Sunday, 4 May 2014

Thorngrove quilt Part Two

It has been great sewing weather at home as we have just had the coldest May day on record - a maximum of 11C, so for 6 hours today I machine appliquéd while listening to the Desperate Romantics DVD series  - always have to stop and watch when William Morris appears though! The machine appliqué to date has taken almost 11 hours (only one corner of the centre design), so I thought I would share more of the process.  I've had a few evenings of stitching as well so some photos are a little dark - but here we are set up with the TV for company. I fold my work into sections and then pin them down so only the area I am working on is exposed to protect the remainder…..
 There are so many delicious threads on the market and I am always ready to try new ones. I usually use a machine embroidery rayon in a 50-60 weight in the top and then a 60wt thread in the bobbin (Bottomline from Superior Threads). But this time I am trying a 40 weight machine embroidery thread called Splendor from Wonderfil threads and I love it. It is a little thicker so I am using a thicker bobbin thread in grey - using this shade means you stick with the one bobbin no matter what shade you have in the top. I've used Rasant because that is what was handy! I do love the new range from Superior Threads as well called Magnifico and that is a 40wt too. …..

 I am loving these new needles from Superior as well. Those of you in class know that I normally use a Microtex sharp in a 70/10 but because the threads are a little thicker I've decided on a top stitch 70/10 as the eye is a little bigger….the result is superb and there are no holes on the edge of my appliqué….and the threads are loving it too….
 Inevitably little pieces of appliqué do lift from time to time and I think you can 'over iron' it. So instead I have Roxanne's washable glue beside the machine but I only buy it in this container….it never dries out. (and for us nurses….it is like a little redivac drain!)
When I machine appliqué I never thread my threads on the machine - instead I put them on a thread stand behind the machine as I find I get a better result - the thread comes off unhindered…….
 I then thread through this little hook on my Bernina….threads are best going though this before the tension plate…...
 If you don't have a thread stand put your thread in a cup and then thread it through the top of a safety pin taped to the back right hand side of your machine…...
 Some of you might know me for being a Pfaff ambassador but for the record I was always a Bernina girl having owned a 1090 for over 20 years. Pfaff approached me some years ago looking for my endorsement and I did like the auto-lift feature on the machine. But now that Bernina have an equivalent feature I am the proud owner of a Bernina 750QE. The setting of my blanket stitch is adjusted according to the area I am appliquéing. For this project most of it is 1.9 wide with a length of 1.6. You can see the adjustment from the default stitch that comes with the machine……and I nearly always turn the top tension down slightly….like you would if you were doing a buttonhole stitch on a garment…..
 I usually thread up in the one colour and do all that shade first but this time I am doing a corner at a time. I will sneak over to another shape if I am using the same colour thread as you can see here with the gold going up to a leaf - it saves tying off and starting again…..and you do need that open toed foot too…..
 Speaking of threads……I can't wait to try these beautiful threads from Wonderfil that I recently purchased at the quilt convention. They are a 12wt rayon called Razzle which they say is equivalent to a perle No 8 and it is for hand stitching only…more of that later (but not on this quilt as it is time and cost prohibitive!)

 Have a great week wherever you are x


  1. thanks for showing your process. it is always so interesting to see how others work. I might have to do a small applique project sometime using a button hole stitch, I do have a machine that does it but it is low end machine that I don't always have luck with - I have just always done more hand work than machine and no I would throw up my hands in frustration at the first sign of trouble :)

  2. Thank you for the tips. I can't wait to try them out and also use some different threads.

  3. Hi Michele, thanks for sharing as promised. Real interesting seeing your process and the threads you are working with. I did a class with you in Tauranga at Village Fabrics a few years back with my Mum and have been using the 1.5 x 1.5 ever since with my Pfaff. Will be keen to try the 1.9 x 1.6 variation as your sample looks great and to try and break away from using cotton only as haven't tried embroidery threads on a quilt. Interesting also that you have gone back to Bernina as I have been noticing myself that they certainly seem to have lifted their profile and become more appealing of late. Thanks again for sharing your technique and the glimpse of your new fabric said you would never do another book at the class...does that still Rae

  4. Thanks for all your comments about thread. I tend to get in a rut and use the same old same old. I'll have to stretch my wings and try some new ones.

  5. I mainly hand applique apart from a few quilts for the grandchildren but am going to try one this year. Thanks for the tips.


Thankyou for dropping by and sharing in my journey. And thanks especially for your lovely comments….I may not always respond (especially if there is no email address) but please know you are appreciated x