Trying Some FMQ Options

Thank you to everyone for input on ways to put the string quilt blocks together.  In the comments, Choice 3, a straight grid of sashing was the clear winner, but in the voting, that option came in fourth!

Choice 4, the mid-tone diamond sashing, and Choice 5, the black sashing, tied with 30% of the vote each.  Choice 2, no sashing, came in third with 15% of the vote.  The only option that no one liked was the very wide white sashing.

After I posted the options, I realized that the sashing does need to be in a straight grid, because I pieced the strings onto rectangular foundation pieces.  If I were to do a diamond-shaped sashing, I would have to cut the blocks up diagonally and in this case that would be too hard.  So I have decided to put 4 string blocks together to emphasize their diamond shape, and then sash between those combined blocks instead of between every block.

Planned layout for string quilt.

Planned layout for string quilt. But I will move the blocks around into a more pleasing arrangement.

Melanie at Catbird Quilt Studio had suggested using an accent color for the sashing, but I think I am going to stay with blue because I am going for that manly shirts-and-ties look.  I will hold that accent color idea for another time!

That project is going to need focus and time, of which I had neither this week.  Instead I watched a Craftsy class, “Design It, Quilt It, Free-form Techniques” with Cindy Needham, and then I made a little lap quilt to practice free-motion quilting some of the motifs she teaches.

I don’t know if it’s because I started as a weaver, so I really appreciate cloth in its natural state, or if it’s because I am usually in too much of a hurry to just get done, but I am more of a piecer than a quilter.  But I have been so inspired by beautiful quilting that I want to improve in that area.  Another reason I want to do more stitching, is that I have tubs and buckets of thread, and I might as well maximize the use of the supplies I have in my crafting time.

Big squares I already had.

Big squares I already had.

Cindy showed a basket-weave motif, and suggested outlining it in heavier thread.  That is what I intended to do, and I chose some Auriful cotton I had — but I misread the label and thought it was 30 weight, when it was size 50!  It turns out all of their labels say “30 GR” on them, and I have no idea what that means.  Maybe 30 grams.  But it explains why my preliminary gridwork didn’t make much of a statement.

I stitched smaller squares in the large ones.

I stitched smaller squares in the large ones.

Then I quilted lines and circles.  They’re not too uniform, but I really enjoyed the process.  I was using the Glide pre-wound bobbins as I usually do, but I experimented with different colors of 40- and 50-weight cotton, and Gutermann recycled thread, to see what effects I liked best.  I like big bold stitching, but the 50-weight seemed to work best with that bobbin thread.

Lines and circles in different weights of thread.

Lines and circles in different weights of thread.


After that I added some borders.  I always love reading the selvedges and finding out I am using a fabric from 2005 or 2011 — it is finally achieving its quilt destiny! :)

All done.

All done.

I hoped that washing the quilt would make the stitching really pop.  I have to say that I think the close quilting lines in perpendicular directions make the quilt as stiff as a board.  However, this was either Warm and Natural or Hobbs 80/20 blend, and Cindy Needham recommends wool batting, and I do think that would work much better.


After washing.

After washing. The color is really still the same, it just looks crinklier.

Over all I don’t feel that in the quilting added that much visual interest to the lap quilt, but I did enjoy it, and I was happy to put into effect something I learned from a Craftsy class!

Greek Costume Stamps

Greek Costume Stamps

In 2007, I got to go to Athens (the real one in Greece — we have one in Texas too but it’s not quite as famous) on very short notice.  Usually when I get to go along on one of my husband’s business trips, we only stay somewhere for 3 days, but this time we got to stay almost a week.  I didn’t have time to do any research before we left, so we just wandered around, hitting all the usual tourist activities.

Soldiers parading in traditional dress.

Soldiers parading in traditional dress.

(I also didn’t have time to learn any Greek, and that made at least one shopkeeper angry, so I am sad to say that I gave support to the stereotype of the ugly American*.  But I did learn to say “efkharisto” [“thank you”] very quickly. **)

In the flea market of Monastiraki, I bought myself a little album of stamps as a souvenir.  I don’t collect stamps but the pages looked like little patchwork quilts and I thought I would use them for inspiration.

Just lately I looked at it again, and realized that there was a set of stamps showing regional costumes!

