I've been chained to my sewing machine since my last blog post, desperately trying to finish quilting the fairy quilt (which is based on Sarah's Stained Quilt design) so that I stand a chance of having it finished by my niece's birthday (mid-July). This is how it looked at the halfway point:
The straight lines (1" apart) are much faster to do than the not-quite-wonky-but-far-from-straight lines I pulled out but the quilting wasn't without its annoyances. Every now and then (about every 600", I think), I'd get a loop of top thread on the top of the quilt, almost like the bobbin thread wasn't pulling it through properly. I tried everything I could think of to fix it (new needle, rethreading the top and bobbin thread, altering the top tension, altering the bobbin tension, sewing really slowly, sewing a bit faster) but nothing seemed to work and, as it's such an intermittent fault, I can't replicate it! It just meant that I had to keep a close eye on the stitches and, in the event of it happening, unpick a section and quilt it again. If it happened close to the edge then I could take up the slack stitch by stitch but it had to be really close to the edge for it to be worth doing that, usually it was quicker to unpick! Does anyone know what causes a machine to do this, other than sheer devilment?!
My next 'oh, I'm definitely getting there' moment was when I'd quilted lines 2" apart all across the second half of the quilt. (I marked these using a hera marker, to ensure that the spacing was equal and the lines were parallel to each other.)
I then went back and quilted a line between all those lines, using the quilting bar as a guide. 62 lines later (each just over 108" in length!), the quilting was finished:
The back is a little skewwhiff but I'm not letting it bother me as there's nothing I can do now, other than starting again and I'm not doing that!
|The occasional 'close together' lines are where I've quilted in the ditch either side of the main sashing strips.|
Yesterday I made about 400" of (yellow) binding and I'm hoping to trim/square the quilt and get the binding on the front this week. Oh, and I have quite a few ends to tie in from those 'redoing the funny stitch' sections! Then I need to sew the binding to the back and make a label before washing and drying it, and wrapping it ready for the birthday girl.
I think I mentioned that one of the few things I would change about my machine (apart from the tiny throat space) is the location of the reverse button - it's a 'tab' type affair just above the needle and is very easily caught when shoving the bulk of a quilt through the aforementioned tiny harp space; the result of this is that you can often find yourself going unexpectedly backwards which is most annoying! To combat this, I went all Heath Robinson and got busy with half a cocktail stick, some paper and some sellotape (that 'magic' tape which doesn't leave a sticky residue), as well as a post-it note to remind me of the contraption(so I could remove it before doing any 'normal' sewing):
I'm pleased to say that it worked a treat and I'll be doing this every time I need to quilt a big quilt!
Archie has deigned to choose a winner for the giveaway:
|Sorry about the hard to read print - I'm stingy and print on 'draft' wherever possible!!|
Archie really wasn't impressed when he realised that there was absolutely no food in the ball, only bits of paper (it was getting close to needing his teatime tablet, which needs to be taken on an empty tummy!) and he stared at me for ages after. This was taken about twenty-five minutes after his realisation and he'd been stood there for at least twenty of those minutes!
|I can't believe you tricked me.|
He then moved to the front room (I was on the computer which is just the other side of that door - I leant round it to take the photo) and continued his protest:
|I'm still waiting for the treats you owe me.|
I'm off for a cup of tea and a sit down with a book - thanks for popping in!