Friday, September 28, 2012

Talkin' threads....

I don't profess to be an expert on thread, but since my last post I figured I better answer a few more questions. So, here's kind of a review of the thread that I have tried and liked. This first example is an example of quilting done with Kimono Silk thread by Superior Threads.


As you can see in this detailed quilting picture the Kimono Silk performed perfectly.  The thread was a little more on the expensive side, but was so worth it.  This customer didn't want the quilting thread to take away from the quilt and it didn't.  The thread quilts up so nicely and is almost invisible because of how thin the thread is.  I was nervous to try this thread out because I hadn't used it before, but I was pleasantly surprise at how strong the thread is.  I didn't have one break or shread in the thread for this whole quilt.  I used this thread in the top and in the bobbin.  What I loved most about this thread was that I didn't have to wind as many bobbins.  The thread is so thin that my bobbins held a ton of thread on it and I only had to change the bobbin a few times.  So, Kimono Silk is amazing for your "show quilts" or your quilt that have a ton of detail.

The next thread I am going to tell you about is Highlights by Superior Threads.  The above pictures the dragonfly quilt I did for a customer using Highlights.  I have to tell you that I love Highlights, when the cone is good.  I have done enough quilts with this thread that for the most part it is amazing.  I have had a few "bad batches" of this thread because I have had a couple quilts where I kept racking my brain  trying to figure out why my thread shreads, or breaks every 3 inches of quilting.  It would break so much that I was ready to pull my hair out, or cut up the quilt - whichever came first. When I use this thread I quilt on a practice piece of fabric to the side of my quilt and make sure the cone is good before I use it.  Once I know it is good, then I have no problem with the thread.  It has a beautiful sheen to it and I think it is perfect for most quilts.  I have used this as the bobbin thread and have had only a little slipping.  If I don't want slipping of the bobbin thread I use So Fine in the bobbin. It really just depends on what you want the back of your quilt to look when it comes to the bobbin.


Because of the few issues I had with Highlights, I wanted to try out Glide thread. I was pleasantly surprised that this thread was amazing and goes through my machine like butter. I don't have problems with it, just occasional slipping. It has a nice shine to it and it works for a lot of quilts.  If you want to use this thread as the bobbin, that is fine (I do), but plan on changing your bobbin a lot of times because this is a thicker thread.  I have used this thread on a lot of my recent quilts because I like the shine and strenghth of the thread.


So Fine - this thread is my friend. I love it. I have never had a problem with it because it really is an amazing thread. I have only used the So Fine #50, so I can't tell you about the others. This is my go to thread for most quilts and it has never dissappointed me. I use this thread for top and bobbin and a lot of times I use this as the bobbin thread for my shiny or metallic threads. 

Okay, so when I post things like this I end up just getting more questions and I am trying to do my best to answer your questions with these posts because in my reality (aka crazy life) I just can't write everyone back.  So I hope this post helps. Just a couple more things, I always use the same color of thread on the top and bottom of the quilt.  I match the thread to the top and that's the color that is going in the bobbin.  I don't budge there.  I don't think about thread weight, or poly thread versus cotton, I use the thread I think will be the nicest on the quilt.  I don't like variegated, I have tried to like it, but I just don't.  But, that doesn't mean that I don't like it on others quilts.  It really comes down to personal preference and tension.  I suggest using a TOWA bobbin gauge to know your tension as you quilt, this little device has saved my life! 

I am going to be trying out Magnifico thread very soon and I will let you know what I think about it. I am excited to give it a try.  That's about it, except we have a whole ton of new lines in the shop, so go check it out!  We even have Marmalade, a personal favorite of mine! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How I choose my thread for allover quilting....


Just a heads up, the thread is a little hard to pick out in the pictures since the quilt is a little busy. Hopefully I can explain why I chose the thread I did for my latest quilting project that was a free motion allover pattern. You should see three pieces of thread spread out in the picture above. The top on is a light tan, the middle is pink, and the bottom thread is red.

Here are the same three pieces of thread shown closer on the white sash and red border fabric.  When you have such contrasting fabric in a quilt, sometimes picking out the thread is the hardest part.  So, I think of the colors that I like and pull out anywhere from 6-8 cones of thread that match the different colors in the quilt fabric.  Then, I lay them out like this across the quilt top making sure to hit as many colors of the quilt top as possible.  I didn't like these three because they didn't mesh well with everything - especially the red, since I had so much white fabric in this quilt, the red thread would have taken over the quilt in a bad way.

The next three thread choices were bright white, light blue, and cream.


If you look at the bright white (thread on the left) it is just too bright, the blue does not work with the rest of the fabrics and on the white it would have been too much. The cream is nice, but just not quite right.


So, since the other thread didn't work, and I was shocked that I didn't like the white, I tried out an ivory colored thread. It is still a little unnerving using the ivory with the red border fabric, but it will be better than red on white fabric.

So, the winner is a Glide thread named Pearl and it is amazing that this is the one that worked the best with all the choices of thread out there.


This is a nice thread, it is shining and runs through my machine great. When it comes to picking out a thread for your allover quilting, just lay out several threads and the one that disappears the best in all the fabrics in your quilt top is the best thread to use. At least, that's my opinion! Best of luck choosing your thread!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm not dead yet.....

as in the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," 1

Yep, it's me!! I am still alive. I didn't think anyone would notice that I had been absent from my blog until this morning I got an email asking if I was okay. So, yep, I'm okay and yes, I am wearing an Avenger's t-shirt bought at WalMart in the little boys clothing section. Call it crazy if you want, but I like it and I am sure you will see me around town sometime wearing this getup. My favorite Avenger? Toss up between Thor and Captain America.... anyways....It's been a crazy month for me, we moved Clint into another office space, so now I officially have the goodbye kiss in the morning as he rides his bike to work. So grateful he's only 30 seconds away though so I can see him whenever I want. Also, Clint took me on a trip - he likes to travel and I love it when I get there - please tell me I am not the only one who hates to fly...


