Open Line Friday–Threads, Meandering and More

Spools of threadGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome to Open Line Friday!  A day where EVERYONE asks and EVERYONE answers…This is a forum and we now have nearly 6500 people with yards and yards of quilting experience to answer YOUR questions!

IN DEFENSE OF MEANDERING

I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s debate about the merits of Meandering and Stippling…(Read more HERE)…

I think the Number One Rule of Quilting is:  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!   If meandering works for you, by all means stitch the stipple!  However, if you’re in the other camp…find something that does work for you!

On that note…

THREAD DELIVERY SYSTEMS

Let’s start this discussion with the premise:  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

If you are not having any tension problems, then don’t worry how your thread is wound or if you’re using a vertical or horizontal pin.  On the other hand, if you occasionally have tension problems, you may want to consider a thread stand.

Thread.LKennedy001Let’s back up a bit.  Thread can either be cross-wound or straight wound (also known as stacked or parallel wind).  The top two photos of Sulky and Aurifil thread are cross-wound threads.  You can see the angle of the threads on the spool.

On the other hand, some threads are straight wound.  The thread is wound parallel to the base of the thread.  The King Tut by Superior thread pictured below is an example of a straight wound thread.

In general…The Rule is….Straight Wind threads should be placed on a vertical pin, while Cross wound thread should sit on a horizontal pin. 

However, there are exceptions…If your cross wound thread is on a cone, it won’t fit on a horizontal pin and therefore, place it on a vertical pin or a cone holder.

Spools of threadHere’s what works for me…

Many years ago, I purchased this heavy metal thread stand and I put all my thread on it.  (No rules to remember)  Even “cranky” threads like metallic do better on a thread stand. They have more time to unwind and relax before crossing the tension discs.  (Read more about Thread Delivery from Superior Thread’s Education Articles HERE.)

Many people use a large coffee mug or a mason jar.  I use a coffee mug when I’m at a retreat.  At home, I prefer how the thread is elevated before it hits the machine in this method.

Spools of thread

 WEBINAR QUESTIONS

Meander No More:  The Webinar

Just to explain, I use the term “meander” in this case to refer to people who feel lost about how to begin free motion quilting

Several people have asked if the webinar will be recorded…The answer is YES!  It will be recorded and offered at a later date if you can’t make the Wednesday, March 18 at 12:00 CST…(don’t you like how I worked that in to Open Line Friday Q & A!)

Meander No More

Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt With Confidence

OPEN FORUM

How do YOU handle thread delivery?

What works for YOU?

Any Questions?

We’d love to hear!

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, share or pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

Why So Many of Us Can’t Stipple or Meander…

Free motion Quilting, Stipple stitch, Meander stitchAs I have mentioned many times, I want to Ban the Stipple quilting stitch and it’s larger cousin, the Meander stitch.  Now, I know many of you like these stitches, and it’s nothing personal…it’s just that every beginner is told to “just stipple”…

I did a quick Google search of how to stipple and here are some of the descriptions and directions:

  • “Stippling is closely spaced, random quilting lines that do not cross and are gently curved.”
  • “Draw Amoebas”
  • “It should look like a jigsaw puzzle.”
  • “Stitch a wiggling, meandering line that doesn’t cross itself.”
  • “Wiggle but don’t cross’

REALLY???? No wonder so many beginners get frustrated and quit Free Motion Quilting!

Stick with me a minute…while I share a story…

When my daughters were in high school, they were all life guards at our local swimming pool. Whenever one of the little Tykes started running on the wet pavement (very dangerous)-the life guards were instructed to shout “WALK!”… They didn’t shout “DON’T RUN!”…

Here’s the reason:  Our brain works fastest when we tell it what we SHOULD DO, not when we tell it what NOT to do…

Free motion Quilting, Stipple stitch, Meander stitch

Now back to quilting…

Instructions like:  Start on the bottom line, stitch straight up.  Stitch a half circle…we can all follow these directions….(especially when there’s a photo to go with it!)

Whereas instructions like:  Stitch amoebas, don’t cross over, wiggle…are much more difficult to follow.

So if you’re one of the many people who has trouble with Stippling or Meandering…you are NORMAL!  Just move on…there are so many choices…

Doodle to Design on Craftsy

 Happy Stitching,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and is intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

The Mystery Quilt Epilogue AND Exciting News!

Owl, Free Motion QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!

As you may know, the primary goal of The Inbox Jaunt is to take the fear out of Free Motion Quilting.  I try to do this every day by offering tips, techniques and ideas for you to try.

My second goal is to Ban the Stipple!–that (nasty) wormlike quilt motif that is so hard for some of us to stitch.…I try to do this every Tuesday with new step-by-step tutorials..

With my two goals in mind, I was thrilled when Quiltmaker Magazine (FW Media) asked me to do an online Webinar on free motion quilting.  I jumped at the chance.  On Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 12:00 CST we go live with:

Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt With Confidence

I am so excited to offer this course to talk about the essentials of free motion quilting. It’s chock full of tips and tricks, products and ideas….You know me…I could blather on for hours–Unfortunately, they’ve made me trim it back to under an hour (for now…) with time for live questions…

I really hope we’ll have a good showing from The Inbox Jaunt…so mark your calendars!

Owl, Free Motion Quilting

MYSTERY QUILT EPILOGUE

Now back at home…we’ve been finishing up our Mystery Quilt-a-long (Spool Samplers).

However, if your first grid didn’t leave enough room for YOUR thread collection…

Owl, Free Motion QuiltingJoin me in stitching another!

This time, I used a wavy line instead of the (oft-maligned) Zig-zag.

Since I’m also working on an owl tutorial for next week, I tried a sampling of different owl doodles…

Owl, Free Motion Quilting

Maybe you could do a sampler of leaf motifs…or flowers…don’t limit yourself to spools.  Just think of all the cool wall hangings you’ll have in your sewing room!

Owl, Free Motion QuiltingRemember, quilting should be FUN!…If stippling (or zig-zagging) isn’t fun…there are plenty of choices.

Also….mark your calendars!  March 18, 2015!

Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt With Confidence

WHO, WHO, WHO’s excited?

Lori!

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!