Stamps from the early 1970s, showing regional costumes.

Stamps from the early 1970s, showing regional costumes.

Here are some of my favorites:


This looks like white and red embroidery on black cloth.

I would love to know if this shows embroidery or weaving.

The apron looks like weft-faced weaving to me.

My favorite -- she is drop spinning!

My favorite — she is drop spinning!

Now if you just have to have a set of these for yourself, there are several for sale on the usual auction sites, going for a grand amount of a euro for the whole set!

I have always been more into household textiles like rugs, blankets, and towels, than into traditional costumes.  I always assumed that the different styles just evolved from the Middle Ages onward, but according to the book Rural Costume, that is not so.

Although there had been for some time a few distinctive regional dresses, or features, such as the head-dresses of the Basques, the costume of the North Holland people and their cousins, the Amager folk of Denmark… the costumes which could be assigned to one particular village or religion or status did not blossom into their full glory before the middle or even the last quarter of the eighteenth century.  Only then were the better-off peasants in a position to indulge in “infinite variety” and richness of design and materials, though this was mostly apparent in the gala dresses for Sundays and feast days.

Complete freedom from tied service to landlords, the buying of their own farms, and the abolition of sumptuary laws were… the causes of these changes; the people were then left to buy as their pockets, taste and village fashion dictated.  When a costume was regional, what you might wear and how you might wear your dress and its details was more or less rigid.  Nevertheless, new details were introduced by young men and girls…But the basic garments remained unchanged.

To be fair, this book is from 1970, so new research could have been done since then, and it does not include Greece, so maybe things were different there.  But it does seem to fit in with lots of textile history books that I’ve read, that point out that it took exploration, trade, and the Industrial Revolution, for people to be able to accumulate enough extra stuff that they could be expressive with it.

Now what I wish I had bought were the vintage linen sheets I saw, with beautiful red embroidery.  If I ever go back, I will look for them!

*In my defense, I do speak pretty good Spanish, and some French and German.  I did not know how to say that in Greek though, so the shopkeeper just had to draw her own conclusions.

** In the Lonely Planet phrasebook I bought, how to say “thank you” does not come up until page 74!  Following such phrases as “Can I stay at your place?” “Where can we hire an uncrewed boat?” and “I should never have let you near me!”  Maybe that is why those Lonely Planet people are lonely.

Setting Options – Opinions Requested

Setting Options – Opinions Requested

With this cold I’ve had for two weeks, I have felt too foggy to concentrate on anything even slightly complicated, but I have been wanting to sew.  So I have spent a little time each day working on the most basic project I have going, a string quilt.  It is so satisfying to use up scraps from thrift store shirts, and odds and ends of old Coats and Clark thread!

I have 20 big blocks done, 12.5 inches by 25 inches, and today I laid out 15 of them to get an idea of how I want to set them.  Then I played around on Photoshop and went and looked at more options on Pinterest.  So here are some of the layouts I am considering, and I would appreciate your input!

#1 - the Easiest. Just put the rectangles together. I would mix up the colors a little more, and add a border or two.

#1 – the Easiest. Just put the rectangles together. I would mix up the colors a little more, and add a border or two.

#2 - String diamonds. I would cut the rectangles into squares, piece randomly, add border.

#2 – String diamonds. I would cut the rectangles into squares, piece randomly, add border.

#3 - Grid Sashing. Sashing forms rectangles to complement the diamonds.

#3 – Grid Sashing. Sashing forms rectangles to complement the diamonds.

#4 - Diamond Sashing. Sashing in a midtone emphasizes the diamonds.

#4 – Diamond Sashing. Sashing in a mid-tone emphasizes the diamonds.

#5 - Dramatic Diamonds. Black sashing makes it all look more dramatic.

#5 – Dramatic Diamonds. Black sashing makes it all look more dramatic.

#6 - Crisp Diamonds. White sashing brightens the look.

#6 – Crisp Diamonds. White sashing brightens the look.

#7 - Emphatic Sashing. Thicker sashing tones down the string diamonds.

#7 – Emphatic Sashing. Thicker sashing tones down the string diamonds.

#8 - the Unconventional. Thick and thin blocks of strings reverse directions.

#8 – the Unconventional. Thick and thin blocks of strings reverse directions.

