100 Quilts · Finishing School Friday

Be My Valentine

Okay, I know I’m late.  Late for Valentine’s Day.  But better late than never, right? Another entry into Friday Finishing School.  In fact, today I have two!mini-love-quilt

I finished sewing down the binding on my LOVE mini quilt–here it is!  Okay, on to the red and white.


Be My Valentine, Quilt #94

I threw a color catcher into the washer to catch the red dye–obviously I needed two, judging by the fact that the little ladies now have a light pink background instead of a white background.  It’s interesting how some of the whites were tinted pink and others were not.  Go figure.

The back.

I wanted something fun for the label, so I cut out a piece of fabric from the front, and printed onto that. It really is squared up.  Ignore the photo.

Beauty shot of the quilting on the front.  I used a thicker thread–King Tut, because I wanted those circles to stand out.  I have to say I really like quilting with Superior Thread’s King Tut.  And I buy my thread from them, just like everyone else does.  No, they are not a sponsor.  Yes, we are having a giveaway but only because I like their product.  I also use the Guterman that I get on a 50% off coupon at  the big box fabric store, but I’ve only really been happy with that for piecing, not for quilting the top.  (And no, I don’t buy into that myth about polyester thread “cutting” the cloth.)  I have also used Sulky on occasion, but sometimes I don’t like the shiny look of the polyester, and head back to the cottons.  Some quilts call for one kind of thread, other quilts call for other threads.

And on the back I used Superior’s Bottom Line thread in white. How did I ever start using this?  It was when I was sewing my Empty Nest, Full Life quilt, and I just couldn’t get the threads to balance properly with their locking of the stitch in between the front and the back.  I think I had purchased a spool of Bottom Line at the last quilt show I’d gone to and in desperation, wound it onto the bobbin to try.  It’s a lighter weight thread, and I think Heather (Mother Superior, as she is known on the website) told me that a lot of show quilters used it because they could more densely quilt their quilts.  That fact didn’t sway me at all (you know how much I hate densely quilted quilts), but the fact that I didn’t have loopy loops or pulled threads to the front did convince me it was something to have around.  I loosen the tension on the top a little, sometimes a lot.  Then I write that on a post-it note and keep it near the machine for when I have to come back to it.  Generally, with a thicker thread on top, I lower it by one full point–from a 4.0 to a 3.0.

So I tend to use it always in the bobbin.  I’ve always wanted to try it in hand piecing, as it is as fine as silk.  Some day.  There you go–two Friday Finishes!

11 thoughts on “Be My Valentine

  1. I love them. The Red and White Valentine Quilt is darling, and your quilting is wonderful. I too always use Superior Threads. I always put “So FIne!” in my bobbin, which is the same as Bottom Line. I buy it on the big spools and usually just use a neutral color.
    I also have begun washing my stash with the color catchers, especially the reds and darker colors. I usually always wash a quilt before I give it away, so prewashing alot of the fabrics takes away some of those surprise color blends. I’ve also had a lot of my stash for a long time, through a move and storage, so I thought it was a good idea just to wash it on basic cleaning principals.

  2. The red/white quilt is great – love the fabric choices and that back – wow! Do you recall the name of the line with the “flower stand” scenes/park on it?

  3. Wowzers! You’re on a roll. The vday quilt looks amazing, love the label. Sorry about the fabric bleeding, what a bummer! Still looks beautiful tho.

  4. I meant to ask about thread. What’s this about polyester vs cotton? I heard something about cotton being better, but I also heard it breaks down faster? Or maybe that was the polyester. Anyways, I’d love to know more.

    1. Such a tempest in a teapot controversy, in my mind.

      Today’s cotton threads are sturdy and well-built, and over a thousand years, may break down. But I’m only worried about the next 100 or so. So no, I’m not worried about them breaking down. The early polyester threads were junk (I know, I was sewing with them), but today’s poly threads are wonderful and smooth and give me no trouble. When I moved back East, and participated in the quilting there, a couple of people told me they believed that polyester threads would “cut” the seams and make your quilt fall apart. Myth. And how would any of us know anyway? The good polyester threads have only been around for about 25 years, certainly not long enough to judge anything if you ask me. So use your favorite high-quality thread and no worries. Just don’t buy the clearance thread at the big box store and you should be fine. Some machines hate the cotton-wrapped polyesters and shred them, and in my sewing past they did a pretty nice satin stitch for applique, but I now just use what I have on hand, which is usually Guterman or Superior.

      Does this answer your question? One thing I do like about Bob Purcell’s thread is that his website has so much educational information on it. He really knows his stuff.



  5. Elizabeth, I found a quilt similar to your Be My Valentine quilt via pinterest (only difference was different fabric). My sisters in law and I are trying to have it made for mom for Mother’s Day, however our quilter needs the pattern for this quilt. Would you be willing to send it to me or tell me where I can find it? I’d be so appreciative!

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