Sunday, April 6, 2014
Of needles, thread and hexagon finishes
I stitched them on to the quilt when I got home.
I am now in the process of appliqueing the border to the hexagon panel.
I have been using a pack of Roxanne applique needles for most of the non-embroidery stitching on this project. I really like this natty little container of needles.
The needles, however, bent so quickly I began to think they were designed to bend and this was meant to make applique easier. I continued to use each needle with the curve until it became unwieldy.
I also suspect that some of the problems I had with thread breaking was caused, or exaccerbated, by roughness on the inside of the needle eye wearing away at the thread. I tried a number of threads in the course of stitching the hexagons. My least favourite was Mettler cotton thread, which tended to shred and break. I had better luck with Aurofil Cotton Mako, which didn't shred and only broke a few times in a 100 metre reel. I had similar success with Gutterman cotton, but resorted in the end to Gutterman polyester which didn't break or shred and only rarely developed knots.
Obviously, I used more black thread than any other colour. After the first few rows, for the most part, I used either black or white thread. The white thread I used was a reel I inherited from my grandmother when she died in 1980. It is Coats Trident mercerised No.40 cotton - quite thick but smooth. It never broke, rarely knotted and never shredded. I am very pleased to have used half the reel so my grandmother, too, can be part of this project.