My tension is definitely right and normally I do not worry about a few white dots here and there. However this was definitely starting to distract me as I was trying to concentrate on the design. I am finding that in general, any fluff or loose threads etc...influence how well I stitch...obviously I am easily distracted.
After a while I remembered the "Magic Bobbin Washers" in my draw. I originally bought these some years ago for my previous machine to help with tension issues. I do not usually use them in my current machine as I rarely have tension issues these days...nevertheless I put one of them into the bobbin case for stability to see whether it would help with the pesky white dots...and yes, definitely made a difference. Still have the occasional one, but not to the same extent as before (4-5 stitches in a row, depending on direction stitched). Instantly my stitching got better, as I did not have that distraction and could concentrate on getting the design going.
Definitely stitching with light thread on that black second border. While the blend-in designs look good, I really prefer the light thread on the dark fabric. Can't help myself. Just like the look of it and also find it easier to stitch on dark fabric.
Not sure what feathers to stitch in the outer border...might have to look at it for a while.
Linking up to FMQ Friday over at the Freemotion Quilting Project.