Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Baby Quilt Finished (with Handiquilter Sweet 16)

Finished my Bugs Baby Quilt...not a minute too soon! The baby was born on a Friday and I finished the quilting on the Sunday.


I like this pattern, looks very cute indeed
I just did a simple meander design over it as I was quilting it on the new machine. Needless to say I am still getting used to it and thought that it is best to do a design that I am really familiar with. As time was of the essence I also used a wool batting rather than the thin cotton batting that I have, as I figured this would be more forgiving in terms of any tension issues.
The Sweet 16 performed consistently and I had no tension issues at all once I had set the bobbin tension to the correct position. I used Aurifil 50/2 in the bobbin as I had been practising with that thread and figured that I had that bobbin tension pretty right. On top I used Aurifil 40/2 thread in a yellow colour. While I was meandering over the quilt I checked the back fearing tension disasters or sloppy tension, but the tension remained consistently good and I had no issues (even when I had to put a new bobbin in when the thread ran out). Was impressed with this as I had read various horror tension issues on several forums on the internet.

I do find that once you get the bobbin tension correct, it is relatively easy to set the top tension and you are good to go. Speed was a bit of an issue for me and as I had predicted, I had to stitch at 20 %. Any more than that and my stitches were getting a tad too small. It was good to go on a real quilt to practice...I tend to learn more from that than just practice samples as I obviously have a stake in getting it right. There are many adjustments for me to make and some I am struggling more with then others, speed being one of them. I am used to stitching relatively slow and deliberate and quilting at that 20 % was faster than I normally do. At the moment I am getting slightly disoriented when looking at the needle because it feels and looks so entirely different, but time on the machine will fix this. When I started off I got very confused also as I was scrunching up my quilt as per usual and the whole thing unraveled to lie flat...given its lap size, I did not have to scrunch it up under the machine and that was the weirdest feeling...felt as if I was quilting in the wrong direction as I only had to slightly fold it over at the back. Also my hands were a hoot. As I was quilting faster, my hands were being left behind and I had to continuously re-adjust my hand position and stop and start. That initially produced some wobbles here and there but I soon got the hang of it.

What I did notice was the speed at which I finished this piece...I started quilting on the Sunday afternoon and was finished by the evening (with a few interruptions in between). I think this was mainly due to not having to re-position the quilt all the time...I literally could go freely from left to right and back again without having to do any major shifts.

Overall very happy with how this quilt turned out and pleased that I was able to do it on the new machine. It is onto the next quilt now for me as I have got a lot to learn and adjust to.


Karin

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

And Here She Is...

Got a phone call shortly after the quilt show to pick up the Handiquilter Sweet 16 from the shop which send me into a mild panic as that meant that I had to shift my sewing room around which meant cleaning up the mess and re-organizing my quilting space in general.

We picked up the boxes on a Saturday...4 big boxes, one with the machine, one for the table (very heavy), one for the overlay and another one for an extension which I purchased as an extra. The drive home was memorable as the car was filled to the brim.

As I bought the machine as a show special it also came with an added value box. Given that we were in the process of shifting everything around I opened this first as I had to wait for some other things to get in their place before we could tackle the machine.

The value box was incredible...just like Christmas
All these beautiful threads, I could not believe it...big thank you to Handiquilter. That is amazing...such fantastic thread!

Well, then came the unpacking of the machine and table. I was going to take photos but it was all too much with the change of room. The setting up of the machine is not difficult and it came together fairly quickly. There are several videos you can watch which takes you through the set up in some detail.

This is how I set up the room
Extension flap on the left and work table on the right. While this looks fantastic, I will need to change this again as my work table is now too low. Also a bit unclear at the moment whether I should have put the machine a notch higher...all very confusing, too many changes in one hit for me.

