Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Day 15 - bearding

So I knew batting sometimes had a scrim, but (and here I may be the last person on the planet to find this out) cotton batting without a scrim also has a side that should face the quilt top and a side that should not. How did I find this out?
Urgh! Bearding city. 

Look at these puncture marks in the batting! The Sweet Sixteen doesn't mess about. It's no wonder it was punching those cotton balls out the back of the quilt. And yes, unpicking stippling is so much fun.. When you see these little black or brown speckles, which are apparently cotton seeds, these need to face your quilt top. The nice clean looking side of the batting, needs to face the back. A little counter-intuitive...
Also I still haven't got the tension perfect. I had blue on the bottom and variegated pink on the top. Look at all the blue that came through as soon as there's thread build up, and possibly when I slow down. I could spend the rest of my life getting the tension perfect...or...
put plain pink on the bottom and move along...
The variegated thread is a lot of fun. The same thread pops differently on different color backgrounds. These take a lot of concentration! I can do one strip of 7 a night and then I start to gibber. I'm not going for a mechanical exact duplication of the pattern, I like FMQ to look like a person did it, not an embroidery machine, but I do want my stitches to hit where I want them to hit. Still shaky on the travel stitching from time to time. 

I'm just excited that I managed to get my head around getting the swirls to go in the same direction on the actual quilt top. In the samples above I reversed direction, sewing both backwards and forwards, but my brain can't reverse the pattern. The only way I could get the swirls to go the same direction, without my brain blowing a fuse, was to rotate the quilt for each swirl, so that my starting direction was always the same. I am spatially challenged, what can I say...
Variegated pink thread on blue hand-dye
and on pink hand-dyes
This pattern is based on Leah Day's lollipop tree pattern.

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