Monday, October 25, 2010

The Italian Face Off - Aurifil vs Curicini Tre Stelle

And so it begins . . .

I was so intrigued by my first experience with fine Italian threads that I've decided to do a head to head comparison between Aurifil and Curicini Tre Stelle.

I first learned of Aurifil at the Houston Quilt Festival back in 2005 and immediately fell in love with their 12 wt variegated thread. I like to use variegated thread for quilting and the 12 wt was a nice hefty thread that was still thin enough to run through my Bernina.

The Curicini Tre Stelle thread is new to me, but is a from a company that has been around for decades.

The first round of the Italian thread faceoff will be between 50 wt threads doing regular piecing. I use a Bernina 1260 and a 90/14 needle (because I don't like changing needles between cotton and metallic threads!)

In this corner is a grey 2-ply 50 wt Curicini Tre Stelle thread.


I've filled 5 bobbins and cleaned the bobbin case.


Then in this corner, anxiously waiting his turn, is a white 2-ply 50 wt Aurifil thread.


I am piecing regular commercial 100% cotton squares with a straight stitch and will go through 5 full bobbins. I'll be counting thread breaks and checking lint build up after each bobbin finishes.


So far, I completed 1 bobbin full of the Curicini Tre Stelle. This is what the bobbin case looked like afterwards.



Sort of linty! Could be from the fabric, could be the thread, but won't know until the full test is finished. I'm thinking I may have to also run this test with the cheap brand of thread I was previously using just to get a data point on linty-ness.

Other than the lint, the Curicini is running smooth and beautiful through my machine and creating lovely stitches.

I have finished off one simple quilt top, but the challenge will continue on the next! Stay tuned for scintillating photos of lint build up or lack there of.


(Sorry, no wet t-shirts or tight Italian pants in this faceoff. I'll have to leave those images to your imagination!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quilt Making Frenzy

Ever since the wedding quilt frenzy, I haven't been able to let go of the desire to make more standard quilts. It has been partly because I realized my scrap pile was threatening to take over my studio. I also needed more room for fabrics that I use in my current work, not the wild multi-patterned novelty-type fabrics I had purchased in the past. So the old stuff had to be used up, because, of course, I couldn't throw it away!


I also realized that I have been at our inn, the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, for 6 years already and have only completed a quilt for only one of the rooms. I feel like such a piker! Here I call myself a quilter and haven't even made quilts for the rooms -- although my art quilts are all over the place! But I wanted to put "my mark" on the inn as an innkeeper - something that might last longer than I. (Although I am not planning any departure from the inn anytime in the near future!)


I also just like assembling pieces of fabric and it is a very relaxing thing to do when you are too exhausted to think of anything else.


Another motivator is that I bartered one of our workshops at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for some longarm quilting services. The workshop traded is coming up and I don't have any of the quilt tops ready! So I'm piecing at every chance I get.


Nothing like a pile of chain pieced triangles. If I'm lucky I might have one quilt top ready by the time the workshop is over.

I was approached by a distributor to try out a line of Italian thread, Curicini Tre Stelle. It is a 2-ply long staple thread, reportedly just like Aurifil, another line of fine Italian thread. I tried the 50 wt cotton for piecing. The difference between this thread and the much cheaper brand that I had been using was marked! The Curicini ran through my Bernina like silk.


Now I'm curious about the Aurifil 50wt. I have some but was waiting until I used up the cheaper stuff I had (waste not, want not!). But with the difference between the finer thread being so immediately noticeable, now I want to see how the two Italians face off!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wedding Quilt Appreciation


My new son-in-law, Zeke, showing his appreciation for a quilt large enough for his 6'4" height!

The wedding quilt was used at the wedding as the backdrop for a time-release photo "booth" - a special camera snapped a picture every 10 seconds and guests stepped into the booth to strike poses with funny paper eye glasses. However, I neglected to take any photos of the quilt! I'll have to wait for the official photos.

So now for some non-quilt related photos of the wedding! As mother of the bride I get to show off the bride in my blog if I want to!


Me and my mom.


Bride and groom with my mom, brother, sister, husband, and sister-in-law.


Me and the bride!


The happy couple.


The happy bride.


This kiss, this kiss . . .