The thread featured in this post was given to me by Aurifil.
Way back in May I made this quilt top as part of the 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge. This year's Pantone color is Ultra Violet. What a fabulous excuse to make a purple quilt! I opted for a version of my All About Angles.
It was so great to see what everyone did with Ultra Violet for the challenge, which was judged in three categories: Quilts, Mini Quilts, and Just the Top. I'm honored to have received the Judge's Second place prize in the Just the Top category of the challenge. But then my quilt top got set aside for other projects. I definitely need an external deadline to finish a project and once I decided that I wanted to finish this up to submit to PIQF I had a firm August 28 deadline.
My Aurifil Artisan package included monofilament thread, something I have never used and was excited to try. At some point I got it in my head that I wanted to do allover graffiti/improv free motion quilting for this quilt, but I wasn't excited about using a cotton thread in a color that would distract from the piecing in this quilt. With a variety of values including the black, I knew that no matter what thread color I chose, it would get lost in some sections of my quilt. At some point I decided that this would be a great opportunity to try out monofilament thread. I opted for the clear Aurifil Monofilament and did I little reading online and an informal IG survey for monofilament tips.
I feel like monofilament had gotten a stigma in my mind for being hard to work with. Mostly, it was a dream. I wound the first bobbin only halfway at slow speed. I quilted until I ran out of bobbin with no thread breaks and no trouble. Then I rewound the bobbin with... more thread. Not quite full, but way past halfway. I had many problems. These problems went away as soon as I wound a new bobbin no more than halfway.
So my quilting... first inspired by Karlee Porter's graffiti designs, I have a small tool box of motifs that I include in my FMQ mash-up. These include spirals, paisleys, arrows, buildings (that's what I consider the rows of rectangles), and leaves. You can see these dating back to my first graffiti quilted projects, the Schnitzel and Boo mini swap quilt and R's Pattern. Now if I'm doing some FMQ mash-up quilting I peruse the IG hastags #graffitiquilting, #wildquilting, #flowquilting, and #freemotionimprov and look for motifs in the mix that aren't in my repertoire. I like to practice on paper to develop a bit of muscle memory.
This go round I made short little sketches of interesting motifs that I wanted to work in. I pinned these up on my design wall to have a visual reminder. This helped when I felt I was being too repetitive. It allowed me to just look up and be reminded of what else I knew how to do. This technique really helped me and I prefer it over my past strategy of post-its on many pages of my FMQ inspiration books.
I knew I wanted a purple binding. I really wanted to make it scrappy with the purple solids in the quilt top, but due to time constraints I opted for Kona Bright Peri for the binding. I used one leftover unit from the quilt top to include a pieced section. I was glad to carry more of the colors into the binding as well as the same angular piecing seen in the quilt top. This section is on the lower right edge of the binding (shown sideways here).
I backed my quilt with a purple print from my stash and attached my label before quilting. Most, if not all, of my purple solids came from the Kona Lavender Fields bundle. It finished at approximately 33" x 33".
I'm so pleased to have my quilt completed, and finished in time to submit to the PIQF Quilt Competition in their wall quilts division. (It was a little too small to be submitted to the Modern Quilt Competition.) I also submitted Modern Batik Scrappy Squares in the Modern Competition. Notifications will be out by mid-September.
Tips for Using Monofilament Thread
- To avoid trouble with spool unraveling, try a mesh sleeve or a thread stand.
- If using monofilament in the bobbin, only fill the bobbin halfway (or less).
- Aurifil recommends you hand wind your bobbin. If winding by machine, wind on slow speed.
- Use a new size 90/14 needle.
- Keep a piece of blue tape near your machine to stick the trimmed bits of monofilament to so they don't end up all over.
Looking for inspiration? A couple books I love for free motion quilting motifs are The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, Machine Quilting With Style, and 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.
I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and TGIFF.
I've also linked up to the Q3 Finish Along finishes linkup. See my whole Q3 list here.
January 2020: Linked up to my Show Me Something Purple linkup.
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