Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Christmas in August?








Stitch by stitch this Christmas panel has come to life under the needle of my machine. Choosing threads of matching colours and some special highlight threads, working out which shapes to outline and which to leave - I spent much more time than I had originally anticipated on this panel.




With many different colours and fine details to stitch, there were hundreds of threads to knot and bury......

Some tips for quilting a panel which I learnt along the way include sewing at very slow speeds, decreasing stitch length where curves are involved and minimising presser foot tension to give a little more wriggle room for smoother curves. I had never used a presser foot knee lifter until my new machine arrived two weeks ago. The knee lifter proved to be extremely helpful while stitching this panel due to the constant changes in sewing direction. A walking foot/dual feed system works great for sewing long straight lines/borders, keeping top and lower fabrics in alignment.




Choosing a presser foot with maximum visibility made it much easier to see and follow the lines. I took opportunity to try out three suitable decorative stitches too. It really was quite a perfect little project to learn more about my new machine.

Sulky/Gutermann Sliver thread* proved to be the perfect feature thread. I used small amounts of silver Sliver in several places and outlined the tree topper stars in dark gold Sliver.






Longer stitches make the most of Slivers sparkle qualities. A little care with tension is needed and it's advised to use a vertical spindle holder. Both my new and old (broken) machines have a vertical holder, designed for use in winding the bobbin without needing to unthread the machine.




Sulky Sliver in Opalescent was the perfect choice for all the gorgeous snowflakes and snowmen. It very difficult to try and capture the opal-sparkle-reflective qualities of this thread in photos. It's beautifully subtle yet pearly shiny at the same time. 




Due to Opalescent's subtle visual qualities last night I ended up using the machine's lock stitch for many of the snowflakes - much quicker than knotting and burying all those hard to see, slippery tails.






Yes, it was a little hard to part with this one. This morning I finished attaching a hanging sleeve.....






and gently bundled it up with the Owl panel quilt. They are now both safely on their return journey to Creative Sewing Centre in Sydney where customers may enjoy their many colours and beautiful little sparkles.



* Thank you to Gutermann who provided me with the Sliver threads as I couldn't source them locally.

Sharing at WIP Wednesday.


27 comments:

Quilt Musings said...

Both of these panels are absolutely adorable! I would have had a hard time parting with them too! Beautiful stitching! Judy

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Oh boy I love that owl panel - totally gorgeous! And that's cool the way you used sparkly threads on the Christmas panel - wonderful touch!

DeborahGun said...

you have done a wonderful job of these. The silver thread is just gorgeous!

SarahZ said...

You do such beautiful work Karen! I love how these timed out with your new machine :)

Maryse said...

It's quite lovely! Nice work!

the momma said...

Beautiful, Karen!! These are both so lovely! I would love to look closely at the Christmas one, especially; I hope they hang them where customers can do just that!
(congrats on having your work hanging in a shop :-)

Ruth said...

love your sparkly touches! Looks great.

Mary said...

Beautiful panels!! You are working hard! Such an inspiration for the like of us, spending too much time behind the computer!

geanina said...

wonderful job! :)

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Gorgeous!! Thank you for the holiday inspirations!

Renee said...

Those threads are just gorgeous! They really make the quilt shine!

Jette Hollesen said...

I can see from your photos that you love doing needlework.
It gives you quality of life.

Hugs
Jette Majken

Georgi said...

So cute! I love the way you decorated the trees, etc with the silver thread in that star stitch! Both your quilts are gorgeous ~ thanks for sharing all that inspiration. :)

Kim said...

It looks as if it will be Christmas every day in your home as you play with your new machine! Those panels are lovely. I agree, it would be a tad difficult to part with those cute owls!

kramam said...

Gorgeous is the word that comes to mind. What a wonderful job you did!!
Greetings, Anita

Lisa Gordon said...

The holidays will be here before we know it. This year has gone by so fast.

This is absolutely gorgeous, Karen. Your work is amazing.

Erin said...

Stunning!

Giga said...

A lot of work cost you these quilts, but they are beautiful. Well, as you have a helper in the form of snap sewing machine. I greet you cordially.

diane b said...

The panels are beautiful and the work gone into each is amazing. Well done!!

Elise Lea said...

I just love these quilts! They have so much detail and they make the panels look so better than they would as just a regular panel

ladyfi said...

Wonderful quilts!

Erica Sta said...

Dear Karen, it's again such a fine work you do! I admire you. You make the quilts with great dediction and attention to Details.
Wish you and your familiy a very nice Weekend :)

LynCC said...

Oh my goodness, Karen! The Christmas panel blows me away with its cuteness and your creativity on it. Super success there! And thanks for sharing about the sliver thread and showing what you did on the trees - I've been stumped about what to do with the Christmas tree on my cousin's BOM that I'm finishing for her. That would be the perfect touch for it, if you don't mind me following your lead with that star-on-A-line stitch.

Seeing Each Day said...

I love how you use that silver thread in all the examples over the past weeks - it's definitely in the right hands.

Mary Huey said...

Thanks for sharing your inspired stitching, Karen -- have had a knee-lifter on my machine for 30 years and would never give it up!!

Jo said...

I totally love this panel! You have done a really wonderful job!

Dorothy Adamek said...

You had me with the Christmas panel
Gorgeous.

But the owls... knocked my breath away!!!
Spectacular. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...