Monday, February 18, 2019

I don’t piece that much nowadays

I had an urgent request from a quilter, who brought her quilt to me on 12 February, she needed it back before a guild meeting on 23 February, and after I was done with it, she still needed to do the binding before the show.  So nose to the frame, it was for me, but I got it done and the quilter will fetch her quilt tomorrow ((19 Feb). 

A whopping total of 294 204 stitches on this one and it took me a full 16 hours and 45 minutes, having to go to the office morning, come home, cook and clean but I got it done.

In hindsight, I don’t really mind not piecing.  This is the back of the quilt.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A little circle play quilt

Quilting friend Karin dropped off a little fun quilt she made for her grandson and her timing was perfect as I just took another client quilt off the frame.

After taking a mean nap yesterday afternoon I started the cleaning and prepping of my machine and pinning the backing to the leaders before starting the quilting later the evening.

With it being all over free motion quilted, no rulers and no measuring, it went quick-quick and I got up early again this morning so I could finish it before my hubby left to play golf with hers and he took the quilt along to the golf course.

Karin might just be able to start with the binding this afternoon.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Second customers quilt for the year

I have not done a single stitch of quilting for myself since my last post.  I got a customer quilt on the 30th of January and so loved quilting this one.  I even got up at 3 am (okay not especially for the quilt, it seems to be the normal time I wake up) and got a good hour or two of quilting in before having to get ready for the office.

This is the back of the quilt which the customer has not yet seen.  I’ve sent her a message but she hasn’t read it yet.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Cat panel quilt Completed

Looking at the timeline of my posts this little one kept me rather busy and apart from intermittently working on this, I have done nothing else quilt related. Used this one as an experimental quilt and had a couple of FIRSTS with it.

First time using Angela Walters’ Taj ruler, loved it and should experiment more with other design possibilities.

First time changing thread colours to suit the colours in the top.  Got some specks of thread colour on my plain backing but for my standards, it is just fine but at least I have something to show to warn future customers.

I tried my hand at YLI invisible thread to outline the cats and had no problems or adjustments that I had to make with my tension.

Also the first time I did a dense all over filler on the background of the blocks.

First time setting the timer and stitch counter on my machine and the timer turned out to be disheartening.  It only counts down the clock when the needle is moving and does not allow for thread colour changes, bobbin winding, tying and burying thread ends or advancing the quilt.  So after working on it for 5 days, my timer said something ridiculous like 4 hours.  I was so disappointed!

Contacted Patricia Heinrich Hechler from The Threadworks Company as she has once worked on a show quilt which took 450 hours and I wanted to know whether she spent a whole year behind the quilt.  She then gave me some positive news in that she takes her own timer along and sets it every time she works on a quilt and has worked out that with all else that needed to be done to finish a quilt one can easily multiply the time the machine timer gives with 4 to 6 depending on the density of the quilting and the amount of ruler work involved and I think this one qualifies for being multiplied by 6. I put it on the frame on 18 January and took it off to do the binding on 29 January and my timer says I’ve only worked a total of 8 hours 42 minutes and stitched 192 893 stitches.

I recently also read about a quilt Gina Perkes-Tidwell did as a show quilt for a customer and she had the quilt with her for 3 years.  Now that doesn’t necessarily mean she worked on it for 3 years but I don’t think I can do that.  After only 3 weeks I would change my mind and want to do something different.  Discipline and very good planning must be the key to success.

Used double batting for the first time and it was a struggle with that lumpy bulk on either side depending on which way I was rolling.  Hubby might have a fix to make the fabric roll smoother but we are first awaiting permission from the supplier before we start adjusting anything on my frame.
I don’t think I would however now (at least) be brave enough to do this for a customer.

I discovered a new ailment with my back stiffening up rather badly from standing behind the frame for long periods at a time. At least it is not painful but I am as stiff as a broomstick unable to sit or stand and I am just too much of a restless soul to lie on my bed the whole day long.  I will need to find some stretching exercises.

Didn't get around to do the stretches yet but at least saved the picture to my computer.

The back of the Cat Panel quilt

And finally the front

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Free motion play

This week was somewhat of mishmash with no deliberate plans as things just tend to simply happen.  I started by putting one of my own quilts on the frame with the sole purpose of using this as a skill builder or an experiment and try something new.

First experiment was to use two layers of batting and two thirds down the quilt I realized this was not ideal for a bed quilt.  The roll on the take up bar became so thick it was almost impossible to advance and this was only when I did all the stitching in black (sashing).

When I got to the bottom border I wanted to use a ruler I’ve never used before and decided on Taj from Angela Walters.  Started with an outline and inner and then needed filler in between.

After doing about 7 of these I decided I really didn’t like it so one day was spent unpicking.

Everyday brought its own miseries and the motor of our huge garden gate decided to quit. Now hubby was on his way on a business trip with no time to investigate or try to repair, so slipping and sliding in my high heels and neat dress I had to push that thing aside to get my car out and get to work.

Repairman called and appointment made I had to further unzip my quilt from the frame as my machine too had to be fixed.  This has been the sixth component replaced in my machine in just over a year.  Surely if they gave me a new machine after my first complaint it would have been much cheaper for them and less frustrating to me.  I always said I got the only dud that was imported to South Africa and now with the last two PC boards I heard that my machine still had the previous, not so successful version of boards which has been updated and luckily I have these in too.  Hoping this would be the very last of my problems.

With the quilt off the frame on a guest bed I for a moment there wondered if I should just quit with quilting it as is, as it really didn’t look bad.

I however needed to test the machine and zipped it up again, trying out my new motif on the border and this looked much better.

The gate repairman did his fix hubby returned safe and sound, so life was good again.
With the bottom border and sashing done I rolled the quilt backwards and decided to do dense free motion filler in every block, another first for me.  It started out terrible but as they say ‘practice makes perfect’, it got much better as I went along. Now this should keep me busy for a while.