Monday, January 12, 2009

Tropical Album Blocks

Hello blog readers!  

I hope everyone reading this is well and that you and everyone you love had a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year!

I apologize for not writing for a couple of months.  Somehow, life seems to get in the way of quilting!  Since we last caught up, I have changed jobs, moved homes, taken two separate week long business trips, taken one out of town quilting class, and one in town quilting class  - all between mid November and Christmas.  I'm tired but life if GRAND!

The awesome pics at the top of the blog are blocks stitched by Ocean Waves quilters for our 2010 Opportunity Quilt - Tropical Album.  Here are the list of talented Stitchers:
Angel's Trumpet: Kitty Gonzalez
Monstera: Joyce Cotner
Jacaranda: Janet Swan
Pineapple: Lois Erikson
Bougainvillea: Toni (Kelso) Mucci
Gardenia: Barbara McDowell
Hibiscus & Frangipani Border: Arlene Goldberg
Frangipani: Angie Malzman
Hibiscus with Blue Bow: Lee Costello
Tropical Bouquet in Vase: LaVerne Johnshon.
Single Hibiscus Cornerstone: Lee Costello

For the applique lovers our there that are following my Baltimore BOM experience, I wanted to share what have kept me in knots for the last few Thread Adventures...
As some of you may or may not know, besides The Savage Quilter, I am also known as The Thread Fluzzie.  Yes, I would do just about anything for the right spool of thread!  Anyway, for the last several months I have been giving my #100 YLI silk threads ONE MORE TRY for hand applique.  So many applique artist that I respect just swear by the stuff.  Plus it's really expensive so it must be good right???!!!!  My conclusion - for hand applique it sucks!  And in a really bad way too!  It's totally deceptive.  First the colors just lure you in....ahhhh....pretty....then when you try to use it, the thread is so thin you can actually thread it through the tiniest needle without wearing your granny glasses!  Now it appeals to your eyes and to your vanity....oohhhh.  Then you stitch with it...and tug...and feel the stretch.  Hmmmm, this can't be right.  Oh but it is.  The silk has a natural stretch that can go on forever.  After you have your fabric stitched down nice and tight with blue ribbon winning invisible stitches, the thread relaxes, and loosens up.  I have gone back to blocks I stitched last October and I can see the piece lifting, not a lot, but enough to aggravate someone that went to Catholic School for 16 years straight (yes I'm including college for those of you doing the math).  Arrgghhh!  Then the whining was soooooo  pretty....I could thread it......ohhhh.....

Ah but this thread tale has a happy ending...thread tale - get it!  There is still a wonderful application for the silk thread.   I have been experimenting more and more with machine quilting and silk is definitely the answer for machine quilting heirloom style quilting motifs!  The stretch works perfectly to lay down a gorgeous stitch.   And you don't get that "thready" look!  

I have gone back to my old standby, cotton. Yes, this blog becomes a Cotton Tale.  I have tried pretty much all the cotton out there...DMC, Mettler, Aurfil, Superior, etc.  Honestly, I can't tell much of a difference except that I have noticed DMC rots a little faster than the others and is a little fuzzier.  Maybe you always come back to what you know and that's why I probably like Mettler the best.  But it also has the best price and the best color selection.  Plus it's carried by our local shop and I personally feel it's important for us to support out local quilting community.  The Superior is also VERY nice and if they had more colors choice it would probably win over Mettler.  A huge plus is that Superior now sells their Masterpiece line (the one I like for applique) pre-wound on bobbins for about $1 each.  There is enough on each bobbin that you will need a lifetime of applique before you use it up.  I recommend it for your take along applique sewing kits.  A nod to Aurfil - it's wonderful, it's expensive, if you have access to it and can afford it, go ahead and treat yourself.  After all, deep down we are all thread fluzzies!

Until next time,  Happy Stitching!
Mercy in Miami
AKA The Savage Quilter

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