Saturday, August 24, 2013

Variegated Thread Lessons Learned

Great ideas for a beautiful quilt don't always work.  I definitely learned the hard way that variegated (multicolored)  thread is not a good idea on light fabric unless you are REALLY precise or have just the right pattern and thread. (See the bottom of this blog for Lessons Learned)

I had made this Spiraling Lone Star Quilt top and blogged about it back in March -- how time flies!

It seemed like a great idea to quilt the white areas in variegated thread.  I had some beautiful thread and it seemed a perfect way to tie the quilt together.  So I loaded it on my frame, worked out a pattern of feathers, drew the stems in, stitched in the ditch around the colored areas, and off I went!  

After the first area was quilted with the variegated thread. I could tell I had a problem!  But I kept going, thinking that I'd get the hang of it, even if I had to rip some out later and re-sew.  (This picture is a little blurry, but believe me, there are lots of "mistakes")

Sadly, this didn't work.  I REALLY didn't want to rip it all out, and I've NEVER thrown a quilt away, but I wasn't sure I could salvage this one.  But I cut the quilted areas off, and separated the left over quilt top from the batting and backing, and put it on my UFO shelf.  Maybe later I'll add the cut off areas again, and try a different pattern or different thread.

I did some experimenting on the top border since I was going to throw it out, so it became a practice area. I practiced with my acrylic templates, some different types of feathers, and an allover pattern.   

 The allover pattern was really pretty, maybe that is the answer for this kind of thread.

Lessons Learned

Lesson #1 - When trying a new thread or technique, make a practice piece.

Lesson #2 - Quilting on a high contrast background shows EVERY mistake.

Lesson #3 - Using a light weight thread for the quilting didn't work, a heavier weight may have covered some of the mistakes better, and the quilting would have looked more decorative.

Lesson #4 - My feather pattern didn't go well with the variegated thread.

Lesson #5 - Stopped as soon as I realize I have a problem, quilting more doesn't solve the problems.

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences with variegated thread!


1 comment:

  1. THose are good lessons to share - thanks! I've had mixed results with variegated thread... I don't use it often for regular quilting, usually just as an accent, or to add texture. But I've never done feathers, period, so I can't comment on how it's gone for me.