However, quilting is a great distraction, so instead of dwelling on my empty nest, I've continued working away on my "Creative Journey" quilt.
Before we get to that I'd like to talk a little bit about thread choices. For my sewing machine I prefer Gutermann, I also use their quilting thread for hand quilting. However, my all time favorite thread is embroidery floss! Particularly variegated flosses.
DMC has a wonderful line called "Color Variations." I make sure I always have at least one skein of each in my thread box at all times, (it's one of my favorite things to buy with those craft store 40% off coupons!).
The floss has great color and sheen, and it seems to handle better than the regular DMC floss, (although that might be my imagination because I love it so much!). A few years ago I was lucky enough to come across a sale of a set of all DMC floss colors. They were in 2 yard pieces and I bought two sets. Now I keep a running list of colors I've run out of to pick up at the next 4/$1.00 sale. There are certain colors that I go through like crazy so I buy extra skeins and put them away for when I run out of what's in my "color box."
The quilt above is part of my 2nd prize winning entry in the 2007 Kaufmann Quilt Quest. This handbag was so much fun because I got to embellish each individual square, and unusually for me in this case I didn't try to carry the colors into the next square. I think it makes the embroidery and beadwork stand out even more. As you can see I used a lot of embroidery floss! I use it for applique because the color selection makes it possible for me to match any fabric, and as a single strand it's not too thick for beading. It can be frustrating at times because it can get fuzzy, tangled, and break, but in my case the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Yesterday I went off to stitch my butterflies down. I was able to get about 1/4 of them done last night. As you can see I used the buttonhole stitch and selected thread that would complement the colors in the wings, and hopefully tie them into the colors in the pieced section.
This is a corner butterfly showing the interest the variegated thread creates around the edges.
I focused on keeping the outside of the wings as perfect as possible so I started and ended where the two wings join together in the middle. I'm sure I'm going to cover up at least a part of that space so putting those awkward beginning and ending stitches there makes good sense.
Here's one corner section showing the batik fabric butterfly with orange stitched wings. Orange is becoming one of my favorite colors, I love how it goes so well with shades of blue and green, and I love it with pink!
It's going to take a few days to get the rest of these wings stitched on so we'll take a little rest stop on the "Creative Journey" highway until I can get caught up.