Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Tip

Have you ever had trouble quilting on gray fabric with gray thread or black on black, etc?  Today I was working on a t-shirt quilt and ran into that very problem.  Each quilt I finish on the longarm teaches me something.  Mostly humility, but today I had to dig back in my memory on how to solve this issue.  I remember visiting with Jamie Wallen in his studio in Michigan City and he showed me light bars he hung on his longarm.  This allowed the light to shine sideways and you could see the texture of where you had already quilted.  It also helps sometimes to turn your overhead lighting off in the room. 
So here is what I rigged up on a moments notice.  I taped my battery operated light to the tube my batting had been wrapped on. 
I adjusted the angle of the light by running a piece of tape from the tube to the up take roller and pinned the tape to hold the light at the right angle to make the thread show up so I could see where I had already quilted.  Blue painter's tape is a wonderful thing.  It does not leave residue behind. 
Below is one view of the gray thread on gray t-shirt. 
This is a little lower angle, with overhead lighting off. 
This may also be a problem on your domestic machine when free motion quilting.  Try turning your room's overhead lighting off or down and using an Ott light at the side or back of your machine.
Yours in quilting,

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