12/6/14

Branching Out

Oh boy! The thread I was waiting for came yesterday, and so I was able to get to work quilting the Oh Christmas Tree wall hanging.


Last night, I spread it out on the floor to tell Mike what I had planned for it. Thank goodness Gracie came around and added her suggestions for the quilting.


I'm using a rust colored thread for the back and a green variegated thread on top for the tree. 


I decided to start with some tree branches, and I used this sort of chevron pattern for that.


When I had all of the greenery finished, it looked like this.


Then I decided to entertain my inner masochist by switching to a metallic top thread...this Sulky gold tone. You can see that it has lots of other colors too, but...like a tone-on-tone fabric...it "reads" as gold.


Whenever I venture into the twilight zone with metallic threads, I always take my "Sewer's Aid" along. This stuff makes all the difference with metallic threads. I just put a thin line from top to bottom on the spool, and then massage it into the thread like hand lotion. It's a silicon lubricant, and so it lubricates the thread without actually absorbing into the fibers. It leaves no residue that I can detect.


My goal was to bling up the star a little bit, so I quilted some tendrils into it.


 Here's how the back is looking so far.


Even though I was prepared with a list of cuss words, I had absolutely no problems at all with this thread, which simply served to embolden me. All along I've been planning to put some "lights" on my tree, but I was kind of waiting to see how the metallic thread would treat me. So on I went. I'm making these little sparkly motifs at random places on the quilt. I'm intentionally leaving the top "leg" off because I'm planning to put a hot fix crystal at the top of each of these to suggest lights on the tree.


When I stopped to write this blog post, I had taken it this far.


So that's what I'm going to work on this weekend. This isn't a large quilt, and so I'm hoping to finish the quilting by Monday. That might be overly optimistic, but I'm going to give it a try. For now, I'm setting aside the Gardener's Journal quilt. 'Tis the season, after all. If I want to get this hanging on the wall before Christmas is over, I need to get going.

If you read my post from yesterday, then you know I was venturing into unfriendly territory in a quest to find some dress slacks for a party tonight. I'm happy to report that I found some! It was quite a day of errand running since I made seven stops along the way. The traffic was absolutely horrendous, and I vowed not to make another trip into Beaverton/Portland until the holidays are over. Yikes! Thank goodness I ran all the errands yesterday.

So tonight Mike and I are attending a dinner party at one of the local wineries. We do this most every year, and it's always a very nice dinner prepared by several chefs from some of the better local restaurants. And, of course, they serve up excellent wine. Looking forward to that.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilter Kathy said...

Have a wonderful time tonight in your snazzy new trousers!
Love the quilting you did on the tree... and to think you didn't get the chance to use all your swear words! LOL

Vicki W said...

You are really bonding with your new quilting machine!

gpc said...

I love your tree, and you are really getting good at that free motion stuff. Your dinner sounds fun -- what kind of pants did you find? I am always looking for new pants, always so hard to find the ones I have in my imagination.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have that 'solo' black dress pant outfit for the need (which is seldom). The tree is coming along just lovely, you are having a super connection with your new toy.

Christine M said...

Your quilting looks great, Barbara.

Teresa in Music City said...

It's looking great Barbara! And I saw from your pic on FB that you both looked marvelous at dinner :)

Janarama said...

You always come up with the greatest ideas for the FMQing on your quilts. The sparkly thread is the perfect touch to this tree. Can't wait to see it finished with the hot crystals. Awwwwww, how sweet is that picture of Gracie. She loves this quilt too!

Dasha said...

I like where you are going with that quilting Barbara. And thank you for the tip on the Sewer's Aid. I have just used a Mettalic YLI thread, which sewed nicely, but it was dreadful getting the tension sorted.
Bet you wowed them in the new slacks!

Celtic Thistle said...

I have never come across sewers aid before but it sounds very handy! I love your quilted tree lights, can't wait to see it finished.

Diane Wild said...

Your quilting is looking wonderful. The sewers aid is something I need to seek and try. A Christmas party at a winery sounds like a perfect evening.

Dana Gaffney said...

I need to look for that Sewer's Aid, I would love to use metallic thread, but every time it leads to breaks and swearing. Until you told us about it, I would think Sewers Aid would be a prescription, :)

Jeanie said...

Great quilting lines and beautiful Gracie photo! Can't beat that! Thanks for the thread aid tip, I've never seen it and it sounds like something that I should try.

LynCC said...

oooOOOOOoooo! Have to get me some of that Sewer's Aid and try it out on the darned gold thread I wanted to use yesterday. I have 2 different gold threads, and really wanted to use the one on what I was doing, but the machine WOULD NOT - in no terms, whatsoever - work with the one I wanted. So I settled for the other. The one I'd wanted is this exact kind of Sulky (but not variegated). So now I'm hopeful that it might not be a complete loss of thread usable only for excruciating hand work. ;D

Dar said...

Barb, your quilting on your tree looks very good. Hope you had a great dinner and wine yesterday evening.

Kate said...

The quilting looks terrific!

treadlemusic said...

Glad you had success in your shopping venture!!!! I haven't had problems with the metallic thread that I use (by Superior and it's a variegated just like that one)and I love using it!!! Makes great looking feathers!!!!!! Your tree is coming along super nice!!!!!!

Brown Family said...

The gold metallic thread is looking great. The hot fix crystals will add a lot to it! I have been using a metallic that is bamboo. I will have to get the web site from a friend. It is great. I can run it full speed on my embroidery machine with out breakage. Our local Bernina site is nor recommending Robson-Anton metallic.
I have never had good luck with the Sulky, but it appears to be working great for you!

quiltzyx said...

Looks like Gracie did an excellent job as quilting adviser - and she looked MAHvelous too! The tree is looking quite fab.
I hadn't heard of the Sewer's Aid either - have to tell Mary Ann about that for her embroidery machines.