Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Out with the Lint, in with the New Skills

I told you that my husband went off for the thread so that I could FMQ the Franken-quilt. Here was the conversation:
Him: I heard you might need some thread. I'm going into town.
Me: Why, I do. Thanks! Buy a big spool of Guterman. I could use a very light lemon yellow and a royal blue.
Him: That's all? Don't they have numbers or anything?

Ummm...I couldn't tell him how many yards a "big spool" is. I couldn't tell him what weight of thread ("just the regular kind"). I did know I wanted polyester, because I am afraid that cotton thread would shrink (any insights on this, quilters?). My husband, on the other hand, lives in technicalities. He is, in fact, a techie. He also likes a clean home. Why he chose me as his mate is still a mystery.

(Note: my friend and fellow-blogger Zenia turned me on to Connecting Threads, evidently a great source for inexpensive, high-quality thread. I placed a big order while my husband was out shopping).

As I quilted the Scrappy Solstice, a.k.a. Frankenstein quilt, I noticed a white skin of lint on all the dark fabrics. Evidently, as I was busy FMQ-ing the quilt, it was busy cleaning up my sewing room ('cause I sure wasn't). Sewing the binding only amplified this experience. Imagine encountering this monstrosity:

I admit housekeeping is a bit of a deficit. And I know that this not only impacts my family, but also impairs my machine's operation:

So I have decided for the new year: Out with the Lint! (better housekeeping) and In with the New Skills (like learning how to clean my machine! and paying attention to needle size, thread weight, etc.). After all, I just gained a new skill, FMQ! And one before that, blogging on BlogSpot! So maybe I shouldn't consider those other skills out of my reach.

So now, If you'll excuse me, I'd like to resume Operation: Dust Bunny Eradication. (My first mission was washing and drying the completed Franken-quilt.)

The "Scrapter-piece" back:

Close-up of FMQ:
(this is called the "meander" stitch. If I keep this up I'll need a bumper sticker that says, "she who meander is not [necessarily] lost!" or something like that):


  1. Bravo!! You did an awesome job!!! This quilt is amazing!! What was B's reaction?

    LOL...loved the part about while you were FMQ-ing...your quilt was busy cleaning your sewing room! Too funny. As far as cotton thread shrinking...I truly have no idea. I was taught it was ok to piece w/ polyester (or cotton if you can afford to do so) and quilt w/cotton. Thanks to Connecting Threads...I can now afford to piece w/cotton! =D And what a wonderful blogger you are! A Natural!

  2. B. saw it in process and knew it was for her, so there was no surprise element. I think her favorite part is her name on the back. She had a smile when she mentioned it to me. It's a nice added touch especially for a teen I think. Thanks for the compliment. I did one just like it this summer in pink and green so the piecing experience was a tad ho-hum for me (maybe that's what gave me the courage to FMQ it).

  3. Hello Greta - I was taught that you should use cotton thread with cotton fabrics and man made threads with man made fabrics. Because the polyester threads are so much stronger than cotton they do not 'give' and so are liable to tear the fabric if it is pulled or stretched. I hope this is helpful. If you have spent money on buying good fabric then it is a shame to economise with cheap thread which may spoil what could become an heirloom quilt.