So, we kind of moped around most of the day yesterday. I was in the middle of quilting "Whose Woods are These," and for lack of anything better to do, I continued on with that until the quilting was finished.
It still needs binding, but I couldn't work up enough energy to do that yesterday. Maybe I took a nap...maybe I spent the afternoon drinking...I don't know. Probably not. I'm not much for drinking, but it was that kind of an afternoon. So here's what I did with the quilting.
I'm not very imaginative, and so I tend to stick with the same designs for the same quilt block patterns. This is my go-to design for pinwheels. Sometimes, I turn the arms in different directions and it makes a kind of a heart.
Terry twists are a favorite of mine, and I do them whenever I get a chance. When I first learned to do them, I couldn't hit that corner to save my life. It's getting easier now. Also, I quilted some snowflakes at the sides of the trees and then some snow "drifts" down by the trunks.
For the trees, I had in mind to try to quilt some snow-laden boughs, but then I didn't think it was going to show up. Instead, I opted for these swirly-curly thingies (caution: technical quilting terms ahead).
These little table runners and table toppers are pretty much just for fun and practice, and so it seemed like a good opportunity to continue practicing my quilted snowflakes. I put one in each corner of the outer border.
Then, I sort of stippled around the snow in the inner border. For the outer border I did some whirly-swirly-trying-to-make-it-look-like-swirling-snow-loopy-doopy thing. (Have I lost you with the technical quilting terms yet?)
I don't know if it was successful, but it's good enough. All this quilting was done in white thread on top and the same white thread in the bobbin.
The day before, I'd spent some time practicing snowflakes with some of my pretty metallic threads. Recall that when I attended the Northwest Quilting Expo in September, I was on the hunt for some pretty metallic thread that I wanted to use to quilt snowflakes into the Quilting Snowladies. (As you might guess, I've been thinking about their quilting for quite some time.) I've learned some things about quilting with metallics along the way. For one thing...if your machine has one of these insy-outsy-thing-a-ma-jigs, it works best if you only go insy-outsy through two holes instead of all three.
So while at the expo, I approached the only thread booth on the scene, which happened to be manned by the kind folks from Superior Threads. And I have to say that I'm really impressed with them. They have a great website (link just given) with lots of helpful information. Not only that, but they guarantee their metallic threads to work. I spoke with one of the reps at the expo and described my project to him. He recommended a thread from this set...the one on the far right. They only had these Glitter threads in sets that day, but he offered to break up a set any way I wanted it and sell it to me. I was happy with the set they had available, and so I purchased it as is.
Also...because they were so danged nice to me, I purchased some other spools of metallics as well, including this one.
Just FYI, here's the info inside the spool.
This one below isn't the one that was recommended of the "Glitter" threads, but I pulled it out because it was pretty and it was the most similar to the one just pictured.
They look almost identical. Then I tried this one that was the color recommended by the rep.
It looks silvery in the image below, but in fact, it tends to pick up and reflect the color of the fabric it's stitched on. I tried it with the same batik from the Quilting Snowladies, and it was more green.
Just for grins, I tried this purply-pink one.
And here they are all together.
The glitter threads are kind of interesting. They are described on the Superior Threads website as being flat mylar threads. Mylar is a kind of plastic that comes in sheets, and I'm guessing that these are actually cut from sheets of plastic. They're very smooth to the touch when you run them between your fingers, as opposed to the conventional metallic threads that are much bumpier. You can see the difference in the image below. The one on top is the mylar thread.
This image is from the Superior Threads website and shows you how the regular metallics are constructed. This was interesting to me. I always thought they were simply metallic wound around a polyester core, but you can see that it's much more involved than that.
Both of them stitched up beautifully, and they performed pretty much the same. The one difference I noticed is that the mylar thread wanted to break when I tried snapping it into my self-threading needle to bury the tails. The metallic, on the other hand, wanted to shred. And so it all depends on which of these characteristics will drive you the most crazy...breakage of shredding. As for stitching, they both were marvelous...no problems whatsoever, as opposed to a different brand of metallic I was testing that broke constantly.
Here's the other thing I noticed about the mylar thread...it wanted to curl up like Christmas ribbon. This wasn't a problem, although it did make it a bit of a trick to thread the needle. Not difficult, but you had to point the curl in the right direction to get it threaded through the hole.
Here is the test piece I made using the same batik and snowflake backing that I'll be using for the Quilting Snowladies.
I've selected my thread now, and it will be this sparkly Glitter thread from the top of the post. It's so pretty, and I really preferred it to the regular metallic thread.
So that's the last couple of days in a nutshell...sad days to be sure, but we're moving on. Hey, it's Christmas Eve, and my family will be here for dinner. How bad can it be, right?
I probably won't do any more blogging before Christmas is over, but you can bet I'll be sewing. Until then, I have a couple more images to leave you with:
Gracie was the last of the original three cats of the Three Cats Ranch. This is one of the few pictures I have of them together. It includes little Krissy, and she left us just a few months before I started blogging. It's good to have this image of the three of them together...the end of an era, for sure.
So are we all, and so it's been kind of nice.
For now, Merry Christmas to all. Give an extra hug to your families and your furbabies and be thankful for them.
Live, Laugh, Love...and don't forget to feed the cat.