Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bobbin work - longarm style

So last week I had a few minutes to spare (no, not really, but I used them for myself anyway) and I decided to attempt bobbin work on the Gammill.  I knew after taking Bonnie McCaffrey's class (see previous post) I would run with this because the amount of ideas already popping out of my brain is insane -- I wish the extra minutes in my day would balance with the ideas in my head -- then I might get ahead of myself... maybe.

So anyway, let's share -- well, I'll share, you read... 

We'll start with one full M bobbin of YLI Candlelight thread (super cool stuff).

Now I'll share what the stitch out of one full M bobbin looks like. Not much, but the effect is absolutely awesome.

Remember, we're working from the back so to help me stitch my name I used a piece of stabilizer.

And here's a close up peek at some of the detail.  Don't worry about those little glittery feathers in the bottom right corner -- I'll get to them later.

So after the first bobbin full I was happy, but not thrilled, I still had some tweeking of tensions to do.  So round two started:

Still not perfect... even more adjustments, and

Viola!  Now I was a happy girl!  Not too much build up, good stitches, perfect in my little world.  So, what do I try next... Superior Glitter thread.

So the Glitter thread wasn't as happy as the Candlelight with the current settings.  That is another day's spare moments.  I was happy with the adjustments for the Candlelight so I left that bobbin case as is.  I'll be ordering some more Candlelight thread and I'll be using in on my latest UFO that I worked on over the weekend.

I had a mexican pinwheel feathered star (Marsha McCloskey pattern) that had been sitting around collecting dust.  So I pulled it out -- this is what it looked like (actually is was extremely wrinkly so I gave it a real quick pressing):

Then I worked on it over the weekend, and now it looks like this (still wrinkly):

It is not a masterpiece, there are quite a few things wrong with the star -- hey, Marsha did warn me on the cover of the book with her statement of "really hard blocks that take a long time to make" -- she was not kidding - it really should have said Karen, you've got attention problems,can't follow directions, and don't always read the entire pattern, this is NOT the book for you.  And to be honest, I never finished the block her way -- the center lemoyne is hand-appliqued because after three tries it still didn't work right!  Adjust and move on!  I may add some little circles here and there -- not sure yet, waiting til it tells me.  This will be my bobbin work debut quilt -- you can see it is begging for bobbin work right?  I'm really hoping they have black Candlelight thread... really hoping!  More to come on this one.


  1. Ohh! lOve it! I would love to share my 3D Threader with you--check it out--I bet your creativity will go wild!

    I'm also on fb! hugs, Penny Gleason Roberts

    1. Love the idea of the 3D Threader, but the Candlelight won't fit through a needle eye. Bobbin work is the only way to go for some specialty threads. I'll definitely keep the 3D Threader in mind for other stuff though, thanks!

  2. I'm still very interested in how you did this. As I said, I have a special bobbin case to do this on my domestic. Did you loosen your bobbin tension like crazy? I might need to give this a whirl...!

    1. Try it! I have a few bobbin cases for the Gammill - I used an older one, and I didn't loosen the tension as much as you think I would've. When you tug the Candlelight there is still some tension on it -- probably moved it about 10-12 minutes worth in total.

  3. I think this is lovely and hope to one day be brave enough to give it a try!

  4. Love the step by step! And I have loved this quilt as I have followed it on Facebook.