!

Dana Gaffney said...

If my thread is going to break, it always seems to happen on swirls, I think my machine doesn't like the motion, I can almost hear it muttering "pick a direction".

Tami C said...

The White Trees are really coming along. So sorry you are having problems with the thread breaking. You're almost finished! Yipee!!!

Kate said...

Love the quilting in the white border. White Trees is going to be gorgeous. I hope the sewers aid fixed your breakage problem. (Maybe you should try it on the bird camera?)

Brown Family said...

I know how happy you will be when this project is done. Sometimes I think I am never going to finish a quilt because it seems to beg for more quilting!