Well, it was a few days before I actually tried it and I must say, yes, very different. The first thing that presented as an issue was getting the right tension happening. I approached it with a sense of 'how difficult can this be?'. Wow...the frustration level got quite high after half a day of mucking around. It reminded me of when I started to FMQ all those years ago. As I got flustered I then switched thread, needle, samples and I soon had lost the plot. I then stopped and started to think 'come on, you know this stuff, think this through!' I had watched several YouTube videos and was following them to the letter. In the end I thought, go with what you think is going on. As I was using Aurifil 50/2 thread on a very thin cotton batting, I had the sense that the bobbin tension needed to be tighter to pull the top down...I then followed my own feeling on how tight I wanted it and got it to a stage where the bobbin was a nudge before being too tight. I then re-threaded the machine and off I went...perfect tension! This was encouraging and and I then played a bit with one of the beautiful Superior threads, using one the prewound bobbins that was included in the pack. Yep, that also worked for me with some adjustments to the bobbin and top tension.
Over the next few days I went back to the Aurifil thread and my own bobbins that I had wound on the bobbin winder (forgot to mention...that also comes with the machine) to see whether I could maintain the quality of the stitching or whether it was a bit of a fluke getting it right the first time. Was happy with my bobbin winding and the stitching produced good quality stitches both on the front...
as well as on the back
So, that's how far I got...now I will have to get used to the speed. Struggle to maintain control when going too fast and cannot find a comfortable speed that suits me at the moment. Everything is too new...I am looking at the needle differently, the sound of the machine is different, the set up is different altogether and the machine behaves differently altogether. One thing I do like is ruler quilting though...have two little Handiquilter rulers and am very impressed with them. Nice and chunky and the lines are just where you need them. Also love the basting stitch...very cool feature!
I will shortly go onto a quilt I need to finish...probably just going to do a meander because I will be able to do that at about 20% speed (haha...I think some people quilt at speeds of 50% and above). I feel that I am struggling against the rhythm of this machine and need to get a feel for that.  I'll see whether I can manage to do that with one of the new threads or whether I stick with the Aurifil for the time being.

Lots to learn!


Karin

Monday, 31 July 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017

A few weeks have passed but I thought I show you the finished Wholecloth that went into the quilt show.

I won 1st place in the Traditional Small category
Still thought the colour was somewhat odd when I was looking at it in the quilt show but was really happy with all the detail and obviously really chuffed with the blue ribbon.

The quilt show was from the 13 - 15th of July and I had planned to post some photos, however things got way too busy and I struggled to keep up with the pace.

Hopefully I now can get back into some sort of routine.


Karin

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Handiquilter Sweet 16

Sweet Sixteen In Studio
Image from handiquilter.com

So I went for my test drive on the HQ Sweet 16. I have been researching this machine for some time now and also have tried it many times at the local quilt shows over the years. I went to do a bit of a test drive to look at specific issues that were important to me, like
Thread: brought a spool of Aurifil thread with me and ask the lady to stitch with that as this is the thread that I use most of the time; she quickly changed over the thread, did a few adjustments and off we went. Stitched like a dream.
Speed: Obviously I am not used to that level of speed adjustment (from 0 -100%) and did a bit of playing with that, stitching initially at about 30%. Did some swirls at that speed...noticed that my points were very tidy due to the speed. There was no hesitation and stitching a couple of times into the point. Looked much neater overall. One of my main concerns was precision...I can stitch very precisely on my Pfaff 4.2, aligning my needle where I want it to be, stitching back over the same line of stitching in an orderly fashion (in fact I make a bit of a sport out of backstitching into the same hole of the stitching when I get bored with repetitive designs).
Actually quite funny, as I was talking about not being able to reach the hand wheel to align my stitch, I saw that I would not need that due to the visibility that you have. Sitting on my Pfaff QE 4.2 I am looking over to the needle which is a short distance away due to the machine being sunk into the table. On the Sweet 16 I felt that you are looking directly on the top of the needle due to being much closer to the machine...hence no issues with aligning the needle if you want to start at a particular spot. I then played with the different speeds, going right down to 10% to test the backtracking. While this would require some more practice, I found that I could be fairly precise...probably just need to find the appropriate speed for me (10 seemed a bit slow and 15 seemed a tad too fast for backtracking.
Ruler foot: the machine comes with two feet, an open toe foot and a closed ruler foot. They also now have a new Ruler foot (Sure foot) which is a bit higher but I did not try that. I asked the lady for a ruler and played a bit with that, being ever so careful 😀(had visions of breaking their ruler!). That felt obviously very different than doing it on my DSM, so I was a bit extra careful and went super slow. Loved it of course, as the visibility was really good.
Basting stitch: The machine has a basting stitch that you can set for several different intervals. I could have used that for my last wholecloth  (had to hand baste it as I had two layers of batting and going over that with my machine did not work). That was fun to do and I could see a multitude of uses for that. Very handy indeed.
Apart from that I was just playing, so much so that I told the lady I was just playing around and did not need to explore this any further. I have watched a ton of videos and read lots of reviews so I knew the other features of the machine and what was involved for example with the tension adjustments.

