Sunday, February 22, 2015

Problems with my machine or finicky machine?

Boy, while I have been trying to finish my last two quilts I have been so frustrated with my Avante 18.  I have been getting needle sensor errors.  It would be fine if it just said error and described it but what happens is that's when I stop for any reason, instead of positioning the needle in the down position, it keeps moving.  More than once I have actually let go of the handles and off it went!!! 

I went online and checked out the forums and the HQ website and found nothing except assurances that this most often was not a lasting problem."shut your machine off and it will most likely return to normal" ..well that's easy to say...they are not the ones picking out stitches!  Sure it worked but this meant for EVERY  stop I had to shut the machine off!!!  NOT!

I went through all the sensor checks multiple times.  Before cleaning the speed sensor was not showing 0 before I started it up but 100 .  I went to the started at 0 then went to 100  and stayed there.  I went back to the front.  Still 100.  Put on micro quilting handles and then did the diagnostics check.  0-100 in no time flat. 

I phoned the dealer and she (on Sunday) gave me the best advice.  Clean everything that you can get to.  Change needles. Rethread. And if that isn't it it maybe that the sensor has developed a oily or dirty film over it....that would mean bundling up my baby and driving 200km to get a check up and cleaning!  I only got it in late May, less than a year!  

So, cleaned everything.  Took the top plate off and checked to make sure nothing was caught in behind the bobbin case holder. Changed needle.  Did diagnostics. Everything a-ok.  Tested the stop start....over and over and over.....perfect.  

Then went back to the quilt with the high loft poly batting......worked a little better but once again Needle Sensor Error..  

Do you think it just doesn't like cheap batting?  Or high loft batting.  I have quilted with two layers...cotton and wool and it's like it....  But this? Humph! 

32-2015-#5. Baby quilt

Today I finished this cute little baby quilt for one of our staff.  

It's smaller than I wanted it, measuring 35x42 inches. Still big enough for a crib but a little small for a toddler.   This quilt is a stashbuster pieced with cotton scraps from a quilt I did for my mom last year. It's got a pale pink Minky back and high loft poly batting making it puffy and soft. 

I have never done any appliqué so on the circles I tried a few different stitches (leaves, bows, cars, blanket stitch and a few more).  Going around a circle distorted the images somewhat and they look a little messy.  I would definitely do the blanket and bows again! 

I hope the new little owner will enjoy it. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

4th finish - 2nd charity quilt

A little charity quilt for the guild. 

I was given a quilt this little piece into a great little charity give away.  

I decided to quilt the appliqué stars simply and use swirls and feathers to give the quilt some interest. I used King Tut thread and was given poly batting and a thin but great striped cotton backing. 

3rd finish for 2015 Jane's charity quilt.

Well, first charity quilt of 2015! I really enjoyed quilting this little quilt made by Jane.   Because of the beautiful colours I quilted it simply and left spaces so the quilt would be soft and cozy for some recipient.  

I used grey-blue So-Fine and invisi-thread and Jane provided poly batting and a green cotton backing.  

Thank you for letting me quilt this little charity quilt. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Second finish for 2015: Jason's quilt.

Another tumbler!  Can't believe it, after all the planning and worrying about making the perfect quilt for my son, turns out he loved the little tumbler lap quilt that I made for his partner the best. And so off we went to the store.  I let him pick the material and colours and we put together an awful looking little quilt. I was beginning to think that he or a quilt with his name on it was jinxed. After all this was my fourth try at a quilt for him.  So we scrapped that should see my scrap bin now! 

He finally said just make me one like my friend's in browns, greens and with some bright orangy accents.  Part way through the sewing I realized that the rows were out of order changing the colour arrangement that I had spent hours placing. But in the end I came up with this ...

It is so so soft.  I almost don't want to give it to him!  

Actually the picture does not do it justice as it looks sort of like a jewel, the gold leaf pattern I used to quilt it adds to that illusion. It's an odd colour combo but I quite like it.  Hubby likes it too. 

It measures about 55x65 unbound.  I used a washable wool batting to keep it light but warm. The backing is a black plush material that is super snugly.  It's finally bound and ready to send!  

And just think about all that scrap I have to make another quilt. 

Bob's quilt - first 2015 finish

Finally I get to show you this little quilt I have been working on. Because it's a gift for a long time friend I didn't want to give the secret away.  

I don't usually use other peoples patterns but I fell in love with this one. It's called division and was designed by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner.  I love the subtle colours and the great pattern. It measures about 53x63.  If I was to do it again (which I might) I would add another row and column making the a much better throw size of 64x74 inches. It has two layers of Dream Poly and a steel grey Minky back. I used white and silver So-Fine thread throughout. 

I stitched in the ditch around the pattern pieces and then chose to heavily quilt it adding a layer of design behind the pattern, and of course, lots of feathers. I tried to give it a whimsical feel. 

All in all I am very pleased with it, just wish my camera was working.  It was iPad all the way. Anyway tomorrow it goes to its forever home. Hope you like it Bob!  Thanks for being such a good friend over the past 20 years.