Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Untitled in Raisin

It's unclear to me why, but I do not have a positive inclination towards monofilament thread. I used it years ago, but I don't believe (ever) for machine quilting. It just wasn't done. Until I saw the stunning work of Jill/Pie Lady Quilts, who uses it often so as not to 'alter any of the color work' in her quilts Let's just say it was seeing Jill use it to such great effect that I thought I might give it a try.

So the project that finally seemed right to try it on was the small half-square triangle quilt I started in Season Evans' Two-Color Quilt Composition class a few weeks ago. After first going to Instagram to see what advice I could garner, it dawned on me that it might also be wise to check the website of the specific thread I planned on using, which just happened to be Aurifil. And they actually had some suggestions as to needle size, thread in bobbin, etc. Luckily all the tips were fairly consistent, and here are the adjustments I made:
  • Used regular 50wt in the bobbin [if you choose to use monofilament in the bobbin, wind it very slowly to prevent stretching]
  • Reduced top tension slightly 
  • Increased the stitch length to 3.5
  • Used a top-stitching needle, which has a larger eye
Of course your machine may handle it differently, so adjust accordingly.

At any rate, my experiment with monofilament went really well. On another project, I may have chosen to quilt more densely, but the half-square triangles on this 34" square quilt just didn't seem to call for it.

For backing, I had found a perfect match in a stashed Lotta Jansdotter print. And as far as match goes, if you've never seen Kona Raisin, which is the color of my HSTs in this little quilt, it's a rich dark purple.... and as you'll catch a peek in some of my photos - exactly the color of the doors of our home. How's that for random?{grin}


  1. I love the infinite possibilities with HSTs. I've never used monofiliment for quilting, either. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  2. I'm glad to hear that your use of monofilament went so well! Lovely finish!

  3. i've never used monofilament thread either but maybe I'll try it someday soon!

  4. I use monofilament when stitching in the ditch, where I also use it in the bobbin. While I say "I like", I really detest working with the stuff! Winding those bobbins ever so slowly is a pain, and I seem to have to fiddle with the top thread a lot. The end result on a large quilt is worth it though.

  5. Love those HST's. Nice experiment.
    I have more 'art' in me than 'modern' so I often like the thread
    color in my quilts to stand out as another layer.
    But that's just how I run.

  6. Love the break in the placement of the HST's. The real colour of the Kona raisin seems to show up better on the close up pictures you posted on instagram.

  7. I love it. I love your design and I love purple so I really like the idea of a dark purple instead of black.

  8. love this little quilt, thanks for the tips on the thread. I also love that it matches your doors!

  9. What a great design, and the monafilament thread really lets the design stand out. I haven't used it either, but you've convinced me!

  10. Such a fun design! And that backing really is perfect. Great finish!