Cut a long story short, I put down a deposit and will have the machine in about 2 weeks. I love my Pfaff QE 4.2 and the way it FMQ. I am fairly proficient and have no trouble quilting a quilt on the machine, however my posture and the visibility have been an issue. Posture mainly because my machine is sunk into a Horn cabinet...which is great due to the flat surface, however I am slouching over the machine and no matter what chair I am using I quilt in that slouching position. Given that I quilt for hours this gives me a lot of trouble with my shoulders and back. Visibility on my machine is overall very good, however particularly when quilting with rulers the machine is in the way of seeing how to align the ruler. So you end up looking slightly sideways around the face of the machine...again, not good for the neck and shoulders. That is probably the main reason I started to look at sit down longarm machines. I did see the Simply 16 with the Little Foot frame, however I was pretty clear about not wanting a frame. I am a pretty lazy quilter and the thought of having to clamp a quilt repeatedly onto the frame was just not for me. I reckon that that would drive me crazy. I prefer freedom of movement and do not mind pushing a quilt through a machine.

Anyway, now I need to change rooms to accommodate the machine. While the HQ is not huge, I do want to keep my Pfaff in the Horn cabinet and also want to keep my cutting table and the current sewing room is just too small, so we are going to change one of the bedrooms around and make it into a sewing room. This will still be squishy but I think it will work. Bit of work ahead to move everything over, but I am just happy that I can have a dedicated sewing room.

As luck has it, the sewing shop will participate in the Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club which will start in August, so I signed up for that as well. This will run over 6 mths with demonstrations and tutorials and you will get a different ruler every month. This will be handy as I only have one ruler at the moment which is the 1/4in thickness required, so this should give me a good selection to start of with.

Super excited!


Karin

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Relaxation

My Wholecloth has gone into the Festival of Quilts which will run over here from 14 -16/7/17. Looking forward to this and have taken a few days off work for this.

So now I am back to piecing and let me tell you, it shows that I have not done any piecing for approx. 5 months.
However thanks to the Accuquilt GO cutter, at least my cutting is accurate. I am actually amazed with what ease the half square triangles come together even though you are sewing them together on the bias. Much more accurate than if I would do it the normal way of sewing two squares together and then cutting it on the diagonal.

This is what I am working on...a baby quilt that needs to be finished before 4 weeks are up
Finally using that 'bug' fabric that I have had for years. Very cute! The quilt will look something like this (except for the mistake in the corner)
Very colourful...there are actually a number of ways to lay this out and I have not completely settled on one design. I am playing around with it in the EQ7 program to see which one I might like best.

