Quilting commenced on my Take It Further Challenge for February today. I don't always take the time to sandwich up a duplicate sample to test thread and stitches. Sometimes I can get by with checking tension and thread color along the edge where I've allowed extra batting and have turned the backing to the front or scraps of fabric used in the top laid on that extra batting. It's not an exact test area, but often times close enough. In this case, I needed a larger area with the top fabric showing to test the thread colors. I needed to test tension going through the extra top layer and its fusing. I may need to test stitching around the openings of the reverse applique. For all these reasons, I needed a quilting sample. Here it rests on top of the real quilt.
This isn't terribly big, and it may be difficult to see the different threads. The two rows directly around the circle arch are done in blue Madeira Rayon thread; when I stepped back, it didn't show at all. The rows above are a Sulky variegated metallic thread - greens and violets; it showed but I just don't think I want sparkly stuff on this. The rows below are the King Tut variegated blue cotton thread. Its change from light to dark blue with some purple thrown in echoes the mottling in the blue fabric, so I decided to go with that. After quilting about half of the quilt, I'm second guessing that decision, but going ahead anyway. The marking lines are making it hard to tell just what's going on, giving me the sense that I should have gone with a darker, heavier thread.
Speaking of marking lines, I gotta tell ya, I'm lovin' having a road map to quilt by. All the thinking about where the stitches will go is already done and there in front of me; I just stick it under the needle and go. I started with the walking foot, quilting the lines that go pretty straight across the top. I accidentally got going on one that ended in one of the tight swirls, where I thought I'd have to freemotion stitch. Oh, do I love this pivot feature on my Viking Sapphire! Every time the needle stops in the down position, the presser foot raises slightly. Maneuvering around those curves is not as cumbersome as I thought it would be. I think the feeddogs will stay up.
Here are some old quilting samples that double as batting samples (measured before and after washing to verify shrinkage and to test the overall look provided by the particular batting). These were rare cases when I had either extra pieced sections or extra fabric I felt I could spare for a big sample.