Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Nanette's Globetrotting Quilt + My Newest Favorite Quilting Thread

 Hello, my lovelies!  Have you missed me?  I've been less motivated to write blog posts lately because I switched email subscriptions providers at the end of December (no more flying MailChimp monkeys) and still have not figured out how to get blog posts automatically sent via email with my service provider.  And knowing that the folks who subscribe to get my blog posts sent by email are the ones most interested in what I have to show and tell, and those people will most likely not be seeing the posts I'm writing now is discouraging!  (If a tree falls down on the Internet and no one is watching, does it still make a sound?). I hate wasting perfectly good quilting time on troubleshooting tech problems!!  But the upside to that is that I have been doing a lot of quilting while I've been sulking about my tech woes, so I do have a few things to share today.  

Nanette's Globetrotting Quilt with Aurifil Forty3

First, I have to share the gorgeous quilt I just finished long arm quilting for my client Nanette of Do It Right Quilter.  I used a new thread for the first time (well, new to me -- I think it's been out for about 5 years or so), Aurifil Forty3 long arm quilting cotton, and I am in love with it!

Detail of Feather Garden E2E Stitched in Aurifil Forty3 Light Robin's Egg

I wish I could capture in photos what I'm seeing in person.  First off, the color was an absolute perfect match to the lightest blue fabric in Nanette's quilt.  For this quilt, I wanted a thread that was simultaneously going to blend in like a chameleon to let Nanette's exquisite piecing and beautiful fabrics shine, but also needed that thread to have some presence so that we could actually see the elegant Feather Garden quilting design even though the thread was color-matched to "disappear" on this predominantly blue quilt.  Aurifil Forty3 is beefier than their 40 wt 2-ply thread that comes on green cones; Forty3 is a stronger 40 wt 3-ply thread that comes on big cones and is designed specifically for the demands of high speed long arm quilting machines.  The color saturation, luster of the thread, and its softness remind me of cotton embroidery floss, and I think it's this thread's softness that I like most of all, because of how it bends in and out of the quilt sandwich to form stitches that look more like a dashed line of tiny, perfect hand stitches than like machine quilting.  I mean, this is definitely machine quilting, but I kept doing double-takes and imagining that I was seeing hand quilting stitches coming out of my long arm.  

If you have a long arm and you want to give Aurifil Forty3 a try, you may have difficulty finding it locally but the Fat Quarter Shop stocks it here (this post contains affiliate links).  Just a word of warning: this thread kicked out more lint than any other thread I've quilted with, and I had to stop and clean the hook race and bobbin case out midway through every single bobbin in addition to cleaning thoroughly with every bobbin change.    For me personally, I am willing to deal with lint when the tradeoff is gorgeous stitches that make the quilting sing.

Nanette's Globetrotting Quilt, 62 x 62

But I am getting ahead of myself!  Back to Nanette's quilt!  This 62" x 62" beauty is a BOM (Block of the Month) design by Pat Sloan called Globetrotting, and as of this writing in 2023, the pattern is still available on Pat's website for FREE here.  Nanette started this quilt in March of 2014 and finished her quilt top in September of that year, and you can read about the changes she made to the pattern and how she used EQ7 software to preview her fabric choices on her blog in this post.   Shortly after completing this quilt top, which she'd originally planned to quilt herself, life threw Nanette and her husband some nasty curve balls that sapped a lot of her creative energy for big endeavors and she found more solace in piecing and appliqué than in quilting and finishing for the next few years.  This resulted in the accumulation of a LOT of gorgeous quilt tops needing quilting, more than Nanette felt like she could handle, so she shipped twelve of them to lucky me for long arming. 💕

Globetrotting Center Medallion

Nanette prefers my thicker Deluxe loft cotton batting from Quilter's Dream, so that's what I used for this quilt.  We chose the Feather Garden quilting design because the style of the floral elements and especially some of the leaf shapes are nearly identical to motifs printed on some of the fabrics, especially that tonal blue print used for the borders and backing fabric.  When I scaled the pattern for this quilt, I considered the size of the patchwork units and the border widths, wanting to keep the floral motifs in the quilting design proportional and also wanting them small enough that an entire flower would occasionally land on contrasting square so we could see it, and I also paid attention to how far apart the echoed stems of the feathers would be spaced as I adjusted the size of the design.  I'm really pleased with the way this turned out, especially in the center medallion where there is so much of that white-on-white print.  The thicker Deluxe loft batting adds a lot of dimension and definition to the quilting as well.

