So - I grabbed several of my least favorite 9-patch blocks from the 9-patch challenge, sewed them together, then added a quick border to create a practice quilt. In the process, I discovered that I really like working with small quilts. I did this to try to create a piece large enough to create some of the drag that I experienced with the big quilt. However, I don't think I accomplished that - it was pretty easy to maneuver and moved smoothly.
I then carefully wound a bobbin with YLI wonder thread in the 0.004 size. It is very delicate. I spent some time on Monday reading up on what to expect when using nylon thread and adjustments one might make with their machine. The tips I gathered for using invisible thread are as follows:
- Wind the bobbin slowly (if possible) so that you don't stretch the thread
- Increase the stitch length
- Use an 80/12 or a 70/10 needle (I have 75/11 in the house, and so far they are working)
- Slow down, don't try to sew at top speed
- Loosen the upper tension (or adjust as needed as you work your test block)
- Bring the bobbin thread to the top when starting and remember to trim or bury threads as you work so as not to lose track of where the thread ends are later as the thread is very hard to see
So - on to the next stage of the project. Last week, I put in the first 10 vertical seams to stabilize the quilt. Last night, I carefully picked out the first two of those seams. I am hopeful that I'm recalling correctly that I didn't have as many points on the later seams where I managed to sew for stretches with what looks like a 0.5 versus a 3.0 seam as those were incredibly tedious to remove. I did develop a pretty good technique using the threads and also the seam ripper to get the tight stitches out. And I'm re-pinning the sashing as I go along to try to not have to re-pin the entire quilt.