Thank you for all the advice on threads a couple of days ago. And so many people offered to send me some! I was so amazed! But maybe I've solved my problems... at least the solution seems satisfactory.
After teaching yesterday I went to yet another quilt shop to see if I could match my thread. It is the largest fabric shop in Utsunomiya (meaning that 5 or 6 people can be in the patchwork section at the same time without bumping shoulders) and has a nice selection of fabrics and quilting notions. BUT I was surprised that they didn't carry any Dual Duty thread from Coats and Clark at all! Seems to me that that is a basic for quilters, hand quilting or not. But no. I asked and they didn't carry it. Ah-- another unsuccessful foray in my hunt for matching my thread. But wait! What's this? Another rack of threads and some were marked for machine quilting! I think I even saw Mettler thread there! So in a Japanese brand, in an almost identical variegated color, I found a spool of thread marked for "hand and machine quilting". Well, at least it wasn't just for hand quilting like I'd bought the day before. So I bought it (and some spray bond for basting! What a find!) and brought it home and tried quilting with it.
I finished my stippling last night. Hmmm. I can feel that the thread makes the sewing machine shudder more so maybe it really isn't a great thread for machine quilting. But there didn't seem to be any major bird's nests on the back of the quilt. Standing back from the quilt I can see a difference. My new spool is polyester thread and the old thread was cotton. Now I'm sure you are going to tell me that mixing threads like that was a no-no but the only visible difference is a slight shine to the polyester thread. Hopefully people looking at the quilt with think the light has fallen differently in different corners. This is not going to be an exhibited quilt!! This is just my latest experiment in using batiks and sewing curves and machine quilting.
So I've made due with the materials at hand but thank you anyway for the wonderful offer of sending me thread and friendship! I need to figure out something for the centers of my circles next... And then the border... That's on the docket for today!
And speaking of quilting. Here is a block that makes me want to do some hand quilting again (I'm so fickle). This is one of the quilting patterns from Mrs. Furui's latest quilt. She adapted this pattern from another one so I guess you could say it is an original Furui design! Such tiny stitches in a wonderfully bold dark color!