ITAA: it works!

It’s been head down and bum up in the sewing room the last few days.

I have the main background panel finished and waiting to have the borders joined onto it. I’ve quilted it fairly densely with wavy lines, but more randomly than I usually do, so it’s a softer, more watery effect. I also have the two long side panels assembled and sandwiched and now one side is quilted.

And I’m delighted to say that the silver quilting is working very nicely, thank you!

I did a lot of tests with tension top and bottom. With the walking foot on, a decreased top tension, Sulky silver thread in the top and cream in the bobbin and a long stitch length, it works OK, so long as you keep your eye on it. The main problem, I find, is with the needle eye. Any trace of a rough edge there and the silver foil shreds off the carrier thread and the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket (whatever that means). You also have to be generous with the silver thread. You need a long tail to hold onto when you start stitching or the machine has a strong tendency to chew it. But isn’t the effect pretty against the dark blue, in that big puffy layered cloud effect?  It looks lovely on the back too, where it’s cream on cream and you just get the texture.

My plan is to also use this design across the top and bottom, but I still need to work out how to join several repeats of the design. I just drew big puffy cumulus clouds on a piece of card and cut it out, drawing round the edges with a Sewline white ceramic quilt marker, which is my favourite quilt marking tool. I hadn’t considered the need to join the design side to side, so that’s something I need to sort out.

Once I have the two side borders done, I’ll join them to the central background, and then I just have two long strips to finish. “Just”, she says… Once it’s all together and bound, I can sew on the banner and the wings with their shadows. And let us not forget the label and a hanging pocket.

It’s a way off, but I can see the end in sight.

27 thoughts on “ITAA: it works!

  1. kathyreeves says:

    That silver thread is perfect! Hopefully it will behave well enough that you are still sane when you finish with it. It’s so pretty!

    • katechiconi says:

      So far, so good. I have both side panels done, so I hope the thread holds out till I have the two long panels done. I’d hate to buy another reel of something I’ll probably never use again, just to do one cornerstone! But it really does look pretty, much better than the photo.

  2. tialys says:

    Well done you, managing to make the silver thread work. Its hard to see in the photo but I imagine It looks very effective in real life.

    • katechiconi says:

      It catches the light nicely, there’s a pretty twinkle to it. Not too scared of working with it now, and I know the warning sound when the thread is starting to fray!

  3. Clever girl. It’s going to be another awe-inspiring piece of work 🙂

  4. craftycreeky says:

    Love the twinkle from the silver thread, well done you at sewing with it! It’s going to be a masterpiece 🙂

  5. I bet there are some needles with specially coated eyes for this purpose – or could you use a large one and a bit of nail polish? I use beeswax on the back of my sawblades and drill bits to ease drag when working with metal – and my blades are about as fine as needles. Don’t bother replying – both are probably ridiculous ideas !

    • katechiconi says:

      Not silly, but any additional coating on the needle will make it punch a larger hole through the fabric, which won’t look too good.
      When I’m hand quilting, I wax the thread and use specialist quilting thread which is smooth and anti-tangle, but this silver stuff is basically a nylon filament with a foil wrapping. The foil edges are microscopically rough and therefore catch not just on the needle eye but also as the thread passes through the fabric. It’s fraught with hazard, but if you get the speed, tension, needle size and stitch length right, you can minimise the chances of fraying and breaking. And here endeth the lesson!

  6. rutigt says:

    Sewing with silver thread on the sewing machine, that´s brave, and it is looking so great!!!!!!!

  7. Looking good!
    I’ve just bought a walking foot for me new/old sewing machine – I think it’s going to be essential for some of the bag-making projects I want to try.

  8. And what a beautiful end it will be.

  9. Dayphoto says:

    Seeing the end is alway energizing!

  10. magpiesue says:

    Sounds like you’re over the hump with this project. The quilting looks great. That silver thread is worth all the effort you’ve put into figuring out how to work with it. 🙂

  11. You are quite brave and talented to make silver thread thread work in a quilt. I love it. Not so brave here. 🙂

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