Sewing on Rust Dyed Cloth…

I quilted “But Words Will Never Hurt Me” quite easily (see closeups below). I used 100% cotton batting and a hand dyed cotton backing. I usually use a needle made for quilting by Schmetz or a Microtex needle; these are sharp needles. Not having many Microtex needles, I used a size 11 quilting needle. The quilting part went fine. I ran into trouble when I went to sew the folded binding down. On the Bernina, the thread kept breaking. OK..change needles. The thread still broke and the needle seemed to have trouble going through the cloth, even stopping entirely. This has not happened to me before. I had broken two needles previously, so I thought perhaps the timing was off. It pieced two pieces of cloth together with no problem, so that’s not it. I put the Bernina away and got out the Featherweight to see if there was any difference. It too would sew a couple of inches and then stop and the needle would not pierce the fabric. I posted a Help email to the quiltart list and got several suggestions… use larger needles, use a different thread, use a Microtex 14 or topstitch needle. Walmart had no topstitch needles and I only had a Microtex 12. And I live an hour from any quilt shop.

You know how sometimes when you wake up in the a.m. with something on your mind, a problem you are trying to solve? I woke up the next morning planning my next move. I decided to make the binding a single layer instead of a folded binding. I had a Microtex 12 needle and polyester sewing thread. It worked wonderfully. This information will not be interesting to anyone except those looking for a way to sew through rust dyed fabric! The rust dyed cotton sateen did seem very dense and I don’t know if the rust did that or what. I have heard of people who have trouble sewing through dense areas of rust, but that was not the case with my quilt; it quilted just fine through the densely rusted areas, and the binding had no dense areas of rust.

It’s been a learning experience.

In other news, my friend SuznQuilts left for Houston market this morning at 3 a.m. She and friend, Nestlings By Robin will drive the whole day. I wish her good success. I stayed home this year. The 15 hour drive is long.