In addition I am chain-piecing another quilt together while I am doing the above. I won some Moda Charm Squares at our local Guild meeting some time ago - Get a Clue with Nancy Drew. Not sure who or what this is...looks like coming from a teenage novel. To use this up I decided to just put some sashing in between.
I am planning to use this for ruler practice. The quilt should come to about lap size and I am sure, someone will like it. Thinking of doing some simple arcs in the squares, practising some in-the-ditch quilting with the ruler and something simple in the sashing. Looking forward to this.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts

Karin

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Finished!

I actually finished my Wholecloth.
Here I am echoing around those feathers...that took the longest time. As I am entering this quilt in the upcoming Festival of Quilts I was on a very tight schedule to finish in order to be able to take a photo for my online entry. Had to make a to-do-list as I was seriously dragging my feet. I think I have been working on this for the last 5 months or so and in the end I did run out of steam a bit. No idea what I think of it, however that is not unusual for me. Happened also last year when I was doing the white Wholecloth...I think after so many months you just loose perspective and any sense of what this looks like.

Nevertheless I have entered it and it will look great on display, no doubt. It is a smallish quilt measuring only around 30in x 30in. Not sure exactly how that happened, but I think I forgot to add another echo around one of the borders that was there in my original drawing (hilarious!). At the moment I am adding the finishing touches. Managed to finish the sleeve and the label and have spend the last few days sewing this to the back of the quilt. Also figured out a better way to make my labels which I will blog about a different time. Now I only have to sew a cover piece to the label, label my bag and then I am done! Quite a process always and I am always glad when the quilt is finally gone.

Apart from this I am spending most of my time on the internet, researching midarm machines, Yes, the time has come for me to make a decision. I have been looking at the Handiquilter Sweet 16 for the last few years and now am cursing a bit as the prices have gone up a fair bit...feel that it is time to either go for it or let it be. I am quite conflicted about this as I love my Pfaff QE 4.2 but particularly with this quilt I really felt that I need more space to see what I am doing (particularly with larger rulers). So lots of soul searching going on at the moment for me...do I really need this? No, probably not. I could continue on my Pfaff and muddle my way through some of the challenges. On the other hand, if I go for the HQ16 I could extend myself a bit more and focus in on ruler quilting a bit more. I have read a number of reviews by now and am a bit unsure as there seems to be a fair bit of fiddling with the tension. That in itself does not deter me however I do enjoy that I can just sit down at my machine and go for it. Nowadays I do not need to make a lot of adjustments as I know the machine well. So well actually, that I mostly quilt by sound...very rarely do I look at the back to see whether my stitching is ok as I can hear when it is going out of whack. Getting used to another machine...just don't know. We shall see where this leads me...probably will organise to go for an extended test drive and then have a look what sorts of specials they offer for the upcoming show.


For the time being it's back to piecing for me...have to make a baby quilt and am hoping that I'll finish this before the baby actually arrives. Left that a bit very late.

Karin

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Compaction Issues

Still stitching away on my Wholecloth...

Thought I show you a picture of the compaction that occurred having stitched the broad structures first and then working my way back into the middle to do the background quilting
This was taken in front of the window on a fairly sunny day, hence the shadows. Even I got a bit nervous about the amount of compaction that I had and wondered whether this would actually be able to be quilted down.

Too late to do anything about it other than giving it a shot...

 You would not have thought that this could be flattened, but it did! Amazing...all I have left is to fill in the grid and go over the feathers again, doing some in-lining. Not sure actually whether I still like this piece, but so be it...just needs to be finished now. This looked so easy when I started, but probably one of the more challenging projects I have done in a while.

Karin

Monday, 8 May 2017

Progress On Wholecloth

Well, I have been basically missing in action...stitching away on my Wholecloth. There is only so many photos and posts you can do about the same thing! This has been very challenging as some of my lines were not marked on straight and with added compaction this turned into a right old nightmare (every end of almost every line was about half an inch out - not really sure what happened here). In the end, the only way to achieve straight lines was to stitch the straight lines with a ruler. I silently cursed myself for putting in three lines 1/4in apart from each other just for a bit of pizazz.

