Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Frustrating WIP

It's been awhile since I've been able to post about what I'm working on. Remember this?
Pin Basting Dresden Rows

I'm working on machine quilting it on my Bernina. It's been frustrating.

First, what color thread to use? The backing is chevron stripes on a white ground. On a test sample, I tried brown thread in the top and white in the bobbin. I ended up with white thread showing on top and brown showing on the back. Definitely not OK.  I tried brown in the bobbin. It was OK on the top, but I hated how it looked on the back, so unflattering to the chevron stripe fabric.

So I'm using microfilament invisible thread for both the top and the bobbin. Problem #1 solved.

I started with SID between the Dresden rows and the brown. Lots of pivoting, but so far so good.

I knew I wanted stippling in the brown areas. After some tension issues and some ripping, I was able to  FMQ the brown areas.

Next, I wanted to follow the linear shapes of the Dresdens in the rows, but I couldn't work out a way to do it with the walking foot, and my FMQ skills are definitely not up to the challenge. I sketched what I thought would work. I tried - and ripped out - three different attempts to try to quilt those shapes in linear patterns. Have you ever tried ripping out invisible thread?

I ended up going with simple chevrons across the Dresden rows. It requires marking the pivot points, so I made a template for the dots. The stitching is very slow going, lots of pivoting which means wrestling the bulk under the machine every two inches. But, problem #2 is solved.
Chevron Quilting in the Dresden Rows

I have two of the Dresden rows done. Now, I'm almost out of thread. I've had it for years, there's no label on the cone, I have no idea where I got it, and I need more to finish the quilting. So this project is on hold until I can find more thread.  Wish me luck in solving problem #3!

Even though there have been a few setbacks with the quilting, I still like this design. I'll find the thread and get it finished soon.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday - check it out.


  1. Dresden rows, very cool. It never would have occurred to me to make non-circle dresdens. Good luck finding your thread!

  2. I'm pound of you for forging on. Usually when I hit too many snags I give up. I thought maybe you had used the chevrons on the back to stitch the Dresdens, but I can imagine it would not have lined up so nicely.

  3. Persevere - it will be a wonderful quilt when it's all finished. I love the dresden rows. That gives me another idea for using my dresden template. Yay!

  4. Great perseverance! It will all be worth it- it already looks wonderful. PS, love your blog name ;-)

  5. I only used monofilament in the bobbin once when it knotted up too much. (Of course, that was a very shiny thread, probably not a good brand.) Now I prefer YLI Wonder. Let us know when you figure out which you are using.