I've been in the studio all morning and it's great to see progress being made with my latest quilt. People have asked me what I think of the new Pfaff machine and why I think anyone would need to buy one if they already have a reliable sewing machine for free motion quilting. There are several reasons I like it so much. I'm loving how the big table supports the weight of the quilt and lets me keep everything smooth and flat around the needle as I sew. It makes the visible area of the quilt much larger than it would be with a normal domestic machine, even one with a sizeable table extension. Being able to see a lot of the quilt helps when you are quilting without having marked a design on the fabric because you can see exactly where you're going. The huge throat means you can fold or roll the top of the quilt as you work in the centre or lower section and yet still have the immediate area nice and flat.
I certainly wouldn't recommend sampling on a 'proper' quilt, a scrap sandwich of the same materials is much better for that, but I got carried away on the Powerquilter this morning and you know how it is when the devil drives! I was impatient and couldn't resist putting some of my Madeira threads through their paces. I tried out different types - tanne, rayon, polyester, cotona 30 and 50 weights and a variegated cotona 50 too. They all behaved beautifully so I'm happy I'll be able to carry on doing what I always like to do - mix it up! The bobbin is twice the size of most machines so it lasts for ages, even if you stitch as densely as I do. There's a separate winding machine for the bobbins but I've yet to use it because I've been working with the full bobbin that arrived with the quilting machine - I'll report back on that at a later date when I've tried it.
I've still got lots of background quilting to do but I'm beginning to draw in the details of the crow face and feathers using the stitched line like a pen to follow the shapes in the print or to invent them where they don't exist. I'm using a Madeira rayon thread in mid grey. I think it's a softer effect than black and shows up well against the colour of the bird. Rayon is lustrous and catches the light so it makes a lovely contrast with the cotton threads I'm using in the background. I know the Powerquilter is capable of very fast sewing speeds but I haven't been brave enough to venture beyond 35% yet. Laura will probably laugh out loud when she hears that!
This is a very short post today because as soon as I've had a bite to eat I'm going back to my quilting. I'm having a very satisfying day - hope you are too!