I saw another layout that I liked, that had thick white sashing and little 9-patches at the intersections. but I think that one would need more uniform strings widths than what I used here.

And just to boggle your mind, I will put all the possible layouts in a gallery so you can see them all at once!

I await your expertise and creative thinking!

Rags, Rugs, and a Mystery

Rags, Rugs, and a Mystery

I saw this picture in a National Archives blog post for Mother’s Day.  The winding of the rags caught my eye. I thought I remembered reading that during the Great Depression, whole kits for rag rug weaving were sold — pre-warped looms and prepared rags for rug wefts — and I wondered if this picture was evidence of that.

Photograph of Mrs. Anna B. Price, from the National Archives.

Photograph of Mrs. Anna Price, from the National Archives. Source.

The only information with it was its caption “Photograph of Mrs. Anna Price.”  At that time the photo had not yet been put in the online collection, and I couldn’t get any more information.  This week the archivist kindly notified me that the photo was now online — but, when I looked it up, there still was no more information!

We know this lady’s name, but not where or exactly when the photo was taken.  It is in a group with 23 other photographs, most of them showing women at paid jobs.  The creator is credited as “Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. 7/1/1920 – 7/21/1967” but several of the pictures have dates of 1918 and 1919 written on them  (including the one of the women rivet heaters that I posted before).  Some of the pictures say they are from England.  We don’t even know why all these pictures were put together — was someone doing a talk on women’s work?

So we can only gather evidence from the picture itself.  When I look at it, I notice that the rag strips are cut pretty thin, and all from one type of fabric; it looks like a sheeting weight.  Then I notice the piles and piles of stuff in the background, blocking part of the window.  If this were a recent picture, I would think that stuff is polyester batting or stuffing, but being that this is an old picture, I am guessing that it is the sheeting fabric they are going to cut up for these rag balls.

I can’t tell what the strips are looped around — it could be the corner of a loom, but zooming in, that wood looks thin and splintery, so it could be a homemade winder, similar to the one below.

Skein holder from the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Skein holder from the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio.

And I notice the beautifully crocheted sweater on the baby!  This is not some hand-me-down, it fits perfectly.

Detail showing the sweater.

Detail showing the sweater.

I hope Mrs. Price was able to supplement her income by selling her crochet work!

As far as the planned use for these rag balls, I would think they are for weaving.  They don’t look heavy enough for braided rugs, and hooked rugs are usually made with wool, not cotton.

So I did a little research, but I was not able to find anything about rags prepared for rug wefts and then sold to weavers, so I have no idea where I got that idea.  But I have the feeling that if Mrs. Price was going to weave these up herself, the photographer would have shown her weaving.  I think the fact that the photo shows just this step in the rag process means that this is what she (and her husband?) did for a living.

There were looms specifically made for rag rug weaving.  Here is one in 1937, the Weaver’s Delight, by Newcomb Looms.  Normally a floor loom has treadles down on the floor, that the weaver pushes with his or her feet to raise the harnesses that lift the threads.  In this case, you can see that there is a device attached to the beater (on the right side of the loom, where it says “Davenport, Iowa”).  When the weaver pulls the beater forward, the device will lift the harnesses in alternating fashion.

An article in Handwoven magazine said that these looms came pre-warped — which would be great, until it was time to re-warp the loom!  I have not found any information about what weavers were expected to do then.  Send the whole loom back, as people sent back early Kodak cameras to be re-filled with film?

From the Library of Congress.

From the Library of Congress. Source.

Original caption:

One of Erasty Emvich’s sons weaving a rug in farmhouse near Battle Ground, Indiana. Mr. Emvich, tenant farmer and father of twelve children, also weaves in his spare time.

The many rag rugs in the picture above are also obviously made of assortments of rags, not big batches of the same fabric, as we see with Mrs. Price.

The picture also shows a device sold by Newcomb for pack its special rag-weaving shuttle — it’s the little stool on the left with rollers and a metal funnel.

Newcomb designed a shuttle that allowed rag strips to be drawn out smoothly from prepacked metal cylinders.  To pack a cylinder, the rag strip was passed through a guide, over and between two friction rollers, and down into a funnel inserted into the open end of the cylinder.  Turning a crank folded the rags on themselves in the funnel, and they were pushed down with a plunger.  A dozen cylinders came with a shuttle-filler stool; each could hold enough weft for 14″ of carpeting.

