Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dresden for Auntie Anne and Learning About Thread

Auntie Anne celebrated her 80th birthday this Christmas and since I was on a mug rug roll, I made one for her. I've had and wanted to try out a dresden ruler for some time and so I busted it out for her mug rug.

A few firsts went into this mug rug - dresdens and machine quilting that isn't just straight lines. I learned a thing or two and so I made another dresden mug rug for Mom for Christmas and I think it turned out better, though I forgot to get a photo of it in my rush. 

For Mom's, instead of machine appliqueing the dresden to the background fabric, I just pinned it securely and attached it with the quilting stitches. It turned out better that way.  I got better at knowing when to pivot with my second effort.  The centre of the dresden looks a little more balanced (more round and less hilly) with my 2nd effort, too … I think because I used one less dresden piece.

I'm finding mug rugs good test projects for bigger things. I've confirmed that I want to do a bigger dresden project.

Something else I learned is that thread really matters both in piecing and machine quilting. Mettler threads in my machine are a marked improvement over Guterman. Aurifil and Sulky threads are even better. Aurifil is definitely my go-to thread for piecing after trying a few different brands and I'll be picking up some when I'm next in Kentucky, which is where I picked up the ones I have now. I don't know of any place to get it here. The variegated Sulky thread I machine quilted the mug rugs with worked very nicely in my machine, too. Interestingly, when I was machine quilting Robert's baby quilt, I was using various colours of Mettler silk-coated cotton thread and the colour yellow worked for me so much better than the other colours. Orange worked better than green and Blue was the worst. That whole quilting experience was so traumatizing, I didn't even get to the brown thread I was going to include. The memory still gives me the shakes. Still, odd that the colour of the thread could make a difference. While hand sewing bindings on the mug rugs, I noticed that different coloured threads in the same line sometimes had different textures, some being smoother than others. What a lot to learn!
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