Here's what Nanette's quilt top looked like before I quilted it:

Nanette's Globetrotting Top Prior to Quilting

I wish my photos looked more like this quilt does in real life.  Her fabrics are just beautiful together, like a beautiful collection of Delft porcelain, and the piecing is absolutely immaculate.  Thank you so much for choosing me to quilt this for you, Nanette!  

Meanwhile, Never-Ending Needle Turn Appliqué

This Project is Taking FOREVER...

The Charlotte Quilters Guild has finally resumed Sit & Sew Saturday after the long, dark days of the pandemic!  Woo hoo!  This is a once a month, totally unstructured sewing and socializing time that happens from 10 AM to 3 PM on the third Saturday of the month.  We have a new, much better location for our Sit & Sew now, too, a large, light-filled room at the Southminster retirement community (on Park Road, conveniently located between Ballantyne and SouthPark).  Everyone just brings whatever personal project they want to work on, whether it's machine piecing or hand stitching, along with lunch or snacks and the guild provides us with a couple of ironing boards and irons. You can either stay the whole time or just drop in when you can and leave when you have to.  For me, Sit & Sew is exactly what I need to make progress on this languishing appliqué project that is boring me senseless (but that I really do want to finish).  So in the photo above, you see that first (and only) completed test block that I made back in 2014.  I liked it and decided to make  8 more blocks just like it, but assembly-line style instead of completing each block start to finish. So here I am all these years later, having realized that it is incredibly boring to hand stitch the same identical shape over and over and over again with no variety and no surprises.  Live and learn!

I have been bogged down with these wicked little folk art tulips for the longest time now.  I borrowed this shape from a reproduction 19th century quilt pattern in an old issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and man, do I have respect for whoever made that original quilt!  The deep inner points and especially those very acute curves on these tulips are unbelievably fiddly and time consuming.  It would be so much easier to do sharp points on the ends of those tulips!  The diamond centers of the tulips are reverse applique.  

Only Six More of These Horrid Little Tulips Remain!

Pretty sure I only have six more of those tulips left to stitch down before I can move on to stitching a different shape.  Next will be the broderie perse appliquéd rosebuds that encircle the center of each block.  I’ll be referring to this blog post from 2014 to remind myself how the heck I did these — I remember that Jean Sullivan so graciously reached out to me in one or another of the appliqués forums where I was posting questions with some helpful hints, following which I purchased her book Simply Successful Appliqué (available here on Amazon).  I should probably get that out and reread it to refresh my memory, since it’s only been nine years since the last time I did this…. 😅

Next Up: Broderie Perse Rosebuds

"Broderie Perse" just means that I'm cutting these printed rosebuds out of another fabric, with just enough extra fabric around each rosebud to turn under and stitch down.  But I vaguely remember that I used Jeanne’s Patch Back product to trace the rosebuds or something?  Anyway, I really like how well the first ones came out so I will be trying to research/remember how the heck I did it.  I already have the rosebuds made and stitched in place on two out of my nine blocks, so that means that seven blocks are needing eight rosebuds each, 7 x 8 = 56 rosebuds.

And after the rosebuds, it will be time to add the fussy-cut stuffed berries!  Do you think I remember how/what I stuffed them with?  Of course not!  In this blog post from 2014, I allude to using some kind of fused batting circle inside the berries “like in my Jingle quilt,” which shocks me because I have no memory of that whatsoever.  Too bad I can’t do a keyword search on the contents of my brain the way I can with old blog posts!

Lastly(?), Stuffed Berries

Only that first test block has its stuffed berries, so that means I have eight blocks needing twelve berries each, 9 x 12 = 108 stuffed berries to be made, positioned, and stitched in place.  And then the blocks will be done, maybe.  Or maybe not, if I decide that something needs to go in between the rosebuds around the block centers so they don’t look like the dials on old rotary phones.  We’ll see.

And meanwhile, I have another of Nanette’s quilts on my frame right now, her Stonefields quilt that is the most delightful assortment of pieced blocks, appliqué, and English paper piecing, and I am fighting the urge to hunt down that pattern immediately because these blocks look like SO much fun…. 

Now, fingers crossed because after I publish this blog post tonight, I’ve got a test set up of that new email subscription service to see if I can get it to pull the text and photos into the email that goes out instead of just the title and a blank white space.  Hopefully I can get that turned on for my email subscribers soon.

I'm linking this post with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Happy quilting everyone!


