My blue New York Roundabout Again is basted (yeah!) and the quilting is underway. Since this is a workshop sample, I decided to go with a plain, pale cream backing so that students can easily see the quilting.
This backing is a problematic fabric I've had on hand for sometime. It's a fine, wickedly expensive cotton with a very high thread count which I purchased to use on a hand-quilted storm at sea a couple of years' back. I had the king-sized quilt all basted and began the hand stitching, only to discover that the needle would not go through the fabric without a fight. It turned out to be a fight I lost, as I wasn't long replacing that backing with something a little more needle-friendly. I used part of the backing on a smaller quilt I was machine quilting, but had issues doing that as well; the needle left visible holes where it pierced the fabric. My frugal nature would not allow me to throw the remainder out and enough time has passed that I've regained my determination to use it up. I tested out the stitching with several different needles and found that a Microtex (Sharp) Size 80/12 gave good results. Often it is all about using the right needle. As I am using 100 wt. navy Invisifil thread on top and cream coloured 50 wt. cotton thread on the bottom, I doodled some motifs to get my thread tension correct. This is the back of the work I am showing you here. You can see in the right hand section below that the navy thread grows fainter and fainter as I tighten my top tension. By the time I move onto the second motif (on the left) there is no navy showing at all on the back and no cream showing on the front - just the way it should be.
The feathers are all free handed, using the inside curve of the ring as the spine.
As I quilt, I have my new fabric in view so I can work on its design in my head. I had seen this fabric in a picture posted from Spring Quilt Market and knew it would be perfect for a Thanksgiving antependium. I ordered it online from Craft Town Fabrics in Indiana, and their service was terrific. The fabric is from Studio e, called Blessings II .
I ordered a companion piece for the lettering on the banner.
I am not sure yet exactly of the design, but I am thinking a plain cream with these printed words woven into the background, then overlaid with appliqué, would be very effective. I suspect by the time I have the quilting on Roundabout Again complete, this design will have gelled. Or at least I hope so :)