Working with fabric on leather, I came up with the core of this idea some time ago: I realised I could very quickly and evenly make lines of tiny holes on leather, or single very small holes in one spot, by using my machine and sewing with a large, very blunt needle but no thread top or bottom. (To make an old needle reeeeally blunt, scrape the point on a metal file, a brick or cement) Even normal sewing machine marks on some fabrics are almost impossible to remove, but on leather and plastic they’re permanent. Then the other day it occurred to me that on the very tightly woven poplin I’m using I could do lines of dots with the machine to indicate the grid for the layout of the pieces on this design, and then use the holes either to actually quilt through by hand or cover easily enough by machine quilting over them. I ruled pencil lines on the back and sewed along them, which produced a tiny raised edge around the hole where the blunt needle bursts through the fabric.
I decided to hand quilt this with a linen viscose thread exactly matching the fabric, which doesn’t shine, but has wonderful texture. You can see the horizontal stitches in the middle of this pic, running in and out of the holes, and a vertical line of holes just to the left of centre. Even as I have written this I have thought of other ways this might be useful – so I’d love you to let me know if it leads you to another idea….