TerryKnott.blogspot.com said...

Good to read a post from you Rebecca! I subscribe to your feed so I saw it on my blog. I'll let you know if I also receive an e-mail notification. That is a beautiful quilting pattern to compliment a beautiful pieced top. The thread is perfect! Although, that is a super linty product. Who knew???

Gretchen Weaver said...

Nanette's quilt looks amazing, so beautiful! The quilting really highlights the beauty of her quilt. I hope you can remember what you stuff the berries with, you are going to have a beautiful quilt when you're finished, happy stitching!

Gale Bulkley said...

Nanette's quilt is so very beautiful. Good luck with the applique. Myself? I can't imagine doing those rosebuds. I admire your commitment to keep going on it.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so glad to see you are back to the applique - one day you will finish this beautiful work - one little piece at a time.

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Such a beautiful quilt! I agree that the Forty Three thread from Aurifil is amazing! Thanks for sharing your projects on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss.

Ramona said...

Every time you post a quilt you've quilted, I am amazed at the beauty of the design and your eye for detail. This quilt is just gorgeous.

Cheryll said...

WoW...such beautiful work to enjoy ... thanks for sharing.
Also THaNKS for joining in TGIFF...xox

Gwyned Trefethen said...

What? You do needle turn appliqué, too? I'm so impressed. I feel your tech wows. Went through the same issue with my posts automatically going to subscribers - then bam, that feature stopped working. Changed service providers for that and other reasons and didn't fix the posting problems. Quilting is too important/fun to waste time down the tech rabbit hole.

Maria said...

A beautiful finish .

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Nanettes quilt is amazing!!! Sorry about your email issues - I am with you - tech should just work the way I want it to hah!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Love, love, LOVE this, Rebecca. I had to jump over from Nanette's post. I was hoping you'd give more details and thankfully, you did. I love what you did to her Stonefields quilt, too. My friend just bought a longarm (APQS Millie), so I've been able to quilt a few simple patterns. I have a whole different outlook now - looking at quilting designs that might not be too hard for us. Thanks for sharing all the photos and details you do. It is greatly appreciated by this novice. {{Hugs}} a bunch! ~smile~ Roseanne

kupton52 said...

Nanette's quilt is beautiful and your quilting is exquisite. I was tempted to try the Aurifil Forty3 but I don't deal with lint and cotton thread very well. I get really good results with Glide thread and will stick with it and their beautiful, rich colors. I know many longarmers who don't get good results with Glide but it works for me. It's good to have another post from you.

piecefulwendy said...

This dropped into my inbox, and I just had to get used to the new way to open it (clicking on the title doesn't work). What a pretty quilt, and of course, the quilting is beautiful! I love the stuffed berries, by the way, but chuckling that you can't recall how you stuffed them. I can relate to not remembering details like that!

Kathleen said...

This seemed to come in just right. Mail chimp was giving me the fits....not sending on time and degrading my pictures. Is that why you moved? I was thinking of it but in the middle of blog hops and all of a sudden the problems resolved.
Anyway back to the lovely quilt! That quilting is super duper on the quilt and I have never tried the 40/3 but wouldn't have the patience with the lint...but maybe I should look for another 40 wt??? So many threads to discover.
Glad you are appliqeing with your Saturday group. It is nice to get back to these activities, isn't it!

Sandy said...

Beautiful, as always, Rebecca Grace! You almost make me wish that thread was suitable for domestic machines, but I have to admit that I hate how much lint Aurifil produces. :)

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

Beautiful, Rebecca!

MissPat said...

Got the email. As Wendy says clicking on the title doesn't do anything. You need to scroll down a ways to click on the read more button. That's no problem. Another beautiful quit, both the piecing and your quilting. Three cheers to you for not giving up on that applique. That's a technique that I haven't mastered.

Peacemeal said...

Tech is way overrated! So let's just quilt! (Of course I'm not giving up my Janome - my treadle machine is a "plant stand". Your email came in lovely - easy to open, and FAB-U-LOUS quilting! Thanks for sharing

Susan said...

Oh, you're THAT Rebecca! I've loved seeing what you did on Nanette's quilt tops recently.

Unknown said...

Interesting that you went for a cotton quilting thread. I find cotton to be so linty. I also checked the price. Yikes! has thread pricing gone up that much? The light blue color is perfect for that lovely quilt. The quilting patter looks great on this quilt.

I always look forward to your posts. You're a busy lady!


janita said...

I love the beautiful blues, too.