It's getting easier as my thread-stash grows, but of course I don't always have the perfect choice, and it took a while working through the options to decide on the closest colours. Luckily I can manage with what I already have, given I want to get this quilt done as soon as possible. I'll be using a variety of threads - colour si the most important factor here. The BottomLine on the left will be for the bobbin this time, but threads I've chosen for the top include Guterman 50wt cotton, King Tut 40wt cotton, an unknown machine embroidery thread (probably rayon) and Rainbows and Living Colours (both 40wt poly).
As this is a commissioned piece, I decided to do things properly, and test out the applique stitches and threads on a sample. I fused the off-cuts from the possum to a scrap piece of background, and played around with my chosen stitch - I want the possum to look cute and furry, so an using a variable zig-zag stitch which changes on both sides. It has quite a long repeat, so leaves a nice random effect.
I workd out the best stitch length and width, plus the colours and combinations to use on each part of the possum (the tree and the strawberry with be in my usual small machine blanket-stitch). For most of the possum I'll be going over the blanket-stitch twice, using a different colour the second time. I even wrote down my selections, and for future reference, I'm using stitch 150, with a base length of 50 and width from 4 - 6.