This is the back of a thread drawing I did this morning to donate to Judy’s Hope silent auction — Judy is a friend of mine who survived ovarian cancer at a very young age (late thirties) and spun her gratitude for the care she received into an annual fund-raiser. The funds she raises go to support the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
First, I attached the raw silk to the upholstery fabric, with a little piece of batting sandwiched in between. This black rectangle of thread allowed me to see the ‘canvas’ area from the back. With a green sharpie, I made a rough sketch of the figure on the back. Since I used a heavier weight thread on the top of the machine and a more standard weight in the bobbin, the initial black lines for the figure on the right side were of a lighter weight. (Bobbin thread goes underneath; top thread on top). Now that I had the outlines of my figure, I could flip it over and continue drawing on the right side, with the heavier thread being laid down. Lastly, I applied some ecru thread from the front (same thread on top and in bobbin).
It surprised me to find that the ‘reverse’ side of the thread drawing held so much more appeal. The darker threads looked better, and even the revealed bits of green sharpie (hard to see here) added interest.
Bobbin Thread Tips — since the thread feeding up through the bobbin has much less resistance and therefore fewer opportunities to break than the thread being fed from the top of the machine, one trick quilters use is to place threads prone to breakage, like the metallic or variegated threads, in the bobbin. Also, the bobbin can feed heavier weight threads than the top would allow, like embroidery floss. This requires being able to ‘see’ the wrong side (which is really the right side) of the quilt, so as to know where the more decorative thread is going to end up. Hence, my drawing of the rectangle on the portrait above first, so I could ‘see’ where I was placing the threads from the back.
Sometimes, quilters use a separate bobbin that they can adjust the tension on with a little screwdriver, so as not to mess with the tension on the standard bobbin. I have separate bobbins for both my Pfaff and Berninas, but I have also learned not to be afraid of changing the tension.