Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bernina went to the Doctor...

Machine Quilting on the Raffle Quilt has come to a screeching halt...

My beloved Bernina is not well, poor baby.

I took her to the doctor today...

Click Images to Enlarge:

I have neglected her for 18 months.
Using her almost daily and putting off regular maintenance check ups.

I ignored the signals: thread jams, thread breakage, poor tension.

Finally yesterday I decided it was time...
I packed her up and took her to town...
She had an appointment with the Bernina Doctor.

It seems my use of basting sprays has been awful hard on her...
Especially in the bobbin housing.

Not that I have to stop using basting sprays..... NEVER!

I need to use a different needle, I also need to clean her more often, and bring her in for her yearly physical exam....not every 18 months.

Here is the bad part...

She won't be ready for 2 weeks!!!

When I get her back and have more time to talk to the technician, I will share with you what I learned.

The photos above were taken in the back yard.
They are absolutely gorgeous Grape Leaves.
Please feel free to use them in your personal art work.
I am always happy to share the beauty!

CLICK HERE to read what happened at the repair shop

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Clean,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Raffle Quilt......Machine Quilting Started

It is time to get this quilt under the needle.

Let's see where the day takes us...

Click Images to Enlarge:

Bobbin Thread
Bottom Line Yellow #601
Superior Threads Product

It blends in and melts into the backing fabric.

To stitch around all of the applique motifs, I chose Bottom Line very pale gray.
It almost disappears into the fabrics on the top side of the quilt.
Just what we need.

Thread Audition
The Neutral was too boring.
The Blue was not right.
The Green was the best fit.

I keep two lights directly above the sewing machine.
I also have a Bendable Brite Lite mounted on the side of the machine.
I am never at a loss for light.
I can see extremely well with this set up.
I never have trouble with eye strain.

Thread Stand
The Thread Stand is mounted on the back of the machine.
It feeds crosswound thread from off the top of the spool.
It feeds stacked threads from the side of the spool.
It also holds large cones still, no wobble.
Since getting the stand a few years ago, I never have issues with the threads feeding improperly......thread delivery goes smoothly.

The Thread Stand also makes a great place to stash bobbins.

Dyna Disc
I tried this disc in a class, one of my students offered to allow me to try hers.
They are wonderful!
It takes all the pressure off your lower back.
I can quilt for hours and never have any pain.

I purchased this at my local Quilt Shop:

Size 60 Needles
Because the Bottom Line Thread is so fine, I am using a 60 needle, which I prefer anyway, because it makes such a tiny hole in the quilt.

I generally lower my top tension when Free Motion Quilting

Practice Sandwich
I warm up on a practice sandwich to check my thread tension and see if I like the quilting motif.

The background quilting is a feather variation.

You can see the stitching much better when I turned off the overhead lighting.

4 hours of Free Motion Machine Quilting so far...
I am about half way done...
Hoping to finish this tomorrow~

I am working with a deadline on this quilt, so I had to be disciplined and stay indoors and quilt today...

But this view out in the yard, made it very difficult...

Pacific Sunset Red Maple Tree

I love the way the light illuminates the leaves.

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

CLICK HERE to view the previous post on this Raffle Quilt

CLICK HERE to view Thread Information

CLICK HERE to view Needle Information

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

Apple Core Quilt Top......18 Rows Done

Progress Report:

Apple Core Quilt Top

Click Images to Enlarge:

18 Rows Done

80 x 60 inches so far...

I started this Apple Core Quilt top a year ago.

It takes 12 hours to complete a row...

Cutting time, marking seam lines, piecing the row, then adding the row to the quilt top.

216 Hours so far...

This is my Take-A-Long Quilt

I only work on this when we are traveling down the road at 55 mph

Piecing while traveling is "Found Time"

I never would have pieced this at home by machine, but traveling in a car with lots of time on my hands......this is perfect!

Today I assembled 10 more rows to sew...
Luckily we are traveling next week.....yeah~!

CLICK HERE to view Tutorial

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

CLICK HERE to view Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt

CLICK HERE to view Clam Shell Quilt

CLICK HERE to view Winding Ways

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

Raffle Quilted.....Basted

Mondays I spend with my local quilt guild.

I packed up the Raffle Quilt top and brought it with me...

Click Images to Enlarge:

Spray Basting is my preferred method of basting

If you have never spray basted, start small with a small wall quilt, work your way up to a baby quilt, etc.
You get better with practice...

The weather was just perfect for spray basting...
Warm and No Breeze

My sister helped me get this basted.
It took us maybe 20 minutes.

Raffle Quilt Basted

I am ready to get this under the needle...

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

CLICK HERE to see the previous post on this Raffle Quilt

CLICK HERE to view The Harlan Valley Quilters Blog

CLICK HERE to view The Mary's River Quilt Guild Blog

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Raffle Quilt.... Stitching Applique

Today I am stitching down the applique on the Raffle Quilt

Click Images to Enlarge:

I don't use a heavy satin stitch around the raw edges.
I prefer a small zig zag that doesn't draw too much attention to itself.

I match the thread color to the applique shapes.
It blends in...
That is the look I am going for here.

I am using YLI Variations Polyester Thread.
It has a nice sheen to it.

My favorite zig zag stitch for applique is:
Zig Zag Width.....3
Stitch Length.....1
It creates a tiny little zig zag big enough to catch the edges of the applique, but not too big and bulky.
It lays flat and nice.

When you zig zag, the needle should fall into the background fabric when it goes over to the right.

I also prefer an open-toe foot to allow better visibility as I follow along the edge of the applique shape.

The Steam A Seam Lite 2 Fusible Web acts as a stabilizer, the fabric doesn't pucker from all of the applique stitching.

Keep your Needle in the DOWN position
(if you have this option on your machine)

Every time I stop stitching, the needle is in the DOWN position.
This keeps the quilt in place and doesn't allow it to move.

If you don't have an Up/Down option, just hand crank your needle down into the quilt to keep it from shifting around when you stop.

I put on the movie, "How to Make an American Quilt" and the time just flew by while I stitched the applique down.....even the tedious center of this pink flower.

After 7 hours of stitching, all the the applique' work is complete.

Tomorrow I will baste the quilt sandwich together and audition some quilting threads.

Until then...

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

CLICK HERE to see the previous post on this Quilt

CLICK HERE to view the Vintage Beauty Raffle Quilt

CLICK HERE to view the Gummi Dots Raffle Quilt

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full of Raffle Quilts,