Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vol 2 - Project 7 - Card Trick - Stippling

For many hours over the last 3 days I've been stippling this quilt.  Although I am happy with the amount of practice I got, I did find that if I kept going without a break (sorry Helen, I did listen really), the work got messier the more tired I got.

I did however, achieve the look I wanted................

.................flattening out all the black areas really makes the colours and frames pop out.

I tried to keep to medium, small & micro stippling for different areas, but over the days it all sort of got mixed up.  The 2" black patches inside the frames got micro-stippled, the black strips inside the frames were stippled small and the rest - sashing seams & around the stenciled motifs, medium size stipple.

I know that stippling is 'old hat' and that creative filler patterns are now the trend.  I am new to this so stippling is new to me and I wanted to put some on my quilt.  I like the process and I like the finished look, so 'phff't to trends and I'll stick to stippling for a while.

Of course, things go wrong and yes, I had a couple of disasters!  The first one was fixable but the other ...!!!
I purchased a Supreme Slider to help with drag issues, which I taped down to the bed of my machine.  Yup - I managed to sew it to the back of the quilt.  I need to un-tape it whenever I change the bobbin (which was frequently), and I must have gotten slack in ensuring it was properly taped down before sewing............

It wasn't difficult to unpick, but it was a stressing moment when I discovered what had happened.

The other issue was worse and I don't know how to correct it.  After a bobbin change, I noticed the bobbin thread popping up to the top.  I loosened the tension till I was happy, then continued sewing.  I didn't check the back.............

The stitching is too small to unpick, but I'm concerned that leaving the loopy threads like that, the stitching will eventually unravel.  Besides, it looks awful!  Such a shame, it happened about 4 blocks from finishing and I'm really annoyed with myself.  I was stitching with loud music playing and didn't notice any change in sound from the machine which normally would have warned me all was not well.

I'll continue on with the trimming and binding meanwhile, and hope I can get some info on what to do with this mess!


  1. I think everyone who free-motions has your last problem at some stage. I think you forgot to put your presser foot down. Loosening the tension would have done nothing, as you didn't actually have the tension engaged. It's not hard to pull out - just cut off the back loops and the top thread should pull out easily.

    You're doing well, though!

    Dorothy in Oz

  2. Harriet mentioned something during her free motion class that surprised me: listen to the sound of your machine and have no other distractions. I always have kids running through, the TV on, phone ringing, etc.
    I adore what stippling has done for your quilt. The raised areas in the Card Trick quilt are really a stand-out - I think stippling was a wise choice, albeit lots of work.

  3. I really like the side view shot you took to emphasize the raised areas. The quilt looks great so far and Dorothy has a good suggestion for fixing the tension/looping.

    Cheers, K