The May challenge came at a good time for me--I had all of the materials at hand, and I needed to change the threads on the machine anyway.
Leah Day is a young, ambitious quilter working to make it as an artist/artisan/businesswoman in what has become a multi-million dollar arena. For over a year she worked to develop 365 fresh free-motion designs, posting her progress on a blog. Her tutorial on SewCalGal's site represented her point of view well. The challenge design involved two stippling designs--one curvy, one with sharp corners.
Here are my samples:
Leah Day's instructions called for an initial base line stitched on the quilt sandwich; I chose to mark the initial line with my ceramic-lead SewLine pen, because I dislike quilting that crosses lines. Since I am new to stippling, these did not come naturally to me, but it did represent an interesting way to fill space. There could be a time and place where I would want to use this.
A closer look:
The curvy shapes definitely came easier to me; I had to concentrate to allow the needle a second stitch at each corner, or it got rounded off. The second design was less pleasing to me (and more difficult to do.)
Leah Day suggests using a teflon washer in the bobbin--I had them on hand but wasn't using one. When my bobbin thread ran out, I cleaned and oiled the bobbin area, added a washer, and rewound the bobbin with Bottom Line 60-wt polyester thread. The cotton Mettler was too linty and, being thicker, ran out more quickly. (This directly contradicts Leah Day's instructions to use the same threads for top and bottom; with the tension adjusted and similar colors on the spool and bobbin, I find it works well enough.) I disagreed, also, with her directions to turn the (small) sample during stitching. When one is working on a large quilt, there is no way to manipulate the quilt, so it's best to learn to work without turning the quilt piece, even if it's small. It's a skill that one must develop.
Here are the backs of the two samples:
Not really much difference, is there? The straight-line stipple piece has the thinner Bottom Line thread.
Now back to the quilt I'm working on....