These sunsets are always worth the worrying I put myself through while flying to get there.


and a hand in hand walk down the beach is always wonderful....but the reality is, it's been kind of a crazy time for me. I had a situation that I dealt with before I went on this last trip with Clint that made me question myself. I love to quilt, I feel like I do a pretty good job, I take pride in every single quilt that I put on those frames and while I curse myself for my darn perfectionistically detailed craziness (yes, I just said that), it always works out in the end. But, occasionally there comes around the not so happy moments where I cannot please everyone.  I don't want to go into detail, but I just have to say that this experience has been a learning experience for me. It "knocked the wind right out of my sails" right out of me and I have had no desire to quilt for the past two weeks, but I have decided that I just need to let it go and realize that life happens and then we move on.


What I have figured out about myself is that when I am a little down, fabric always seems to make me happy, but that's just the crazy talking right?  :-)


But, I am completely happy with my projects ahead of me. Thanks for your patience with me, I will get back on the blogging and the quilting - sorry I was gone for too long.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

All Grown Up!! A new pattern....


When my daughter was a baby I made a quilt that I dedicated to her and named it after her, called Liliana's Heart. It is amazing that my baby is 7 now and that quilt I made all those years ago is a reflection on my love for her and also proof that I got better at quilting as the years have passed by....


She's so big now! Time flies too fast in my opinion!


Can you believe I quilted this? Yeah, back in 2006!! Here's the proof that I started somewhere and all of you newbie quilters out there, don't be discouraged because you will get better! ;-)


Isn't she beautiful? It's funny, the song Consider the Lilies is on right now and I am bawling my eyes out as I write this post. Funny how little moments like right now bless my life and help me remember the little stuff.  So, here's my big girl holding her new big blanket, which will fit on her new bed in her soon to be painted new room.  Yeah, she's spoiled, but when you are the only girl in your family it's bound to happen.


So, I give you "All Grown Up." A quilt once again dedicated to my daughter made in fabrics (Bliss and Ruby) of her favorite colors - thanks to Bonnie and Camille for that!


What I love about this quilt is that it is truly a scrappy quilt - I have to admit I have a hard time putting together a scrappy quilt because I am paranoid about putting similar fabrics and colors pieced next to each other, (it makes me crazy) so it took me some shuffling fabric around to get it the way I wanted. I used fat quarters for this pattern as well as a little yardage for the borders, sashing, and binding.


I am so pleased with how this quilt came out. I was going to quilt this custom, but realized it's going on my daughters bed and I am going to have to let her use it. The free motion feather swirl worked out perfectly for this quilt.


I have a hard time narrowing down the pictures to use for my post. Plus, I can't get enough of the quilting!



A shot with the back.


Since the quilt is all finished, I just have a few more pillows to make and a room to paint and Lili will have her big room all finished. It's been so fun to make such a treasure for my girl. I guess what I love most about quilting is the fact that my daughter does appreciate the quilts I make for her, she gets excited when I show her what I am working on and I can't wait until the day that she is making quilts for her children. Quilting and piecing is such a wonderful tradition to share and pass on and I am so glad I got hooked almost 8 years ago.

all grown up!! 

So, the pattern is available for pre-order now and will be shipping around the 19th of this month. I will also let you know when it is available for download. Thanks for letting me share my love of designing and quilting with you! Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Winner, and some other stuff!!

  How's that for a lame title? Anyway - it has been a busy week.  Fun, crazy, but most importantly - productive.  The toddler is such a help!  First off, thanks so much for all your sweet comments on my last post!  You make me feel so loved!  Congratulations to Jenny from Cut.Sew.Iron.Repeat - she has won a copy of Quiltmaker magazine.  So, email me Jenny at judi @ greenfairyquilts . com and I will have the magazine sent to you right away.  

All pictures from Instagram - @judiakagreenfairy
 Playing with Jelly Rolls this week was a highlight - I planned on getting to both rolls, but since I always under estimate how much time I really have, I only got to one. 

32 strips all sewn together.

Then quilted...

Then I changed my mind on the quilting and went for the swirly stitch I happen to love right now. 

Binding a special quilt for a special girl

Finished binding in all its cuteness! 

I promise I will show you the whole quilt once I have finished writing up the pattern. Well, that about sums it up! I hope you are having a fabulous week! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cover girl, and a giveaway!!!

I was so excited to receive my copy of Quiltmaker's Quilt from 100 Blocks and even more excited when I noticed that my quilt made the front page!  It is the quilt on the far right.  It was fun drawing up this design using my block from Quiltmaker's 100 blocks volume 5. So fun!

It seriously is so cool to have my design in this magazine.  I still cannot believe it!  I love the art of designing quilts and it is so rewarding to have my design shared in a magazine all over the country. 

Me and my blonde hair on the contributors page.  

You can see my design on page 42.  The awesome ladies over at Quiltmaker are giving away copies of this magazine and you have the chance to win a copy here on my blog.  Just leave me one comment and you will be entered to win a copy. For more places to visit and have more chances to win your own copy of the magazine, go here.  

Thanks and good luck!!