I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trying to get back in the saddle

I have been working on projects. I finished a pair of socks I had been knitting for my son. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to having to create two reasonably identical items. I make notes - which make complete sense to me at the time - and then months and months later, I try to decipher just what it is that I am meant to do on the second sock/mitt/block.....Unfortunately, I pick up these types of projects when I need busy work and for me, thinking about what I am doing really shouldn’t be part of the process. 

I had placed several orders for large batts and thread for my longarm. I have just tried Glide thread and I am loving it! I have a supply of tops to quilt and in this Karen McTavish bundle was a lovely soft pink (Cotton Candy #70182) that I decided would be perfect for this single size top. It was! The thread is trilobal polyester; high sheen, twisted multi filament, colorfast and is one long continuous fiber so it is perfect for stitching at high speeds. I used it in the bobbin as well, and found my tension was easy to control. Now I am excited to try some of that red or orange from the other bundle in the photo.

I know my mind really wasn’t functioning when I loaded this quilt and started it. I used to be a weaver and when you set up your loom, you roll your warp onto your back beam, tie it to the front and then started weaving, sending shots of weft thread as you work from the front of your loom and then winding the finished yardage onto the front beam. Well, with a longarm, first you wind your top and backing onto the two beams close to your belly and then you wind them forward onto the back beam, sandwiching your batting in-between. Then as you quilt, you wind the finished quilt onto your back beam.

I must have been confused by the extra step of winding forward and also slipped through the cracks into some other time zone because I started quilting on the wrong end and was then mystified as to how I would wind this forward.....

So, I did some unpinning, flipped the ends and continued quilting where I had started, this time winding it correctly. Not exactly how I wanted this project to play out, but at least it is off, with a minimal amount of ripples.

At the advice of others I have purchased a selection of marking tools, but I keep going back to my chalk pencil for transferring designs to the tops. I just don’t trust water based transferable markers, but am quite willing to listen to anyone who can convince me I won’t be sorry to use them. I also bought a Frixion Pen (pens can be bought online, at your local quilt shop or at Wal-mart) to try and maybe it will be the answer. The marks are removed with heat and will come back in freezing temps (Hello! Canada.....) but once the fabric is washed, apparently the marks are gone for good. But, for the time being I have been either freehand drawing shapes, or as I show here, tracing some general shapes I cut out of bristol board. I know you can’t see this on my photos but I have quilted butterflies and lady bugs scattered across this with freehand scrolls and such as filler. The recipient is just a toddler and I thought these might be fun to find on the quilt as she plays. 

Check out what other Canadian fibre folk are up to at The Needle and Thread Network as winter started providing us with an excuse to stay indoors.


  1. Hi Jennifer.....is this Frixion pen the one that disappears and can reappear according to thr temperature?? If so; be careful. I've never used it, but have heard that it sometimes comes back. I like the air soluable, but can't mark ahead with them....they disappear too quickly.

  2. I'm loving all those thread colors! And I'm with you on the markers, I just don't trust them after all the work and expense of making the top! Glad to see you getting back into routine, thanks for visiting my blog too!

  3. I have not heard of that thread, I will have to check it out!! Thanks for the tip!

  4. It is indeed that pen and thanks for the warning. I think it might be handy for small projects that get a lot of use and longevity isn’t an issue, but I am not so comfortable using it on a quilt top.

  5. I do love color. And I do love thread. Now I just need more arms and hands so I can get more done! I notice that you do manage to create a lot - way to go!!

  6. I am very impressed with this thread and I was very impressed with the service I received - when I tried to place my order, the site was down and they ended up contacting me via phone! I highly recommend them!