Make Your Own Variegated Thread
Load bobbins with the colours you want to use in your project and stack them onto your thread holder. Run all of the threads through a large eye needle. You will be amazed at the effect. Also put spools of thread onto extra spool holders or in a mug near your machine. Finer thread may work better for you but experiment and play with thread.
Design a Design Board
You can make your own by using a 4×8 sheet of foam insulation board (the pink kind) and cover with a flannel backed tablecloth (found at any $ store) and staple or glue to the board with flannel side up. Another idea is to use large sheets of cardboard doubled and cover with flannel or felt – or just tack the flannel to your wall if you have the space. Smaller ones can be made in this manner also.
Transferring Quilting Patterns
One of the best ways to transfer motifs is to use tulle (fine netting found in bridal area of your fabric store). First, tape plastic wrap over your design to protect it and then tape a piece of tulle over the plastic. Using a permanent marker, trace the motif onto the tulle. Pin the marked tulle over your quilt top and retrace the design lines with a pencil or disappearing marker. You will see a dotted line to follow as a stitching guide.