Thursday, July 31, 2014

Barry's quilt almost done

I am so pleased with how Barry's quilt is coming.  I only have the binding and some beadwork to complete.  Here is a sneak peak at just one part of the quilt.  

I love the colours and the quilting.  It's his 83 birthday on August 11 and I am going to take the quilt to him in person.  

I will post a large picture of the whole quilt this weekend. I sure have learned a lot with this quilt about my new machine's likes and dislikes. I am loving the process! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fighting with my machine

Just a note.  I feel stupid and yet vindicated.  I have been struggling with my quilting on the Avante since I got it.  The installers set it all up but I could never get the tension on the fabric right.  I kept saying that something was wrong.  The machine appeared to be set up right according to the manual but while the front locking mechanism locked the back take up roller with the hand crank would not lock properly and so the quilt was always loose. I kept looking at how tight and beautiful others' quilts looked on their machines while mine sagged drearily. It finally got so bad with my dad's quilt that half way through stitching in the ditch I couldn't keep everything aligned (probably because it was so much larger than the test piece and mom's quilt that I have done since I bought the machine). 

I decided to go back over the manual and the video provided by Handi Quilter.  Part way through the video they showed how the leaders on the take up pole were attached and low and behold mine draped to the front rather than to the back. The installers had put the leader on backwards.  I don't know why I didn't twig on this earlier because my other set up is similar and those leaders hang the right way (I put that one together myself). 

I finished stitching in the ditch and took the quilt off the frame.  I noticed that the backing is slightly crooked, obviously operator error combined with the quilt's shifting on the poles. Luckily the quilt is one I am doing for family and I will be able to live with some of the imperfections... Adds character.  (Ahhhhh).

But my machine is now set up properly with the locking mechanisms giving just the right amount of tension!

Note to self.  If you think something is wrong...just because it was done by experts doesn't mean you are not right!  Trust your gut!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mom's quilt finished

We'll another finish for 2014.  I decided to finish mom's quilt before I quilted and finished the preemies day quilt.  

I practiced feathers swirls and circles on the quilt.  I was so proud of myself doing two long columns of feathers, and they look pretty good ...until I took these pictures and burst out laughing - I realized I had quilted the feathers coming off the stem of the largest whimsical feather in opposite directions.  And, I forgot to fill in the surrounding area with a filler.  But my husband liked it. 

Circles were another issue as my machine or needle kept catching on something on the back of the quilt and throwing me off  rhythm. I guess more practice with different threads, materials, and batting will solve that!

Getting used to a new machine is fun. I finally am getting my stitch length closer to 10 per inch without using the stitch regulator. My eyelashes have disappeared.  Don't like how the regulator surges as I move the machine so I am determined to perfect my stitching without using the regulator. 

Here is the front and the back after pinning the binding.  I am pleased with my progress.  My binding is so much more professional than previous quilts.  Here is the back...

I love the Minky backing.  So soft!  

The quilt with an audience (Fuzzbucket my beautiful 28" standard poodle) peering in the window.