Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pebbles, Pebbles Everywhere

My favorite free-motion filler design is probably pebbles. From the first time I saw it, I fell in love, and I've loved it since. The texture feels wonderful, and the look has a river rock look that just feels so Japanese to me. Pebbles is the reason I was eager to learn to free-motion quilt.

After practicing wiggles and loops and straight lines, today I finally practiced some pebbles. I discovered to my delight that this design is easy! Indeed, it's a lot easier than stippling is to me, as I feel I don't have to think as far ahead, and mistakes hardly matter, as I can just convert them into little bubbles and fill the area a bit better. There's a lot of traveling in pebbling, and I'm not too proficient at traveling yet, but toward the end I was getting better.

When I first started free-motion quilting, I used Gutermann's 100% Polyester thread, which I could get easily from Jo-ann's and seemed to work fine for piecing. It even worked for free-motion until I started traveling, and then the thread started skipping and breaking. I was so surprised the first time it happened, as I had never had that happen before!

Per Leah Day's suggestions, I decided to give Isacord a try. I'm a total fan now ... that entire patch of pebbles had no skipped stitches or thread breakages, it didn't leave a lot of lint, and the part that makes me think this is too good to be true is ... it's quite a bit cheaper than Gutermann's! Isacord is a little harder to wind in the bobbin, the first time I did it was very uneven, but I found if I just hold the thread while I wind it, that extra tension is enough to encourage even winding.

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