Friday, May 20, 2011

Do I really want to be invisible????

I need your help (I know I've been asking for much help lately). I am participating in the Robert Kaufman Solids Quilt challenge 2011 through my local quilt guild (Front Range Modern Quilt Guild). This started as a HUGE stretch for me:
1. take one charm pack (Kona Brights donated by Robert Kaufman)
2. add one additional fabric of the quilters choice (Kona charcoal)
3. mix into an original quilt design using at least one piece (size of said piece to be determined by the quilter) from each charm square (that would be 43 different colors).
4. make into a finished quilt greater than 50 inches in it's smallest dimension by the Guilds' deadline (ours is July, 2011).

charm square meets kona charcoal

half square triangles, lots of half square triangles

a purple pinwheel (say that 3-times fast)

I'd say in alphabetical order, more like in rainbow-etical order

pressed open, waiting "placement"

traditional pinwheels

wonky pinwheel

wonky pinwheels, center of quilt top

the center and the border, the tiny rainbow squares where added for interest to the border and laid out to mimic a pinwheel

pin basted front

and the back- the title of the quilt is "Out of the Blue"- I had a single pinwheel left after piecing the top. It's on the back along with a rainbow border and a small accent of rainbow squares at the bottom

So, letting the pictures and captions speak for themselves, I am at the pin basted stage (sounds like I'm cooking a turkey)- Because there are SO many colors in this quilt I contemplated using a thread similar to the solid I chose, the Kona charcoal. BUT, if I quilted over any of the wonky pinwheels, you would see the thread, I could change the thread (top only) for each pinwheel, but I'm not liking that so much, plus I don't think my budget can accommodate that grand idea. And, I pieced the back as well (I really thought it was a good idea at the time), and don't really want to oversew that little detail with a dark charcoal thread either. The $1,000,000 dollar question, have any of you ever used "invisible" thread? Do you have some words of caution wisdom you could share. I like the idea of not seeing the thread and just wallowing rejoicing in the quilted texture, but I really don't want to break down in tears if the thread is hard to work with, or takes bucket loads of TLC to pull it off. PLEASE tell me what you think. Bestow your wisdom upon me. In other words…… HELP!!!
I'm linking up at Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. The button is on my side bar- go click on it. (Especially if you have gotten to this point and are shaking your head wishing you were elsewhere). Beautiful sewn items and quilts, and I don't think anyone is asking for your help!


  1. I fight invisible thread - breakage is so a headache I don't want. - Have you thought about a charcoal/grey or blue variegated??? I love to quilt with color thread. Take the top to your LQS and (ask first) pull some thread out by the yards and just lay in a winding fashion on the quilt top. Your Pinnies are a small feature that I would concentrate on the look against the charcoal. Color across the pinnies is an added dimension. - Just my 2 cents!

  2. Not sure how to help with the thread... but I do love the quilt...the wonky stars are fun, even though I'm more of a symmetrical person! Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

  3. I tend to agree with Sharon - maybe a variegated thread in the colors of the pinwheels, or a lighter shade of gray than the Kona Charcoal. The best way to test it is to lay some on the quilt and see how you like it. In my experience, the quilting isn't going to be as obvious as you think it is.....

    by the way, it's a spectacular quilt! You should do a tutorial or pattern after you finish it.....

  4. sorry,can't help because I have never used invisible thread. Love the quilt :) I vote for variegated thread!

  5. Very pretty. I'm with the others, I have a hard time with invisible thread. If you don't want the thread to be very noticeable try a shade close to the color of the quilt and use the thinnest thread you can. After you wash it, you'll see the texture of the thread on the quilt and just barely the thread. If you have some scraps of the material left try a few different options on a practice piece. Very nice quilt!!

  6. I am in the same boat with the other's...have not had great success with invisible thread. When checking for thread choice, I was taught to pull out at least 3 yards of thread and lay it on the quilt top so you can see what it will look like in against several colors. Personally, I would use a shade lighter than your charcoal. Some variated threads have 12 inch color changes and some are 2-3 inch color changes.

    It's a really lovely quilt and I love the little bars at the 4 corners, just sets it off in a great way~!

  7. another quilt! You are busy! What I do for tops/backs that are different is use one color on bobbin and another on needle - a dark grey bobbin and variegated rainbow on top perhaps? Good luck, whatever you choose it will be great!

  8. I've never used invisible thread either, but I do love using a 60 weight thread for a subtle look. You can use it in top and bottom but only if you quilt more or less straight lines. Or you can just use it in bottom.
    But I think it's beautiful, and like the idea of using grey, light or dark as it would tie the pinwheels in with the charcoal. I think that's what I want to make with the purple you sent me! I love that look!

  9. I cannot help with invisible thread. But i can say with my black/white and colors... im using a light grey mettler thread. Its turning out pretty nice... its light enough to show the fun quilting pattern, but still let the pattern show. I hope to post tomorrow an update... you can see what you think.
    YOUR quilt is awesome!!! I love the pinwheels, i do hope you come to the meeting so I can see it live!!!

  10. This is an awesome quilt! I am interested to see what you do as I have never used invisible thread.

  11. I love your wonky pinwheels! Great quilt!
    I'd choose a gray to match and not worry about the colored parts:)

  12. Just found your blog via Confessions of a Fabric Addict by Sarah Craig
    and I think I'll stick around for awhile.
    I am now a Follower.

  13. Ditto, all the positive comments and about not having used invisible thread. A bit scary, I think. On another topic, the way you lay the pinwheels out on the floor gave me an idea. I love the way some of them on one side were sort of falling. One could do that on purpose. Wouldn't that be cool? Thanks for the inspiration!! Whoop! Whoop!

  14. I've done some quilting using a MonoPoly size .004 thread by Superior Threads and have no trouble with breakage. Using an appropriate needle helps and right off the top of my head can not tell what that might be, but something with a long scraf - nuts is that what we call the part of the needle right before the thread enters the needle -
    That said, I still prefer using a nice long-staple Egyptian cotton for quilting.
    Great case of the wonkies goin' on 'round here.
    Thanks for stopping

  15. I would choose a variegated thread and let it be 'seen'. Pretty quilt. Nice job.

  16. Visiting from Sarah's blog. I love the pretty pinwheels. I have used an invisible thread and it tended to stretch, then break on me. I did use a different needle as was recommended. I would use a variegated thread, even a rainbow variegated thread. I think it would be pretty against the charcoal, but wouldn't scream "rainbow!" unless you were close up. I sent my double pinwheel string quilt to be long arm quilted and that's what she used, and I just loved the result. The border was a medium red and the pinwheels were every color.

  17. Beautiful!! I never used that thread. To make the wonky pinwheels did you make a regular one then add the edges??

  18. This is wonderful. I've been wanting to make a rainbow quilt on black too. Now even more so!


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