My latest customer quilt of course! This quilt is from the March/April issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting and is called “Study in Black and White”. It is a very striking quilt and she has done a good job of lining up all the stripes; they would definitely have shown if she had been the least bit off.
She originally wanted a black backing which was no problem because I carry black batting. Never again will I make the mistake of using white batting with a dark backing! She ended up with a deep red instead so I still used the black batting. Luckily, the white fabric is a good quality tone-on-tone and the black backing didn’t affect it other than make the heavier white print stand out a bit more.
She brought the magazine with her and asked that I quilt it the same way it had been done in the magazine. No problem I figured. Lots of straight and curvy lines; should be fairly easy. OK – so it wasn’t exactly difficult but extremely time consuming! The quilt is 110″ x 106 so a fairly good size and was on my frame for almost 3 weeks. True – I had company for a week during that time but I still worked on it an hour or so at a time while they were here. What took so long? Well, in the white areas they had quilted what I called a Greek Key design – it’s not what it is but it’s what I called it! I originally tried to just measure and mark the design and quilt around it using a ruler. That didn’t work so well as it was too easy for the design to go “off”. I decided a template was once again in order so I printed off some graph paper and made a freezer paper template that I traced. That didn’t work so well either. I ended up spraying the back of the template with temp. adhesive and carefully quilting around it!
Every third or fourth strip I would have to stop and press the template again to stiffen it up and spray some more adhesive on the back. It is a pretty sad looking template now that I’m done LOL
I did have some issues with the backing. My customer wanted the bobbin thread to match and after a couple of days working with the tension I came to the decision that from now on the bobbin thread will match the top thread. I have some “pokies” going on that no matter what I did to bring the tension in line the red bobbin thread showed in the white fabric. So pokies it is. From a distance you don’t notice them but I know they are there and they bug me.
The backing is actually a much deeper red than this. You can sort of make out the quilting that was done. I used So Fine! in the bobbin. Usually I use the BottomLine but I didn’t have the right red. I had no trouble with the thread at all and will not hesitate to use it for the bobbin again. Speaking of bobbins – it took over 5 bobbins – the large ‘M’ size.
The black centre square has a simple meander in it; the white box is simply outlined; the black outer square has a simple curved wavy line and the wide black border has an allover hooky type of doodle.
I used King Tut #978 Rosetta Stone for the large black areas. I really wasn’t sure how it would look but it really soften the harshness of the black and white without taking away from the boldness.
I have never had so many starts and stops in my life! I can usually backtrack to lock the stitches when I use So Fine (because it is so fine :)) but not when using the red bobbin thread AGGHH. I outlined all of the white and each white strip had at least 4 threads to knot and bury.
So – the final tally? Over 300 thread tails knotted and buried
Did I ever explain why I named my bog Threadtails? All through sewing classes in school – right through grade 12 tailoring – the main comment from my instructors was ‘You need to cut your thread tails!’ Life sure is funny sometimes.