Janet Meany, Paula Pfaff, and Theresa Trebon in Handwoven magazine, Sept./Oct. 1997

And here is another rag rug made from a variety of rags, in typical “hit-or-miss” style, from 1939.

From the Library of Congress. Source.

From the Library of Congress. Source.

Original caption –

WPA (Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration) supervisor instructing Spanish-American woman in weaving of rag rug. WPA project. Costilla, New Mexico

While researching these rag rugs I came upon another interesting source, a 2007 thesis on rag rug weaving by a woman who researched her grandmother’s weaving and that of other women in the community.

There is also a good article, Handweaving in the Industrial Age, 1865 – 1920, in the May/June 1993 Handwoven magazine.

So I don’t know anymore about Mrs. Price and her job than I did when I started.  If you can give me any information, I would love to hear it!


The Milliner’s Secret

Having just read about the couturiers and milliners of WWII Paris, I was excited to find a novel set in that era.  I was hoping that maybe more information about Théâtre de la Mode would be included in The Milliner’s Secret, by Natalie Meg Evans.

As it happened, that exhibition is not mentioned in the book, but its main character, Coralie, is a personification of the resourcefulness and tenacity that the creators of the Théâtre evidenced.

In 1937, London factory worker Cora Masson takes a chance to visit Paris with an attractive German gentleman she met at a racetrack.  After an interlude as a pampered mistress, she finds herself on her own, and with no reason to return to London, reinvents herself as milliner Coralie de Lirac.  Then, as the Occupation sweeps across France, she must draw on her working class skills to survive and keep her spirit alive.

Over the last 10 days I have had a very bad cold, and this book was the perfect companion to help me get through it.  The plot twists and turns made me forget all about sniffling and coughing.  I read a lot and can usually predict the plot, but with this book, there were many times I finished a chapter thinking, “I did not see that coming!”

A recurring theme in both books was the way Parisian women used fashion to show defiance against the invaders.  Here is the non-fiction Théâtre de la Mode:

How did the Parisienne fare in her struggle against deprivation, gloom, and hardship?  We see her on her way through the streets of Paris on her bicycle, sporting a tailored suit with slightly outsized shoulders; a short skirt, naturally, for fabrics were scarce; her legs painted; platform shoes; the shoulder bag carefully not worn the same way as the mailman’s; and hats so fanciful and extravagant they bordered on the irreverent.  Much prose had been devoted to those hats….In his memoirs, Christian Dior also mentioned those incredible hats: ‘Made of scraps that could not be used for anything else, they looked like huge pouffes that defied both the period’s woes and common sense.’

Such sartorial insouciance came as a shock to the women serving in the English and American armies that came to liberate Paris, yet it had served as a weapon against the austerity inflicted by the Germans,who had become so impatient with the general display of insolence that by 1944 they had threatened to close down every single milliner’s shop.

–Nadine Gasc, Haute Couture and Fashion 1939-1946, in Théâtre de la Mode

And here is Natalie Meg Evans in The Milliner’s Secret:

It wasn’t so much a fresh mood sweeping Paris as the days lengthened — people were still hungry, angry, and frightened — as a new game, called Bait the Occupiers.  Make fools of them but never let them know it.  It was a very feminine game…

It boiled down to shape and proportions.  The couture collections at the end of February took the previous year’s silhouette to a new extreme and, as ever, hats reflected the trend.  Coralie came up with voluminous shapes to balance bold shoulders, narrow waists and puffed skirts.  The new style suited chic Frenchwomen, but not broad German frames.

[Coralie is creating a hat for a German customer –] Taking a handful of stiff ribbon from a basket, she added bows and loops, which quadrupled the hat’s dimensions.  Red and white, barber-shop colours…. the result was a hair’s breadth away from absurd.  teamed with the woman’s outfit, a red and white striped suit from Jacque Faths’s latest collection…

Showing Frau Pfendt how to hold the hat together on her head, Coralie perched on the sofa arm and invited her to walk up and down.  She called out, “Brava,” while reflecting that short A-line skirts gave no quarter to stocky legs.  Nor had Monsieur Fath designed the blouson jacket for matronly bosoms.  Add grey pigskin ankle boots … ‘over-dressed teapot.’

