Sunday, 5 February 2012

quilting at last (revisited)

Edited to add photos! Hurrah for “Writer”!

After illness in the family (they've all had colds or respiratory tract infections), DD and the grandsons finally visited our place yesterday. It's only been two weeks but it seems much longer!

DD and I finally got to the quilting frame! We adjusted the way we had loaded the quilt (aeons ago) and taped down the pantograph (thanks C.). It didn't take long before we realised that neither of us is capable of sewing a straight line across the top of the quilt to hold it in place! Much unpicking ensued! (This happened to me two weeks ago and to her yesterday).

So, rightly or wrongly, we decided to pin the quilt top instead of stitching it -- I think hand basting would have been faster since we pin head-to-point!

Then, we both took a deep breath, I put my foot on the pedal and she guided the machine.

The first run (across the width of the quilt) took longer than expected but turned out beautifully!
quilting first row
The second run was good but the last couple of inches (on the right) looked a bit wonky! As you can see, I was able to get my stitch ripper into the little pocket we accidentally created!

oh oh problerm
We thought it would be okay when the binding was put on so we did a third run. The bobbin thread ran out about two thirds of the way across so we had to stop and wind a bobbin - but why stop at one? We wound five (that's all the empty bobbins we had).
We finally finished the third run (in very poor lighting conditions) and it was then we realised that all was not okay - things on the right side were getting progressively worse and by the time we did the ninth or tenth run at the bottom of the quilt it would be a very big mess.

When we unrolled the already-quilted section I could see instantly where we had gone wrong - we had not pinned the top edge of the quilt top square and straight. Because it curved where we pinned it, it curved all the way down the right side leading to bunching and buckling!
source of problem crooked pinning

And so, with another big breath and a deep sigh, we did the inevitable - we began unpicking those teeny, tiny stitches!
We will see if we can get away with just unpicking the blocks on the right rather than undoing all our work.

But -- the good news is: the machine behaved beautifully and our tension was spot on! Once we iron out the basics, we should get better (and quicker) at this!


  1. All part of the learning curve-yes, just pick out that area and free motion quilt it again. Give yourself some latitude on the little things...
    it is looking great!

  2. Glad to hear the machine did it's job right but sorry to hear you have to pick out stitches. Not fun at all.

  3. Progress in a way, though. I haven't learned to FMQ yet.

  4. maybe that's what I need! I'm really struggling with quilting at the moment and it's killing my love. I need to work out better ways. Your efforts look great!

  5. The "joys" of computers and quilting. Finally coming together!?!


  6. The beginning part takes so much time to get right, but eventually it does get easier. You will be amazed in a few quilts at the progress you have made. Congratulations on getting this far already! It is going to be beautiful.


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