Anyway, here is the completed orange peel design stitched with the Clarity Ruler foot and the Westalee Clamshell template. While I dreaded this, this turned out quite 'easy' and looks fabulous.
Nice and even...seriously worked like a dream with a little bit of fudging to fit it into the compacted space. Next came those lines. I did need a few attempts but finally got there. Once the first line was down straight, the others followed a bit easier. Probably one of the more challenging things I have done in a while because the tiniest of deviation was very obvious when looking at it.
After the lines I tackled the structure of the grid because the compaction was getting obvious. I love grids but must admit, I forgot how much work they are. While I could have done this also with the ruler foot, I decided against it as I wanted a tidy and secure beginning and end of each line (not that the FMQ beginning and end is untidy, but doing it with the walking foot was just neater - I tie the ends off the same way a longarmer would do it, which makes for a very neat beginning and end). This took forever as this left me with gazillions of threads to bury as I went along. Again my marking left a lot to be desired in parts and a few corrections had to be made here and there. I am truly the world's sloppiest marker.

With that done I needed to do the feather border before continuing to fill the center and this is how far I got to date

I did spray the corners of my border as this got really messy with my blue marker and I find this distracting when I quilt. You can see the compaction that has occurred and it is going to be interesting to see how well the center can be filled. Theoretically this should all be flattened. The feathers turned out beautiful once I got rid of some of the blue marker
I like the feathers just dancing around the outside...not sure yet exactly how this will end up and none of this is exact in terms of its placement. I will probably go back into the feathers to in-line them and make them a bit more pronounced, but we shall see. Next I will have to tackle the center of this Wholecloth, then fill in the grid (probably with the cathedral window design and then it is back to the feathers.
I am thinking of calling this 'Wedgewood meets Brass'. Wedgewood from the beautiful Aurifil colour that is called Light Wedgewood and Brass from the odd colour of this shot cotton which is woven with bright blue and almost orange threads. It should look great once all the blue muck is rinsed off but it may not be to everybody's taste. Doesn't matter...main thing is that I liked it when I started it. As I have been working on this for the past month I am already a bit over it, however I am curious about how this will turn out once it is all done.

Karin

Friday, 21 April 2017

More on the Clarity Ruler foot

So, I am seriously 'playing' with the new Clarity Ruler foot by Accent in Design. I am in the midst of stitching out my wholecloth, having changed the choice of fabric at least 3 times. In the end I settled on some lovely shot cotton in a blueish/yellow colour which allowed me to use my favourite blue Aurifil colour (#2975)
Clarity Ruler foot
I posted a few photos on Instagram after I had stitched out my motifs. Mental note to self: next time when you design a motif, make sure it can be stitched out without breaking thread...this was a bit of a hassle, to say the least. While a bit apprehensive, I decided to stitch the surrounding lines with the new ruler foot...after all, what did I get it for!

The foot is just a dream...there was no fiddling, just attach it, set your machine to springfeet freemotion mode, shift your needle to the +1 position and off you go. A little bit of fine tuning in terms of getting it to the right position height wise, but that was it. I tried different waddings on this  sample...in the end I decided to use one layer of cotton and a thin wool batting on top of it to give it more definition.
All set, off I went to stitch my surrounding lines...only problem was that my marked on lines (the second big square in the project), while straight, were distorted in the corners, hence did not give me a perfect square. This was not due to the quilting but must have occurred when marking the fabric...just sloppy marking as usual. This caused me several headaches...the rulers that I was using were no longer than 6in, hence this left a lot of room for additional error in terms of them slightly shifting while I went along. I cannot tell you how many times I re-stitched those lines! In the end, after several unsuccessful attempts it occurred to me that I needed a bigger ruler that went down the length of my line if I had to have any chance at getting it to come out square. In addition, I found that those little stable tape blobs for those rulers did not do the trick in terms of holding your ruler in place.

