A Quilt and a Hat

This is yesterday’s project. It was complicated only by the fact that the backing was only one inch larger all the way around than the top. After talking with the client, we decided to trim 1-1/2″ of the border all the way around. The border was originally just over 6 inches, so this left plenty of border on the quilt, and it gave me enough room to do the quilting.

The pantograph is Sumptuous by Hermione Agee. This is the second time I’ve used it, and this time I reduced the size to 5 inches. The original size is 14 inches which is much too open to suit me.

What is really funny is that my husband came in while I was quilting and said, “I thought that was your quilt”. He was remembering a blue and white quilt I made several years ago for my Mother that used exactly the same prints.

Donation Quilt for Meals on Wheels
Donation Quilt for Meals on Wheels
Back of Quilt
Back of Quilt

And here’s the hat. Last year I was knitting lots of hats and this is the one that I made for Owen. He wore it a lot. Then his Mom washed it in the machine, and the blue yarn was felted–that’s what happens when you use scraps. Besides being smaller, the hat also lost it’s stretch. I cut out the felted top and re-knitted a new top. He still wouldn’t wear it. So, I went to the yarn store (spent $30-ouch!) and got new almost matching yarn and knitted a new one. Now he likes the old one better. What can I say?

Removing the felted top
Removing the felted top
New hat almost finished
New hat almost finished

  
 

More Finishes

Here are some more quilt finishes. There are two Maverick Stars, one of which was quilted with my old machine and groovy boards and stylus and the new one quilted with the ProStitcher. They are alike except for the borders. I made them for my twin grandsons, but think they’re just not “boyish” enough for them, so will repurpose them where they will be appreciated more.

It feels soooooooooooooo good to get these quilted and out of the stack. In fact, there’s only one quilt left in my stack. Grandchildren are coming to visit for the rest of this week, so I will be quilting again next week.

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 And here is one of the heart table toppers that I made last Spring and just now quilted with the new machine. This was done freehand, and I was just beginning to get a feel for the machine. 

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And here’s another finish of a quilt that I made a couple of years ago just after I retired, but after it was done, I didn’t like it very much and could never figure out how I wanted to quilt it. But I decided on the Double Bubble pantograph and I think it looks great. 3-IMG_4056 199-IMG_4052 194-IMG_4047 
 

Quilting some UFO’s

This has been a summer of finishes, primarily quilting some tops that have been around for awhile. The blue top dates back to my pre-Accuquilt days. And I believe Norma pieced the sunflower quilt top for me. It is definitely a bright one.

At the quilt expo in Raleigh back in June, I tried all of the longarm quilting machines. My Nolting Hobby Quilter was made before any of the current machines that have all the bells and whistles. I fell in love with the HandiQuilter Avante and before I knew it, I had ordered one. It came a couple of weeks ago, and I have been quilting steadily ever since. I love this machine. I am also loving quilting some edge to edge designs that I created over the past few years. These two designs are available as digital downloads at IntelligentQuilting.com. Here are two finishes from last weekend:

 

SwirlyQs quilting design
SwirlyQs quilting design

 

SwirlyQs quilting design
SwirlyQs quilting design

 

Kes quiltling design
Kes quiltling design

 

Kes quilting design
Kes quilting design

 

Kes quilting design
Kes quilting design

 

 

  
 

Lovely Heart Quilts

I got a wonderful note and photos from Linda Erickson showing me more of her heart quilts. These baby quilts are as pretty as can be. She used the AccuQuilt GO! applique hearts and beautiful clear bright colors in these quilts. I could look at them all day. Linda has a Tiara quilting machine which is a longarm on a stationary table, so quilting is free-motion, but there’s lots of room and table for moving the quilt around. And the quilting designs are just perfect for these quilts.

Look at the binding on the second quilt. This is something I have done on scrappy quilts too. She has pieced the strips. Doesn’t it look nice? These beautiful quilts should inspire all of us to go through our stash and find the prettiest colors we have and make something beautiful.

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Tomorrow, I will have another quilt show from Jeannie who has been making Quilts of Valor.

 

  
 

Quilting the Pumpkin Table Runner

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this blog post by Megan over at Canoe Ridge Creations. I was really intrigued by the quilting on her mini-quilt, so I just had to try it. And I had the perfect table runner for practice. This is the table runner that I made using Judy Danz’ Have a Pumpkin Good Day machine embroidery set. These applique shapes are cut with the AccuQuilt GO!™ Pumpkins die # 55323. 

Quilting was done by stitching a free-style squiggly line that was the width of my hopping foot. I just went up and down. Then I went back across filling in a squiggly line between each of the original lines. I didn’t try to match the squiggles in anyway, each was independent. The table runner looks great, was fairly easy to do, and not using a ruler with my longarm was far easier for me. I can definitely see that this would work well with free-motion quilting on a regular sewing machine as well as a longarm machine and that it may work better on smaller areas rather than going across an entire large quilt. Wouldn’t it be fun quilting for a mug rug?

Quilting wavy lines

 

This is the full runner on my kitchen table. I opened the leaves so it would lay flat.

 

This is a view at an angle so you can see the effect of the quilting and how it makes the pumpkins stand out–almost like trapunto. Quilting around the vines was a dilemma for me, and I did it a couple of different ways. The leaves were stitched in the ditch, but after awhile, I started stitching straight over the redwork stems instead of trying to stitch beside them as an outline. I really couldn’t tell that it changed the overall look and the stitches hardly showed. The thread used on this is Aurifil 50 wt in a color to match the background.

And you can see that the Irish chain squares are done with a freehand continuous curve as they’re definitely not perfectly even. The squiggly line piano keys in the border were also done free-hand. This whole thing really went fast and gave me the exact effect I wanted.

 

 

 

  
 

Timing, Tension, and Thread Issues

I have had timing and tension problems ever since I got the new open toe hopping foot. This hopping foot gives me so much more visualization of my quilting that I will not give it up. The answer has to be to adjust something on my machine. There is a good 1/8 inch difference in length between my old hopping foot and the new one. I think that the difference in height of the hopping foot, although I did lower the shorter one to be the same as the old one, has affected both timing and tension.

I have retimed the machine over and over. It seems all right for awhile and then I start getting skipped stitches. My last re-timing was Monday, and all seems better now than ever. I do believe that having perfect timing also makes for good tension.

The other difference that I have noted is the way the thread comes off the cone. I have always used Aurifil thread almost exclusively. When the thread begins to get low on the spool, both at the bottom of the spool and when there isn’t much thread left on the spool, it seems to stick at times–almost as if the thread was starched when it was wound. I used to always soak the cones of thread with silicone, and I never had tension problems. There was a discussion on MQR yesterday about soaking thread in oil or silicone, so I decided to try the silicone soak again. It completely solved my tension problem.

The discussion on MQR was that Sharon Schamber recommends soaking thread in a light oil. Those who have tried it, really like the solution. It has to be a clear and very light oil, such as the oil used for oiling  your longarm machine.

Bottom line (no pun intended), there is a real issue with the thread coming off the cone. When I use Glide thread (a slick, shiny poly), I occasionally get loopies on the back. I can see it happen at the needle as the thread will spring out to the side between the last two thread loops on it’s way to the needle for just a couple of stitches. I dumped a whole cone of Glide into the trash can because I was so frustrated with the loopies (was that wise?). When I use a thread net, it holds the thread too tightly, no matter how much I loosen the tension. And I have the issue of the thread sticking on the Aurifil. I’ve tried everything, but the silicone soak seems to be the best solution for now. Maybe I should try silicone on the Glide. If it is static that is affecting the poly, then silicone should do the trick.