For a future project to teach everyone to actually sew something from scratch, I hit upon the novel idea of a ... drumroll please ... pillow cover. Banal, perhaps, but simple, and hopefully something one could finish in one session and regard with some sense of satisfaction. So I decided to make a couple on my own; first, to practice up, and to give myself a place to practice free-motion machine quilting -- always needed.
I took a hand-painted, sun-printed bit of yardage from a Micky Lawler class, and worked some free-motion machine embellishment in gold metallic (Madeira FS). Then I filled in the background with my trusty rayon thread (Maderia No. 40).
You machine quilters will note that the filling stitches on one side are more successful (bottom photo) than on the other side (top photo). By the second side, after many bobbin thread experiments, I remembered that the top thread was polyester, not rayon (Superior's Rainbows variegated line), so I switched the bobbin thread to a very thin poly called "The Bottom Line," by Superior. Perfecto!
--- Before Epiphany ...