Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Playing with Aurifil... first time fpr pebbles

I just finished two major projects and haven't had a time to just sit and play at the machine for awhile.  So I did so last night.  Boy was it fun!

I decided to cut a piece of fabric and play with my free motion machine quilting.  I have a couple of designs I use over and over again.  But working on Raven's piece (yes I know I owe you guys a finished picture..  just need the right light.) I decided I needed to add to the designs that I do without thought.  I also decided that I needed to play with the Auriifil Thread I have, as I have really only used the 40wt cotton.

So this is what I came up with....
I love the little leaves in the center.  This was one of the designs I picked up from 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting.  I thought it was pretty.  DH loved the spins in each of the leaves.  Not sure mine really look like hers, but I like them anyway.  I love the way they swirl, so decided to add the circular design around the leaves.  Isn't it interesting how this makes a nice little center design for a circular piece.  I will definitely need to remember this the next time I work on a circular project.  Next I decided to play with free form feathers around the circle.  I have a hard time doing feathers with a spine first, then adding the feathers.  I can always make the right side look great, but can never match the look on the left.  If I start on the left, the feathers on the right are ok, but they don't match the look on the left.  So I practiced making feathers without a spine.  Wow!  what difference it made for me.  My free form feathers took on a totally different look and feel.  It gave me the freedom to turn them any way I wanted and my feathers looked more natural as I wasn't always trying to hit the spine at the right angle :-). 

As I got closer to the edge of the piece of fabric, I decided to try my hand a pebbles.  I always like the tight look and feel they have and the added dimension they give the feathers...  contrasting the big and free feathers with the small and tight circle of the pebbles.  Take a look... 
I really like the way the pebbles frame the other quilting.  Having never played with the pebble design before, I experimented with making them all the same size and then mixing the size.  I also had to stop doing them all in a line and change up on how I circled back over the stitching line to move in a different direction.  I didn't like leaving a gap, so I had to figure out a way to ease smaller pebbles in between larger existing ones.  Fun...  I think I will start adding pebbles into my work, but will have to be careful to make sure I have even quilting across the top, so it doesn't warp the piece.

Now onto the thread.  I used Aurifil 50 wt with a Topstitch 90/14 needle.  On my Bernina 830, I dropped my tension to 1.5, which is typical for what I use with other threads.  To be honest, I wanted to use up bobbins, so there is a mix of bobbin threads.  Well to my surprise, I had NO tension problems.  I ended up using three different bobbins, with three different threads and each stitched as nicely as the last. I have never been able to do this with any other brand of thread....  NEVER!   Oh yeah, these was also almost NO LINT in the bobbin area.  Wow...  what a shock.  I usually have to clean out the lint in the bobbin area after an hour of quilting.  Not with Aurifil :-) 

I did not use the BSR functionality, I just used my round open toe applique foot and had at it!

Here comes one of my 'inquiring minds' questions....  How many people use Aurifil thread?  Do you like it?  What weight do you find works best for free motion quilting?  Do you find one needle size or type works better than the other?  Do you use the same thread in the bobbin?

Let me know.....

4 comments:

terificreations said...

When I did the cat quilt I'll bring it to a meeting some time, I started out making all of my pebbles the same size. It wasn't working for me as visually it wasn't so appealing, was quite boring and didn't fill the space effectively. I changed over to making pebbles of different sizes and found I could fill the space better.
http://terificreations.wordpress.com/files/2008/10/cat-quilt-3.jpg?w=292
check out this photo...
Talk to you soon!
Teri

Mary Anne said...

LOVE the QUILTING!!!!! What a great idea about the feathers. And I too really like the leaves in the center. Will have to give that one a try.

Mary Anne Ciccotelli
http//NYQuilter.com/weblog

Renee said...

Thanks Mary Anne.... I am really enjoying playing with some of those filler designs. Gotta love the wonders of the web! Just have to find the time to Practice, Practice, Practice :-)

Meerkat said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog when i was goggling Aurifil and Bernina. I am so glad to see you have the Bernina 830. I bought one a few months ago and still learning to use it. Bought it to do my own quilting. I haven't tried Aurifil you seem very happy with it. I stumbled across a Aurifil blog hop yesterday, so for the first time looking at using it. I have 3 quilt tops waiting to be quilted on my new Bernina. Might contact you again if it's ok, if I have trouble! Minette