Friday, July 3, 2015

The Beginning

My name is Suzy Webster.  I have been quilting since I was eight years old.  It's been almost thirty years and I could quilt thirty hours a day if I had the time!  I love to applique, paper-piece, and free-motion machine quilt.

I was attempting to tidy up my quilt studio (so not my favorite task - I'd rather be quilting!) and was putting away various spools of thread.  I noticed that most of my spools went into about 5 drawers, leaving 15 or so drawers of thread I rarely go in.  I have a thread obsession.  I admit it.  I have a vast array of types and colors and weights that have never been used, but that I've always wanted to try.
So...this leads me to my initial purpose of by blog:  I am going to try out all my threads!  I'm going to open those wrappers and do some raw-edge blanket stitch machine applique as it's my favorite way to machine applique.  That way, the next time I sit down to work on a project I will know how the threads look and work.  I'll try different stabilizers, fusible brands, threads, stitch sizes, and more!  I've decided to share my results here so you too can learn from my trials and errors. we go!

I've picked a gorgeous dark gray Michael Miller solid to use as a background fabric.   That way I can use whatever fun colors I desire.  My favorite fabrics to use for applique are batiks.  They are more tightly woven that cotton prints and tend to ravel less.  I plan to try out some of my more zany fabrics to see what works and what doesn't.

Here is my first block.  I used my current favorite stabilizer:  Rinsaway by HTC.  I have a bolt.  I really like it.  I use a stabilizer for my machine applique because I do a double blanket stitch to give the thread more thickness.  I like it thick because it adds an extra design element to my block.  All blanket stitching on this first block was done with a 2.0 width and 2.0 length.

The thread I prefer to use right now is Glide by Fil-Tec.  It is a 40 weight polyester and it's really shiny.  I use the same thread in the top and the bobbin.  There are actually two other threads on this block however, because I didn't  have the right color Glide (I see a thread purchase in my future). The darkest pink is blanket stitched in a 40 weight Sulky rayon thread.  I can't really tell the difference between the Sulky and the Glide.  The orange fabric with pink ovals is blanket stitched in Art Studio Colors by Superior Threads.  It is also a 40 weight polyester thread, but it is only 2 ply and it is thinner and more delicate when stitched out.  I like a thick thread, so my preference would be the Glide or Sulky.  Thick threads are also good for hiding errors.  However, if you want a thinner thread, the Superior Art Studio Colors would be an excellent choice.

Now it's time to go pick out some more fabrics and applique away!


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