Although the utility quilting was done with black thread, the fancy quilting will be done with (mostly) fancy thread.
After dragging out some specialty threads that ranged from subtle to gaudy, Jean and I narrowed it down to a handful. After Jean went home, I narrowed it down some more (!)
The first thing to do is to unravel a yard or two of thread from each spool and pile it up on the quilt top.
What I was looking for was something that had zing, but didn't set off my (fairly sensitive) gaudy-alarms.
I ended up with these possibilities/probabilities:
Top two are black rayon and silver holo[graphic]-shimmer; bottom (left to right) are black metallic, rainbow holo-shimmer and opalescent holo-shimmer
Eventually the black rayon was taken out of the mix, because of that whole "suck the light out" black Kona cotton thing. The rayon would only catch the light if a) the quilt was moved around or b) the light source moved - and since I don't expect either of those things to happen once the quadriad is installed, it got rejected.
Next up was to take the threads for a test drive, to see how they held up to the cotton, and if they had the proper zing. I encourage you to click on each picture to see the larger version:
(This is NOT one of the motifs that will be going on the quilt.)
I quilted the motif using all four of the target threads - you can see where I've written their color number in the corners. The picture was taken in full-on sunlight so I could see maximum sparkle and determine if it was zing, or just plain gaudy.
Here it is again, in less dramatic lighting. The black here is much closer to real-life.
All of the threads passed the "test" on the suck-the-light-out cotton. They also behaved in the machine - metallic threads frequently shred in the eye of the needle - and the back of the sample even looked good!
Now that I've found the right threads, my next step is to call the quilting/fabric shops to see if these specific brands and colors are carried locally. I do NOT want to get partway through and have to change threads. You know that having different threads where they are supposed to be the same would send me over the edge.
You do know that, don't you?