The calender theme for April is "Beginnings" with the quotation coming from Bruce Barton: "The most important thing about getting somewhere is starting right where we are."
And where I seem to be right now is in the midst of machine quilting curiosity and a desire to improve my quilting. The only way to improve is through practice and the only way to satisfy curiosity is by trying things out. Combine the two, and I just may get somewhere.
So April's journal quilt is a sampler of sorts, working through some of my curiosity - and current fascination with how thread color can change the look of the underlying fabric. I'm also intrigued with closely spaced parallel lines of quilting, like I used on Grid 3. I worked with both, all with free-motion quilting.
To more easily see the influence of the thread, I wanted to use a solid fabric. No doubt I should have used a less intense one than this hot pink, but I couldn't resist. Here you see the different colors of rayon thread I used. I was surprised that the red worked so well, but I think the purple is my favorite with this fabric color. And I have to say, I'm really liking the look of parallel lines of quilting, and especially liked these really closely spaced ones that waver a bit. Really sucks up the time and thread though. Click on the pictures for a larger view.
I also used this as a place to try out a new thread color and quilting stitch. This picture shows the King Tut variegated grey thread and my first attempt at the garnet stitch. I want to use this combination to quilt the fabric I leaf-printed with willow leaves. I particularly like this grey which is giving me the pavement look I'm going for. Here I loved the way the pink pops through.
One other new thing on this - when Superior Threads came out with "Bottom Line" filament polyester thread for use in the bobbin, I bought a spool. I'd been using Sulky's bobbin thread, which only came in black and white, and tended to be slubby. This looked shiny and smooth plus came in lots of colors. Of course, I felt I had to use up the Sulky first, so the Bottom Line has been sitting on my shelf. I usually use a fine cotton in the bobbin, but some metallic threads can cut right through it. As of late, I've been coming to my senses about all these things I've bought over the years only to store them away for the "perfect" time to use them. This is a very nice thread, and seemed to work fine with both the rayon and cotton thread. And since it is also advertised as an applique thread, I used it to hand stitch the sleeve on Grid 3. That seemed to work well too, although I'll have to check to see if it stretches under the pull of gravity.
Since this is just a sample piece, I won't be applying my usual 3/4" framing border, but will probably satin stitch the edges once the backing label is fused in place. The last time I tried that, I did not have great success. Since then, I've read a tip to make it work better, so want to try it out.