Natalie Meg Evans, The Milliner’s Secret, Chapter 29

Besides the unpredictable plot and the fashion tidbits, another thing I enjoyed about this book was the sharply drawn characters.  I had no trouble (even in my cold-remedy-induced fog) keeping the characters straight.  And all of the main characters, whether British, French, or German, had both good and bad qualities — you were never sure if a character’s words and deeds could be trusted, or would lead to betrayal down the line.

The thing I appreciate most about the book is the portrayal of Coralie’s inner turmoil.  She is not a character from 2016 dropped into 1940, knowing immediately what side she is on and that her cause is just.  She has no idea what is happening around her.  With extremely limited information, experience, and time, Coralie has to choose which actions will help her survive.  Often she is short-sighted about the repercussions others will face, but often, none of the outcomes will be good.   She draws on her own resources and does what she thinks she has to.

One thing I did wish for in this book was more information from the author about what motivated her to write this particular story, whether it was based on a real-life person or not, and about what sources she used.

I recommend this book for those times when you want a long novel that will give you a break from today’s world, but still give you lots to think about.

Creativity Triumphs – Theatre de la Mode

Creativity Triumphs – Theatre de la Mode

In the closing days of WWII in France, couturiers in Paris created an exhibit which would both “show the continuing vitality of the fashion industries” and raise money for war relief.  After the deprivations and horrors of war, fashion workers were eager to bring visual beauty back into daily life and to resume their place as the heart of the fashion world.

Paris had been liberated in summer of 1944, but with raw materials scarce and transportation severely disrupted, there was no way to resume producing fashion collections as they had been done pre-war.  After discussion, the members of the  Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne decided to resurrect a tradition which went back to the Middle Ages — traveling fashion dolls, which could display new styles in miniature.  They wanted prominent artists to be involved too, and Robert Ricci had the idea of giving the artists free rein to create theatre sets (décors) for the dolls, naming the exhibit Théâtre de la Mode.

To reflect the changing times (and probably also in response to the lack of materials), the dolls themselves were made from wire, just a suggestion of a body, like a rough sketch, to support the fashions.  A refugee Catalan sculptor made their plaster heads but specified that they not have make-up, so they would be seen as small sculptures.

Couturiers signed on for the challenge, enlisting the help of furriers, jewelers, hairdressers, and milliners.  The creative teams worked through a terrible winter of extreme cold, with almost no coal for fires, and electricity on just a few hours a day.

Plagued by inadequate heating, electricity cuts, barely adequate food rations, and often obliged to get to work on foot or on bicycles, the skilled tailors and seamstresses in the workrooms of the couturiers and milliners nevertheless threw themselves into the project with enthusiasm and fervor.  At first, the figurines were only to be dressed, hatted, and coiffed.  ‘But then later there was a kind of rivalry between the couture houses and they said, “Why not have shoes?”  So then little shoes were made.   “Why not have bags?” “Why not have umbrellas?”  A few workrooms even made underwear.  It would never be seen, but it amused them.  You have no idea of the competition between couturiers.  Each one tried to find out what the other was doing in order to do more and better.’

-Eliane Bonabel, the designer of the dolls, quoted in Théâtre de la Mode, p. 44.

The couturiers could choose what type of outfit to make, and displayed both day and evening wear.  Everything was correct down to the last detail, with tiny buckles, infinitesimal embroideries, hand-covered buttons going through hand-stitched buttonholes, and real gold jewelry.

Left, Doll 81 - coat and dress ensemble in pink and white printed linen, designed by Georgette Renal. Right, Doll 74 - dress in navy and white checked twill (synthetic), designed by Molyneux. Photograph by David Seidner.

Left, Doll 81 – coat and dress ensemble in pink and white printed linen, designed by Georgette Renal. Right, Doll 74 – dress in navy and white checked twill (synthetic), designed by Molyneux. Photograph by David Seidner, from the book Theatre de la Mode.

The planned exhibition was meant to make money for French relief funds.  Over 200 dolls were created.  Each couturier not only created the doll for free, but contributed an entrance fee.  Programs were printed for cost, and the exhibition was held in donated  space.  All the revenue from ticket sales went to the relief agency L’Entraide Française, and the couturiers also dressed cloth dolls to sell for additional funds.

Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

By GlenBledsoe [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The exhibition was extremely successful, with 100,000 people coming to view, and 1 million francs raised.  The whole exhibit was packed up and then displayed in London, Leeds, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Vienna.  In 1946, it was updated with current fashions, and sent to the Whitelaw Reid mansion in New York, where it ran for two months.  Tickets were $20!

Its last stop was in San Francisco, at the de Young Museum.   After it closed, the dolls were stored in the basement of the department store City of France.  The store’s president, Paul Verdier, felt strongly that the dolls should be preserved, and proposed to send them at his own expense, to the Maryhill Museum in Washington State, and the directors of the Chambre Syndicale agreed.  Starting in 1952, about 160 of the dolls were exhibited there in glass cases.

In 1988, the dolls were sent back to Paris for restoration and an exhibit at the Musée des Arts de la Mode in 1990.   The theatre sets had been destroyed, but nine of them were recreated at that time.  They went on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to Tokyo, Honolulu, Baltimore, and other places.  The dolls have returned to the Maryhill Museum.  One third of them are exhibited each year in their theatre sets.

This is just a brief summary of the exhibition.  Much more is found in a fabulous book,  Théâtre de la Mode: Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture.  (I have the second revised edition from 2002. ) This multi-faceted book has accounts of the trials faced by the French fashion industry during the war, the hardships of life after liberation, the exhibition design process, French fashion trends, and costume renovation, as well as inspiring art photographs by David Seidner, and a color catalogue of the dolls still in existence.

Dress 20 - square-necked draped dress in sulphur yellow (synthetic) jersey, designed by Jeanne Lafaurie, purple suede accessories.

Dress 20 – square-necked draped dress in sulfur yellow (synthetic) jersey, designed by Jeanne Lafaurie, purple suede accessories.

With all the bad news we’ve had lately, I found it encouraging to read about these teams of artists letting their creativity flow in the midst of hardship, to inspire and support others.

Multiple Technique Practice Piece — the Back

Many people who work in surface design talk about how the first steps can look awful.  You just have to keep working until you get to a result you like – and if you don’t, well, you can always cut it up or use it as batting inside a dog bed!

That is definitely how I feel about the practice piece I started on old linen napkins — I am not even sure I will get it to the point that I like it.  But that’s what practice is all about.

With this piece, I planned to “quilt once, paint twice.”  I wanted to try different types of paints and pigments with the quilted lines and see if there were any effects I would want to repeat.    Some of the materials I used on the front side had bled all the way through to the back, but the medium I tried out here was Jacquard Dy-na-flo® liquid color.  (Which, as it turns out, is not the same as the Jacquard Lumiere® paint I have used before, and liked very much, and now have no idea where I put it.) (Okay, I just hunted until I found it!  I have about 15 jars of it — how I have I not used it up before now?  I am going to save it for another piece though, I am not going to waste it on this one.)

The Dy-na-flow is meant to be used with a resist on a tightly woven fabric, to get a painterly look.  Being that the back of this piece is a big scrap of a loosely woven cotton/linen blend, I didn’t get the results I was hoping for.

I started with this picture from a National Geographic book, Visions of Earth, as inspiration:

Sea worms, from the National Geographic book Visions.

Mantles of giant clams in the Kingman Reef, picture by Brian Skerry, from the National Geographic book Visions of Earth.


Cotton/linen blend painted with Jacquard textile paints.

Cotton/linen blend painted with Jacquard textile paints.

The results are definitely too undefined and too gaudy for me.  But the challenge will be to see if I can get it to a likeable stage.

But in the meantime, there’s always my old friend Photoshop®.

Photo of the fabric with the colors desaturated, and then the hues shifted.

Photo of the fabric with the colors desaturated, and then the hues shifted.

An interesting portion cropped from the photo above, and run through a few of the filters in Photoshop.

An interesting portion cropped from the photo above, and run through a few of the filters in Photoshop.

Now there’s something I can imagine using, either printing it onto fabric myself or getting it professionally printed.

My plan was to go back into this piece with specialty threads, but I think I may just go on to another piece.  As always, I am glad I took the time to just experiment!