OK. I think it’s going to take me some time to figure out how to successfully machine quilt the laminated silk fabric I’ve made recently.
Here’s the piece, I added the border yesterday. What you’re looking at is 2 layers of fabric, the somewhat stiff laminated silk on top of a piece of yellow-ish/orange fabric; you can kind of see that the black and white areas have a bit of a rosy glow, that’s the fabric underneath.
I then added a 3rd layer, the batting; this is the piece, wrong side up:
I plan on stretching this over stretcher-bars (so it will look a bit like a canvas), so I’m not quilting the whole top, and I’m leaving some fabric un-quilted on the side (the yellow fabric you see) so it will be easier to stretch and staple over the stretcher-bars.
I then put on a final layer of loosely woven muslin, over the backing, to make the quilt sandwich: 4 layers total.
Then I tried to quilt it.
Above, you can see that there is an OK quilting line along the green stem; I used the walking foot for that, and the stitches are OK. In the middle, you can see yellow-ish holes where I pulled out the thread: this is where I tried to stiple using the free-motion foot. The thread kept breaking and it was driving me nuts; changing the needle, the tension, the thread did nothing. I think there are a) too many layers to free motion (next time I’ll skip the muslin backing so I just have 3 layers to quilt through, and b)the laminated fabric doesn’t have any “weave” so it’s kind of like quilting through a super tight-woven fabric like cotton sheeting, which is impossible. I did that once. Never again. It could also be my machine.
Anyway, since this fabric doesn’t have a “weave”, when I pulled out the stitches, holes were left behind.
I knew this was going to happen; but I hoped that the quilting would go better. I pressed the fabric with some steam, under parchment paper, and at least the holes melted a bit and now aren’t so obvious:
Tomorrow I’ll quilt the rest of it, though I’m just using the walking-foot, which can outline shapes but nothing more. Free-motion is out. Until I figure out how to make it work.
Tomorrow I also plan to set up my new mitre-saw: power tools make me nervous, but I want to try and make frames for these pieces. When something is framed it immediately becomes more of any art object. Unfair, but, that’s just how it is.