Time for a Breather!
The first few hours were spent attaching the 'snow' to the 'sky' -- for real! -- and preparing the entire thing for quilting. I decided to pin it as I was concerned that spray baste (my basting "process" of choice) would be a challenge with this heavy fabric.
I chose a batik for the backing -- largely because it was one I'd bought to emulate "snow" and never used. It occurred to me too, though, that the dense weave of a batik could support the heavy cotton of the top better than an 'ordinary' cotton.
Then came testing re: the quilting. I wanted to do free-motion, especially for the sky. I tried it out for a couple of hours...with no luck whatsoever.
Well...the colour of thread I had on hand was found on a spool of Superior's "New Brytes" (a line designed in association with Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry) that I'd received as part of one of the company's "Try Me" specials. It's a 30-weight polyester.
I wanted to do free-motion in the sky, a bit more densely than I usually do, following some of the dye patterns.
I put in the recommended needle (100/16).
I cleaned the bobbin case and filled a bobbin with white "Bottom Line" (also from Superior Thread).
I threaded the machine and made a sample and another sample and another sample -- several on each piece of fabric. They looked reasonably good from the front...
But on the back, the story was quite different:
I put in another new needle, thinking there might have been a 'burr' in the first one. No difference.
I tried lowering bottom tension. Nope. Raising bottom tension. Nope. Lowering top tension. Nope. Feed dogs up? Nope. Feed dogs down? Nope.
I went on to the Superior website and found that this thread needed a heavier weight in the bobbin (Bottom Line is very fine). I switched to the only thing I had on hand in the right colour: "Masterpiece", which is a cotton thread but of the recommended weight. Some improvement, but not long-lasting. I continued to end up with this:
I gave up. I think the problem lies not with the needle, thread, fabric or tension settings but with the internal workings of the machine when it tries to do free-motion. And I have no time to drive an hour to Red Deer on snowy roads of questionable condition to take it in for a "look-see". (Miss Pfaff doesn't do FMQ well, and I have no motivation to test her in this, so don't suggest it, okay? 😉
I went to Plan B: I put the feed dogs up, put on my walking foot, kept the "Masterpiece" in the bobbin and the "Brytes" on the top and quilted wavy lines in the sky...
And in the snow. For the snow, I switched to King Tut in a lovely pale blue variegated thread because those of you who live where there's snow know that it's not all white (grin)...
Then I created the shoreline...the distance and the "island". I fused it in place and decided -- ENOUGH! for today. Tomorrow...Sabbath...calls for rest. Worship. Peace. Quiet. Knitting. Hand stitch.
The thread-painting of the trees/shore and the figure will have to wait till Monday.
What are you up to this weekend? I'm linking in to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, and checking out what my colleagues are doing...
'Bye for now!