So, I used my normal ruler (yep, gasp!). After inspection, I determined that my normal ruler was really only a smidgen higher than the Westalee rulers...as I was not going to do anything else but stitch a straight line, I thought that this would be alright...next thing I tackled the movement. The stable tape that is sold through Westalee is adhesive on one side so that you can stick it on your ruler, but apart from that is exactly what I have in my kitchen draws from keeping the cutlery from sliding all over. So, this is what I did...I cut a piece the length of the ruler and put it on my quilt...the stuff is pretty sticky even without the adhesive. I then placed my ruler onto it, adjusting the way I placed it until I was sure everything was aligned and straight (which in itself was a nightmare).
This is what this looked like. Clumsy...time consuming...yes, absolutely! But I was getting desperate, as there was no way to re-mark the lines on the quilted piece and the only way to achieve a square was with a ruler. I spent most of my time aligning, the stitching was no issue...the foot produces a very straight and tidy stitch (not one skipped stitch!). In the end, I got there and was able to stitch the 1/4in echo with a bit more ease once I had the first line down.
This was such a relief. Then I tackled the next section. In my initial enthusiasm I had decided to do an orange peel design using the Westalee clamshell template to speed up the process. After the lines I was dreading this a bit, but stuck with it as there is no other way to learn than to do it! Well, first issue was that my piece was shrinking from the quilting, hence my nicely worked out measurements of how many clamshells I would fit into that section obviously no longer worked out exactly. Oh, wow, you have to laugh...so, fudging was the name of the game! This was an interesting experience...ruler in one hand, sticky material on the quilt, going snail pace with the stitching, I went around the border. As you are stitching on the outside of a curve, I had to really concentrate not to stitch away from the template while at the same time observing the markings of the center of the template and where the clamshells meet. To my huge surprise, the fudging was easy...I made myself a mark on each high point of the clamshell and then shifted the template ever so slightly to reduce its width on a few selected ones and this worked out fine. In fact, it looks really good

You just cannot achieve that level of evenness in the curves by doing this freehand. I forgot to take a photo of the completed orange peel design...obviously I went around it another time in the reverse which produced the design and this turned out to be super easy by aligning the stitched clamshells to the template. So, overall the clamshell experience was much easier than the lines.

Will show you a photo of the progress the next time because no doubt there is going to be another major issue to be tackled...I have got more lines coming up and I am not sure how straight they are...we shall see.


Karin

Thursday, 6 April 2017

2017 Finish Along Second Quarter Goal List


Finish-A-Long 2017


My list for the second quarter is very small and includes the following:

#1 Wholecloth
Ready to start, the design process took forever
Starting the marking only to decide that I needed to re-draw some aspects of my design...just was not happy with it and another one of those times when I thought that you should never rush this process. Starting from scratch...

#2 Thousand Pyramids quilt
Absolutely no progress made on that one in the first quarter, so hoping to at least complete a few more units in the 3 months period


Well, I actually doubt that I will be able to finish any of this, but here is hoping that I will have done most of the Wholecloth and maybe some more of those triangle units.

Linking up to Eleven Garden Quilts with my list. The linky will be open until the 8/4/17 and the Finishes linky opens on 25/6/17.


Karin

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Wholecloth Quilting Preparation

I thought I do a post on preparing for Wholecloth quilting to give a bit of an idea of the work that is involved in actually producing a Whole cloth. I take an extraordinary long time with this but I think it does pay off in the end with having no issues while quilting and finishing off the quilt.

For my latest Whole cloth I chose blue fabric and yes, I was able to mark the entire design with my trusted blue water erasable markers. I highlighted the next picture a bit so that you can see the marking better.

