Invisible Thread-Open Line Friday-We Need YOUR Advice!

Invisible Thread, Quilting Tips

Good Morning, Quilters!

Do YOU know what the photo above is?

It’s Invisible Thread!

LOLOL

(The hardest part about blogging–you can’t tell if YOU have the same lame sense of humor that I have!?)

Last week, a reader asked about invisible thread and I thought we needed The Whole Group’s help on this one.  (10,000 heads are better!)

WHAT IS INVISIBLE THREAD?

Well, it’s thread you can’t see…

When used for machine quilting, one notices texture and the motif, not the thread.

Invisible thread can be used for top and/or bobbin thread.

Usually, invisible thread is another name for monofilament thread.

WHAT IS MONOFILAMENT THREAD?

Monofilament thread is a single, (mono) extruded line of nylon or polyester.  (Think of a garlic press with one very tiny hole…Press down and you create monofilament garlic-yum!)

Monofilament usually comes in two colors: clear and smoke…(Hmmm….how does that work–invisible colors???)

NYLON v. POLYESTER MONOFILAMENT

The quilting debate:  Which is better nylon or polyester monofilament thread?

Advocates for nylon say nylon has a better “hand”-it is softer and machines like it better.  A few popular nylon monofilaments include: Aurifil 1000 Invisible   YLI Wonder Invisible Thread,

Advocates for polyester say nylon stretches too much, can be brittle and sometimes turns yellow.  Polyester monofilaments include:  Sulky Invisible and Superior’s MonoPoly

MY EXPERIENCE WITH MONOFILAMENT

When I first started machine quilting, my favorite quilter, Diane Gaudynski, frequently used monofilament thread for her award-winning quilts. Naturally, I experimented with monofilaments.  Unfortunately, my sewing machine HATED the monofilament and I needed to have my machine serviced after using it. I was stitching on a BERNINA, just like Ms. Gaudynski–so it must have been user error.  I don’t remember if I was using nylon or poly.  Ever since then, I have steered clear of monofilament thread.

Whenever I wanted an “invisible thread” I used a thread color that matched my fabric.  Superior MicroQuilter Thread

A NEW ADDITION TO MY THREAD BOX

Recently, I tried Superior’s new thread line, MicroQuilter.

MicroQuilter is 100 wt polyester thread and my machine LOVES it!

The thread is very fine and almost invisible like monofilament, but behaves like a well-mannered polyester!

While I was teaching at The John Campbell Folk School, several students tried it and loved it too.

BERNINA, Lori Kennedy

OPEN LINE FRIDAY–SHARE YOUR “INVISIBLE” THREAD FAVORITES

It’s important to understand that one of the criteria for choosing a thread is:   Does YOUR machine like it?

We all have different machines and we all work a little differently.

Threads that work for Diane Gaudynski do not work for me…What works for me, may not work for you…

Don’t be discouraged if a new thread isn’t working.  Give it to a quilt friend and try something else!

Half the challenge (and fun) of learning machine quilting is finding YOUR favorites!

What about YOU?

Do YOU use invisible thread?

What brand?  Nylon? Polyester?

Do YOU use something else?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Your Thread Maven,

Lo   (the other letters are invisible)

PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!  

PPS…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, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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Doodling Trees and Designing a Quilt Block

 

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori KennedyGood Morning, Quilters and Doodlers!  (and maybe a few Zentanglers!)

I hope you had fun doodling Christmas trees last week.  Trees are a simple design and can be decorated in so many ways.

(Tree Doodles are HERE)

This week, let’s combine the trees in compositions to create either a quilt block or a whole cloth doodle quilt!

The easiest composition is one central motif with a background.

Choose one motif to fill in the tree and one for the background.  Add a third motif in the foreground for more depth.

Try a few gumdrops for brain fuel…I think peppermint is supposed to make one smarter?  (The things that make one more creative aren’t very healthy!)

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

Create a horizontal composition by doodling a row of trees and several rows of other motifs.


How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

Another one of my favorite compositions is the radiating composition.  

Place the trees along the diagonal and straight axes.  Fill in with a background motif or leave the background plain.How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

 

The most complex looking is the overlapping horizontal composition.

It looks complicated, but it is easy!

First add the lowest row of trees.

Add a wavy line that connects just below the tip of each tree.

Draw the second row of trees on that line.

Repeat with as many rows as needed to fill the page.

We’ve had so much peppermint by now–it was a breeze, right!?

Once you have the basic composition doodled, decorate the trees and the background.

How whimsical!  (and easy!)How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori KennedyAdd more gumdrops and peppermint sticks to keep the ideas flowing…

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

When you run out of candy…well, the gig is up!

So either buy a big bag of gumdrops or chew slowly!

Remember, if you have fun when you’re quilting, your quilts will be fun!

I’ve got to go for a walk…

Your candy hound quilter,

Lori

If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!  

(My Craftsy video: Divide and Conquer-Creative Quilting for Any Space includes several compositional styles and examples of quilts in each style.)

PPS…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, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

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Work in Progress-Applique Borders

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and VinesGood Morning, Quilters!

I have been keeping my pledge to work on my Boxes and Vines quilt–though I admit to some quite a few detours on small projects!

I think I need the small distractions–big quilts are still hard work–not just physically.  I have trouble focusing on one project at a time–it’s really not my nature.

However….I don’t let myself work on any other projects each day until I’ve stitched on Boxes and Vines for 15 minutes.

One day, I worked for three hours…another day it was just fifteen minutes. Then I was off chasing down a new rabbit hole.

Overall, it’s a plan that is working.

(Perhaps I need to apply the same approach to exercise–but then again that’s what the New Year is for!)

MACHINE QUILTING AROUND APPLIQUÉ

Last week, I wanted the squares in the border to “pop” so I quilted around them and did not add any quilting to the colorful squares. Read more HERE.

I am using a similar approach on the borders with all the appliqué.

First I stitch as close as possible to one of the applique elements to outline it, then I begin stitching a background fill motif.

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and Vines

I like to add decorative elements within the quilted line-like more leaves or feathers or pebbling to create more interest within the quilted line and to add more details to the vine border.

Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and VinesI begin stitching around one appliqué and keep adding the background motifs until I “bump into” another appliqué.  Then I outline it and start working around the new element.

I continue “bumping” my way through the border until it is complete–(or until my fifteen minutes are up LOL).

As you can see, the appliqué “pops”.  I like that, however, it looks unfinished right now. I will go back and add a few details to each leaf and flower later. 
Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting, Applique, Boxes and Vines

THREAD and NEEDLE and MACHINE

For the Boxes and Vines quilt I am using Aurifil 28wt cotton thread on top and Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread in the bobbin with a size 90 Topstitch needle.

There is already a lot of color in this quilt, so I decided to stitch white on white for a subtle texture effect with the machine quilting.

I am stitching on my beautiful BERNINA 770QE-but there is exciting news on this front…

Coming soon…

THE PLEDGE

What about YOU?

Did YOU make The Pledge to work on The Most Important Quilt in YOUR Collection before all other distractions?

If not, make YOUR pledge today–right here in the comment section–

There are more than 10,000 of us to hold YOU accountable!

If you did keep The Pledge, tell us!  We want to cheer along with YOU!

Your Favorite Quilting Cheerleader,

Rah! Rah, Shish cum bah!

Lori

If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!

PPS…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, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

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