Back in July of last year, my guild, the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild, issued members a challenge: grab two pieces of fabric from two paper bags – one bag had prints and the other solids – and make something with it. During the selection, no peeking was allowed! The only rules were that you could only add one neutral solid or solids from the same color family as the original solid you picked.
I grabbed a blue and an large-scale orange print fabric. Luckily for me these colors actually go together.
The reveal was back in October so you could say I’m a little late with the finished product. But, it’s about process, right?!? Well, I finally got the process underway a few weeks ago and started making something happen.
I took the challenge literally and made it a real paper bag challenge. I randomly cut pieces of fabric up and stuck them in a bag. I pulled two pieces out at a time and stitched them together. I’ve worked with this technique before and love it for the randomness that results. See this post for another way I’ve used the paper bag in my sewing.
I kept sewing pieces together randomly until I got big chunks.
Then I continued to piece the big chunks together until voilà! A quilt top was born!
I decided to go with straight diagonal lines to keep the quilting simple. I started quilting with white thread. I got about half way done with the first set of lines and was bothered by the white thread on the blue fabrics. I considered grey and beige threads, but they still looked too light on the blue. I also considered blue thread, but knew I wouldn’t like it on the white.
Then it occurred to me: invisible thread!
Look at the difference between the white and the invisible!
I like the invisible lines much better. They are more subtle than the white thread. Even though it was a pain to rip out all the lines with white thread, for me it was worth the effort.
I’ve heard from some folks that using invisible, or monofilament thread, can be a bit of a challenge. I think there are two keys to using it successfully: (1) dropping the tension on the machine way down (I change my tension from 4 to 1.5) and (2) using cotton thread in the bobbin.
What about you? Do you ever go invisible? If so, when? If not, why not?