Tips, Techniques and Tutorials Under My Needle

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

I am so  lucky to get to quilt some really cool quilts!  This star quilt was pieced by a good friend and client, Carol B.  Yesterday I loaded it on my Innova, Princess Gracie, and stitched in the ditch every seam in the quilt top with clear monofilament thread.  Right now my favorite is by YLI.

The ditch quilting gives the quilt “bones” and stabilizes the entire piece so I can advance forward and backward without worrying about distortion.  Now I’m ready for the “fun” part – adding design and texture with thread.

There are a lot of colors going on in this quilt.  Many times I will match thread to each color but in the case it would mean way too many thread changes and starts and stops.  One option would be a variegated thread in the colors in the quilt.  My fear there is that the quilting stitch would become the focus of the quilt and not the gorgeous piecing.  So what to do?

I follow a very talented and lovely quilter, Teresa Silva.  She is the owner of Quilting is My Bliss.  A great teacher and she just published a book.  Visit her site and find her on Facebook for lots of inspiration. I have had classes with Teresa and follow her closely on Facebook.  She does a lot of quilts with a lot of color and uses a blending thread color.  So I sent her a picture and asked for advice.  I heard back immediately!  Based on her suggestions here are the threads I pulled from my extensive thread stash.  By the way – to successfully audition a thread you need to “puddle” the thread on the top.  Teresa suggested aquas, limes, yellows, or golds.  Here they are puddled on the top.

Along with looking at the threads puddled on the top in “real” life I took the pictures posted above and looked at each selection that way.  Based upon that I narrowed my field down to just three.  A dull sage green, a medium aqua, and a dull light gold.
I thought any of these three would work well with the stars so I moved to the border fabric and viewed them on it.  I immediately decided the light gold made too much contrast on the border fabric – it didn’t blend well.
 These two threads made the cut.  I’ll make my final color decision tomorrow.
The next decisions are quilting designs.  I know I’m going to do something with straight lines in the border as the busy fabric would hide anything “fancy.”  And I’m planning to use two of my “over and under” sashing designs (from a new class I’m developing).  That’s all I’ve got so far.  There are four different star blocks in the quilt top.  I want the same designs in matching blocks but have not nailed down what they will be yet.

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  • Karen, I have 2 questions. 1- what color thread did you use for SID? With all those colors it looks like an invisible thread?
    2-when you SID, do you do this on the entire quilt and then go back & put in your detailed work?