I am happy to say that I am learning from past mistakes...as you can see I have put a wavy line in one of the borders...just very loosely and not entirely exact. This is not the design that goes in there, rather it is a bit of a helping line to keep me on track with a dense type 'onion' design. While I could 'wing' it, I thought it made a bit of sense to follow the lines loosely so that it looks somewhat even. Also, I drew in the swirls...again, unlikely that I follow that exactly, however those swirls gave me a lot of trouble last time. Somehow my brain tends to get confused with direction, so these swirls should keep me me the straight and narrow. I did also draw in the grid. While you could do this after you basted and just put it on with a chalk pounce, I prefer to have straight lines drawn in for accuracy. Once basted and half quilted it is extraordinarily difficult to draw on a straight line.

Here are some of the things that I am using to make life a bit easier:

Lightbox
Very lucky...my husband got me this for Christams the year before last...

While I use other shapes as well, the leaf shapes from June Taylor are probably the ones that I use most for all sorts of things.
Curvable Ruler: if you see it, buy it! I am a somewhat lazy quilter and when it comes to putting a spineline in a border for feathers, this is the tool! I spent a lot of time getting my wavy lines 100% correct and once satisfied with the look and aligned with my space in each border side, just whack it on and draw around it. Love this...makes the job so much easier.

Several days later...and after all of that...I am re-doing my drawing!!! 😅 Looking closer I was not happy with the arches (and some of my lines)  in my drawing and I did give it a bit of a trial stitch-out and decided that they were too sloppy which would have been too noticeable. This has brought me to a complete standstill for the time being, however I am used to this...just not worth it to hurry the process along as this will be months of stitching and the worst thing would be if you are not entirely happy with your design. So back to the drawing board again for me.

Karin

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tension Question

Dear Dee

You are a No Reply blogger so I cannot answer your email direct.  Hoping that you read this. You describe in your email how you are trying to adjust your tension and nothing seems to work. The issue is that the bobbin thread comes to the top no matter what the adjustment is.

My machine has just come back from a 'major' service and the technician seems to have spend a lot of care and attention on the machine...it runs like a dream. Let's start with some basic things.

- you should run the same colour thread in the bobbin and on the top of the machine, so that minor irregularities from differences in speed when FMQ will not be seen so easily;
- you do not say what thread you use; I run Aurifil thread 50/2 in both the bobbin and top with a 70/10 or 80/12 needle (depending on what sort of project I am doing)
- if your bobbin thread shows through too much that means that the upper tension is too high pulling your bobbin thread to the top, so you would go and reduce the top tension and that usually fixes the problem
- my tension usually sits on 3.8 for the above thread/needle arrangement; if you need to go lower and lower to try to fix the problem that indicates to me that the bobbin tension might not be right.

Looking at the bobbin case of the newly serviced machine:
The closed section faces your palm and you will see the little screw...the technician who services the machine will check the tension on the decorative and general sewing stitches and this is where it should sit. If you imagine a clock, the slant of the screw indicates that it is about 3 min past 12 o'clock.
I am FMQ with that most of the time, but some time ago I have come up with a similar issue than yours which I have talked about in a previous post. I felt that the bobbin tension needed to be a little bit tighter.

I have got a second bobbin case, so I adjusted that one
My screw now sits at about 10 past 12 o'clock (which actually might be a tad too much and I might go and put that back a bit). This fixed the issue of the bobbin thread coming through on the particular project that I was working on.

You do not need to buy a second bobbin case...all it needs is for you to adjust your tension screw a little bit. Make a mental note (or draw a picture of where the screw sits, so you know where you started off) and turn the screw to the right slightly...go in small incremental steps until the tension is right. Given that it is the same machine, I would think that you only need to shift it a tiny bit if your tension screw looks like in the first picture.

Hope this helps

Karin

Monday, 20 March 2017

Second Finish for the FAL 2017 First Quarter

My second finish for the Finish Along 2017 is done.  My original goal list can be found HERE.  You can read all about the FAL2017 by clicking on the button below


I am so pleased with my progress. Did not think I would finish another quilt before the deadline was up!

