Sewing Room Dropcam

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Off the frame!

It's done, it's done, it's done!!!  What a struggle it has been to quilt this but it just proves the saying, "no pain, no gain".  I learned a lot on this quilt and I can even tell the difference in my confidence, and my skill, from when I started to when I finished.  I worked through a lot of problems with the machine and ended up buying a lot of tools to help solve them too.

Going to wash, block, square and trim it before I do the binding but before all that I need to really look over the back and take care of any loops I find.

This is on my queen sized bed, it's a pretty big quilt!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The quilt is turned

Today I finished from the top to the bottom borders, took it off to turn it, and did the third border.

The stitching seems to be doing a LOT better.  I think the Towa gauge is helping and I also found that Superior Threads has a grid of threads and the recommended tension of the bobbin AND the top thread.  They have a top thread tension gauge that I ordered yesterday.

I also ordered a set of Red Snappers!  I saw these quite awhile ago but they were out of stock and I forgot about it.  Can't wait to use them on the next quilt.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Almost ready to turn the quilt

I'm still struggling with the quality of the stitches on my machine.  It just seems to come and go for absolutely no reason.  It's not that I've changed the bobbin, thread, nothing.

I finished the body of the quilt this evening, all of the star and the center squares, and all the way to the edge of the border to do the edge triangles and corners.

The pins in the border area are just to make sure that the seam is straight.  When I rolled down far enough to expose it I used my straight edge to make little adjustments on the straightness of the seam and pinned to hold it.  I'll take them out after I sew the first line around the inner edge.

I will need to turn the quilt after I do this border so that I can do the sides.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What do you do when you can't sleep?

Something to do with quilting, of course.

I've been playing with the floral design and I'm really starting to like this one.  I changed the circles to triangles and that looks much more do-able.  I also like the seafoam green for the frames, maybe even a Tiffany blue. 

The squares in the center look like they're checkered but what I really have in mind is something I saw today here.  It's woven strips and it just looks marvelous.  I saw a pillow done all in white satin and I thought that I just have to try and incorporate that into a quilt somehow.

I better stop and try to get some sleep.  Good thing I don't have to work tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pretty Florals

I've had these applique patterns for awhile and always had them in mind when I was getting batiks.  This week I ordered some greens, which is the only color I didn't have, and a cream for the background.

Think I have enough selection?  :-)

Been playing with designs too.  This is not final at all, just trying to get some ideas going.  The ovals would be done in reverse applique with lace around the opening.  I put little applique circles around the blocks which brings out the lacey feel but, that's an awful lot of work.  I want a delicate, light and feminine feel.  The black around the outside is just to show the white prairie points.

Of course, the applique picture isn't the right size, it would fill the oval.  Maybe I could do small points around the blocks instead of circles.  The pale green would be nice with tiny white dots and I'm not thrilled with the dark green border but I'm still looking around for something.  I don't want a floral fabric to compete with the applique so it has to be something solid, small print, or geometric.  Maybe subtle stripes.

Designing is half the fun of quilting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decided on a border

Just ordered the fabric for a border on the Faceted Jewels quilt.  The patterned is one that was used in the quilt too.

I will do a 1" strip of the Bali black, a flange of the Gold, and then 3" of the patterened.  I showed my daughter and she liked it, said it looked like a picture frame.

I received the needles and did some sewing last night.  It's looking pretty good!  Not perfect yet, still might have some tension issues but, I didn't want to mess with it right then.  Hopefully I can get the quilt done this weekend.  I also want to get my Patriotic quilt onto the frame and get it done in time for the county fair.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


OMG!!  I can hardly believe that this one is finally done!!  I am not going to do the outer row of 4-patch blocks, just can't do any more!!  I need to decide whether to put a slim border of black batik around the outside (jelly roll strips) or just bind it in black.

Now if I can just get my longarm to work right, I'll be set.  The new needles are supposed to be delivered today and I also order one of those bobbin gauges to test the tension.  I still have some work of picking out stitches before I continue on the star quilt though.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I can't stand this machine!!!

I am so disgusted with my longarm machine. :-(  I spent hours and hours yesterday and this morning trying to get this quilt done and it's just useless.  I have gone over and over adjusting it and it looks good on a practice side piece but then, soon as I start on the quilt I can't go for one minute without something going wrong.  The top thread breaks or I get eyelashes or it skips stitches, or something else.  Then I spend a half hour and MORE unpicking just to have it do it all over again.

I guess that's what I get for only spending $6000 on it.  Not to try making excuses for myself but the act of quilting isn't what I'm bad at.  I mean, I can quilt OK.  It's dealing with the constant problems with the machine that makes me not want to do it.

I started looking at machines online this morning... APQS, A1, Gammill, etc.  The APQS Millenium is $17,400, the Lenni is $9,900 and that's bare bones.  The A1 Professional package is $17,450 and that includes the power fabric advance and the hydrolic lift, which seems like a good deal to me.

Why can't things just work how they're supposed to?

Friday, March 11, 2011

A little quilting done

Last night I spent hours picking out the stitching of the large corner section because I had "eyelashes" on the underside.  This evening I got my tension adjusted and the thing sewing right and was able to get this done.

I'm not using a pattern, just came up with this on the fly though the top portion was inspired by a pattern I have.  I still need to do the stippling around the feathers.  It's not done in pink thread, used pink chalk to draw it first.

I'm having trouble with the circles in the star piecing.  My machine doesn't have a hopping foot so when I come to a bulky seam it can be very hard to get over it.  I don't know if there is one available for my machine or not, will have to look into that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Change of plans

The fabric that I ordered for the bright batik quilt is out of stock so, I get to choose something else at the same 50% off price.  After trying a few different colorways I decided on this.

Very cool colors!  I have an urge to do something in deep purple and these Island Batiks certainly have a feeling of a cool lagoon.

(clicking on the picture shows more detail)

I also ordered a set of circle longarm templates from Gadget Girls.  I'd like to try doing a baptist fan with them and this would be a good one to try it on.  Like ripples on a pond.

Going to quilt a "good" quilt

For the year that I've had my longarm machine I've avoided doing any "good" quilts.  I know that I haven't practiced like I should and just been doing simple things or pantos but, I'm going to try and quilt this one.  I soooooo don't want to mess up on this!  It's for a friend of mine.

I'll keep it simple and just do an orange peel in the diamond shapes and basic feathers.  Need to put some scrap on the frame and practice first though.  Keep your fingers crossed!!