Monday, April 30, 2012

The Tulle Tool

Whew!  I'm squeaking in just under the wire this month with my Celtic knot cross!  It turned out really neat.

Finished Celtic Knot Cross

Our guest "teacher" for the Free Motion Quilting Project for April was Don Linn.  He showed us a neat marking technique that uses tulle.  Basically, put a piece of tulle (fine netting) into an embroidery hoop, trace your pattern with a permanent marker, heat set it (so it doesn't smear all over your nice fabric!), and then use that as a pattern to trace onto your fabric, with a removable ink pen or chalk pencil.

My Tulle Pattern
Someone on the FMQ Challenge Facebook page suggested putting the tulle into a cardboard frame instead of the embroidery hoop.  I really liked this idea for a couple of reasons.  I didn't have to be so careful about not stretching the tulle out of shape, and it will store nice and flat.

Pattern traced onto my fabric

I really wish I had known about this before I marked the t-shirt quilt.  I think it would have been a bit more accurate than what I did. 

I didn't have a chance till the end of the month to work on the challenge because my sewing machine is still down and out.  I borrowed one from our sewing group.  What a difference compared to my old machine!  This one is no spring chicken either, but my old machine would break thread every ten minutes and I just couldn't keep the tension consistent.  This machine, an Elnita 250 by Elna, works so much better. 

The cross is qulted!
I quilted the cross, and then decided to stipple around it, hoping to make it stand out a bit more.  This is the first stippling I've done other than a bit of practice.   On the back side I used up an off-white bobbin.  It was a bit darker than what I used on the front.  The cross really stands out better.  Unfortunately, I ran out of that thread less than a quarter of the way through so I can't use the back for the front.

with the stippling, before I washed out the purple disappearing ink

I was all set to look for a new machine two weeks ago, but then our car got hit - took the bumper off the back and smushed the rear quarter panel - and needed some major repairs.  Luckily the insurance covers it, but we've got a rental car that only my husband can drive.  Which means, I can't go far unless I want to man-handle the gas-guzzling truck.  I'm so glad I've got the sewing group!  Hopefully by the end of next month I'll have a new machine.

Until then, 
Happy Quilting!

~ Kathy