Tread Lightly

There wasn't as much time for sewing as I'd hoped yesterday. I needed to go into town to put gas in my gas tank because I also needed to pick up my CSA share in the afternoon, and there are no gas stations along the way. As long as I was making the trip, it made sense to pick up a few things at the grocery store. When I got home, I had a little time to do some quilting on Vintage Tin.

Before I could start that, however...

It's a very comfy place for him to gaze out the window. 

The embroidered blocks are finished now, and so I've switched threads. I wanted to use a cream colored thread on top for the embroidered blocks and with the black quilt back, I made the questionable decision to use the smoky monofilament on the bottom. I didn't want tension problems to give me black dots on my embroidered blocks. For that part, mission accomplished. Still the monofilament (or rather, my sloppy bobbin winding) gave me plenty of trouble. Now, I've switched to a black thread on top and bottom, and it feels as if I'm getting a new lease on life.

A while back, I came up with a design to resemble tire treads for the sashing. I drew it out and then checked with the Resident Engineer to see if he thought it looked like tire treads. See what you think.

After I took that picture, I realized I'd made an error by starting at the bottom center as I did. To complete that bottom tread, it made more sense to start on the right edge and curve down first, then up and onward. It's a pretty simple design once you get the rhythm and motion memory secure in your hands. I'm not sure if it looks like tire treads, but it looks okay. So now all the vertical sashings are complete. I'll start on the horizontal sashings next, and then I'll be ready to do the outer border. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about finishing the quilting today.

When I wrote my post yesterday morning, I forgot to fill you in on the exciting conclusion of my Oregon State Fair (or unfair) traffic citation. Our mail was held while we were on vacation, and it was delivered on Monday. Contained in the box was an envelope from the City of Salem, to-wit:

The original fine was $260, and so they reduced it by 50%, which is what I expected them to do. While it's tempting to complain about the sign that has since been removed, I'm going to let this rest now. Having been on vacation, I've cooled off about the revenue-generating tactics of the City of Salem, and it doesn't feel worth the effort. 

In closing this chapter, however, I'll say that at least one person felt I was off base by making that statement, and I'll respond by saying this: If the goal of the City of Salem was to control the flow of traffic for safety purposes, then why not place the police officer at the intersection directing traffic? Instead, he was placed well-hidden, where he actually had to stand on tip-toes, lying in wait for other out-of-towners to make the same mistake I did. You'll never convince me that the placement and subsequent removal of the sign was for any other reason than to catch unsuspecting motorists and generate revenue for the City of Salem. Enough said.

And since the whole episode puts me in the mood for whining, let me complain about something else. Yesterday, I unhooped and unrolled the Hocuspocusville piece so that I could show you my progress. Then, I completely forgot to take a picture of it. That's okay, because I spent some time on it this morning, and then remembered to take a picture. 

I've made my way across the bottom now, and I'm heading back the other direction. It's all hooped up and ready to go again. And on this first day of Autumn, it's kind of fun to be working on this particular piece.

And all of that to say that I want to tell you about something that happened on this piece.

My favorite way of tracing embroidery designs onto fabric is with these Sakura Pigma Micron pens. Recently, I had to purchase a new black since mine was out of ink. Below is the new black pen, along with a brown one I've used many times. Except for the addition of some foreign language labeling, you can see that the pens are identical.

Rolling them to the other side, you can see that each is noted to be "waterproof and fade proof".

As I'm writing this, I'm wondering if there's any other way to interpret the word "waterproof" than to think that it means the ink is permanent.

Nevertheless, I've found the black ink will smudge on this latest piece. It's a little hard to see in this next image, but it can easily be seen in person. Here, I ran my finger over the fabric and smudged the ink in the area I've circled. It isn't so obvious that it spoils the piece, but it is clearly visible to my eye.

It might be a little easier to see in the image below. The mark near the stem of the pumpkin was made by the hoop sliding over the fabric where I hooped it.

So...that's disappointing. I've written to Sakura to ask them if they've changed their formula. I'll let you know how they respond, if at all. (That was yesterday, and there has been no automated response to my message. Who knows if there's even anyone minding the store.) It isn't enough to cause me to stop using the pens, but I'd have to think twice if I were using white fabric. On this off white with little dots, it isn't terribly obvious, but on white, I think it might be a bigger problem. I've wondered if there's some sort of sheen on the fabric that might be preventing the ink from penetrating the fibers. If so, it'll be the first time I've come across that. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Today I'm going to get back to Vintage Tin and I'm very hopeful about finishing the quilting. There are a few housekeeping items on my agenda, but I believe I'll have time for both. Tomorrow I'm going to the Northwest Quilters Expo, and I'm looking forward to that.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

NancyA said...

Barbara, you know when I use the Pigma pens for (supposedly) permanent labels for my quilts, I have been told to iron them to heat set it to make it permanent--maybe you could try that?

I love that Hocus Pocusville pattern and have been trying to resist, since my embroidery skills are a wee bit rusty. But your blogging about it has rekindled my desire.

beaquilter said...

have you tried COPIC markers? I have some but haven't tried them THAT much.... and WHAT happened with the ticket? did you run a red light?

Michelle said...

Any chance it could be the floss? (I've never had floss run, but have heard stories.) I traced my Hocuspocus blocks with a Bic ballpoint pen... I figure it's buried under the stitches anyway, and it was what I could find that day.

CathieJ said...

I have never had the Pigma pens run, but then again I haven't bought any in a while. I think your thought that it might be the fabric could be the reason. Since it has the dots it might have some kind of sizing or finish to prevent them from fading. I know you can see the smudges but any one else would be hard pressed to find them. I love HocusPocusville.

gpc said...

You do such beautiful work. Out of my league. :) Can't wait to hear what was in the CSA box -- it's been a couple of weeks since I last got to the Farmers' Market so I am hungry for news of fresh food. :)

Lynette said...

Love the tire tread pattern - yes, it's good! Hopefully the pen company will respond.

Sue said...

Oh, well, I didn't know about the lurking policeman!- In that case, they definitely were trying to "catch" people!

Dana Gaffney said...

I use those pens and I really hope they haven't changed anything, I know you'll let us know what they say. That cop would have been catching more than out of towners, people who live there would have been easy prey too since they probably turn there normally.

Natureluvr57 said...

I also hope the ink formula hasn't changed. I too always heat set my tracing. I'll be looking forward to what the company tells you.

Natureluvr57 said...

I use COPIC markers on paper but never tried it on fabric. COPIC markers are pretty notorious for bleeding and feathering on certain papers. They also bleed through to the back side a lot. I guess one would have to try a sample, wash it several times, etc.

Natureluvr57 said...

I did a search online and most people use a rubber stamp on their fabric, then color in with COPIC markers. One did use the COPIC mulitliner but only washed her trial piece once. The multiliner held up but the red COPIC's bled and lost some of their vibrancy. She doesn't know if the multiliner would fade when washed more.

Kate said...

Well only half the fine is better than the whole amount. That's too bad about the new pen. Hopefully you'll find out that they haven't changed the formulation. Maybe it was just a bad batch.

Brown Family said...

I use a Sepia pigma pin to do my tracing. It does not seem to smear.

I hope it was not me that you were quoting. I agree with you that Salem was out to get money by having the cop further down the street.

quiltzyx said...

Well, at least they reduced the fine by 50%. Better than a poke in the eye! It is pretty crappy that the sign isn't even a permanent one either. Geezy Peezy.
I had a hard time seeing the smudge, but like you said, it was easier to see in person. And especially because you know what it should look like. I still love those orange pumpkins!!