This wall hanging was started last year following a class with Bethanne Nemesh called 'Feather Faster'. I really enjoyed this class even though it was just basically drawing out feathers, but we were left with 'homework' in the form of this cute little wall hanging to try out some of the feathers. This was great fun but took a while to complete as I had started to densely fill in the background. Underestimated this a bit.

But here it is 'Birds On a Wire', designed by Bethanne Nemesh

Close up

Texture Galore

Yes, went a bit overboard with the background fillers but the texture is amazing! Also discovered that by outlining the bottom feathers with the lighter orange thread, it really made it pop...should have done this also in the  feathers above with some white thread...that would have been good.  Well, live and learn...😺

The wall hanging measures 32" x 28" and is exclusively quilted with Aurifil 50/2 thread. Needless to say this was a lot of fun!

Linking up to the Finish Along 2017 over at Eleven Gardens Quilts for the Quarter 1 Link Up

Karin

Sunday, 5 March 2017

First Finish for the FAL 2017 First Quarter

My first finish for the Finish Along 2017 is ready.  My original goal list can be found HERE. I probably should have called the heading 'my first and probably only finish ' for the first quarter. You can read all about the FAL2017 by clicking on the button below

I took the completed quilt for a walk. There is an old wooden picnic set up in our surrounds which is ideal for quilt photography.
The quilt is lap size using Moda charm squares (A Field Guide) which are set around a smaller darkbrown/green square which in turn is framed by some beige rectangles.

This quilt took a very long time to complete (I think I constructed this in 2015 some time)...I underestimated the time it would take to FMQ this and got sick of it fairly quickly as there was a lot of marking involved for the continuous line design in the squares.
For readers who follow my blog you would remember that I got the new Clarity Ruler foot by Accents by Design in the beginning of the year...what a Godsend...this new foot worked brilliantly for me and I was able to finish the line design with just 5 little marks to align my ruler. This was great and I was able to finish the line designs off in a relatively short period of time and then proceed to quilt the narrow lines in the surrounding rectangles. The tight lines were a hassle (what was I thinking!) and I must admit they nearly finished me off, but here it is...finally done!

Very happy with the end result
Onto the next project...

Linking up to the Finish Along 2017 over at Eleven Garden Quilts for the Quarter 1 Link Up

Karin

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What a drag!

I have been missing in action largely due to my Field Guide Quilt. As I have listed it with the FAL 2017 I felt that I needed to continue on this UFO.

Let me tell you...this was the most un-enjoyable exercise. I do not know what possessed me but I had decided to adorn this quilt with some more intense quilting, i.e. lines in every beige rectangle. While that seemed all very do-able, it nearly finished me off.

Here are the little rectangles...looking pretty harmless...
Some lines quilted...the problem was that I had gazillions of those rectangles! While persevering I must say...this was not enjoyable nor did it increase my skill level...in fact I started to become fairly sloppy in doing the lines because I just had enough. Nearly put the quilt away again because it was severely putting me behind in some of my other endeavours. Finally realised that I actually do not like quilting pieced quilts at all. Maybe a bit of a motif here and there or some allover design, but not this somewhat brainless repetition. For me, that just about killed all inspiration or enjoyment in finishing this quilt.

While I love FMQ, I love the blank canvass of a Wholecloth. Even though you also do a fair bit of repetition in a Wholecloth, it somehow feels different, as you are building a picture. This is missing for me in a pieced quilt, or maybe it was just this quilt. Nevertheless I forced myself to keep going, doing a few rectangles every night...looking at the quilt, I did not feel that I was making any progress at all! I started counting the rectangles in order to assure myself that I actually was making progress, but even that did not help as it appeared to be endless. In the end I gave up and just blindly stitched these rectangles at night...what a pain this was...
but, here it is, FINISHED!! ...only the binding left!
It is just a lap quilt and the work involved was obviously deceiving.

This will be my only finish for the FAL2017 First Quarter as I am now seriously behind in everything else. Washed some fabric today though, itching to get going on another Wholecloth!

Karin