Yummy colors, fabulous combinations of colors.....So wonderful....
In theory anyway. I have a love/hate relationship with these beautiful threads. They entice me from the thread rack and I am hard pressed to turn away without a few spools in my basket. And they are more expensive!
But they can be tricky to work with. Backtracking over previous stitching rarely happens in the same color as the previous stitching.
Finding the right bobbin thread is difficult. I prefer to match the bobbin thread to the quilt top, which was easy in the case of my Poured Out 2 quilt as it was all one color for the variegated thread area. If you use the same thread top and bottom, it is unlikely that the colors will be the same more than half the time. Granted, we want our tensions set so that we don't see pops of color from the bobbin on the top (or vice versa) but with a thin batt or highly contrasting colors it is fairly inevitable.
I have heard that winding a bobbin back onto another bobbin will help get the colors to line up top and bottom. Then you pull the starting threads until the colors line up before stitching.
Since I had Poured Out 2 laid out for the above pictures, I went ahead and took a shot of the back of the water section. Fun feathers!
Variegated colors can look great on contrasting colors like the black of Poured Out 2 and on the brown of my fall wall hanging at the top. They can also help unify a multicolored quilt with the multicolored thread. But then sometimes it decides to play peekaboo with you! It can be too dark and too light all on the same fabric or on different parts of a quilt, like in the picture below. I may be redoing this part of a customer quilt with a solid colored thread. (Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist.)
So, what to do?
- Choose either a variegated thread that will contrast with most of the top's color(s) or will blend with all of them.
- Choose quilting designs with as little backtracking as possible
- Look for subtle tone on tone threads for a unifying effect.
- Use a bobbin thread that matches the dominant colors of the thread, or the dominant color of the top's fabric(s), use monopoly, or experiment with rewinding bobbins to get the threads to line up.
- Remind yourself that sometimes variegated thread looks better on the spool than in your quilt!
I'm linking this post with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday and with Leah Day's Free Motion Friday. Go and visit these two great link parties and see what other quilters are up to.