Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Gentle Reminder from a Friend

I admit it!  I am a Facebook junkie.  I have many friends through the years of moving around that I keep up with through FB.

Yesterday, I posted a couple of finished projects and I made the comment that maybe I needed to keep a binder of some of my samples of trials and errors of my quilting tension triumphs and trials.  A friend said, "I thought that is why you started your blog, Pattilou."

She got me there.  I've been so consumed by this thread thing: trying threads, winding the bobbin, and then working out the remainder of the thread in the bobbin and then moving on.  Yesterday, I stopped long enough to do some binding and then I posted my results on FB.

I completed some placemats from some fabric from Linda Moran found here  she has such beautiful fabric and when I first started using her fabric a year or so ago, I did so with the intent of following the lines for some eye/hand coordination.  I started this piece on my DSM and then put it aside after my trip to Atlanta and some orders for some quilts.  I decided to finish it up on my Baby Tiara and tried using the Isacord in the top thread and the Superior SuperBOBs Pre-Wound Bobbins on the bottom.  That SuperBOBs is 60 weight polyester and my machine has some trouble with it apparently.  Each machine is different from what I can tell.  One lady on my Yahoo group suggested, "I think the problem is in your bobbin tension from your description. Adjust it to be somewhat tighter and then loosen off your top tension. Just do small incremental adjustments on the bobbin until the bottom thread is how you like it and then adjust the top after that."  So I did that and played and quilted.  I finally went to a cotton thread 40 weight on the bottom and finished the piece. The first bobbin of  SuperBobs and Isacord and it seemed to work fine.  It was when the bobbin ran out and I changed bobbins (above) that I started having problems. So I checked for dust and lint and finally out of desperation tried my bobbin winder with just the cotton thread and that seemed to adjust easier.  Don't have a clue as to why.  More practice is in the future and then I may be able to come up with some sort of answer from my experience!

Anyway this piece was quilted earlier, using the first bobbin of  SuperBobs and Isacord and it seemed to work fine. 

I used a dragonfly template from Green Fairy Quilts and had some fun with it.  This is the bottom and you may be able to see the design a bit better.

A little bit of spring on my dining table now!

Somewhere in the workings of everything I tried a practice piece--my first one I won't even show, but this one used a heavier thread  I had on hand--I think it is a 20 weight.  The design is nice, but I don't want to use this thread too much.  I bought it years ago thinking I wanted heavier threads.  I now have a few spools to work through and this led me to think I may design something in a plain fabric somewhere down the road.  Anyhow, this is done and packaged to send to a friend and I didn't take pictures of the back before sending it, but as I looked at it yesterday, I saw things I hadn't seen before.  I think I need to learn to adjust the top thread better, but each piece gives me more accuracy in the tension process.

I have one more piece similar to this but with the remainders of the fabric in a piano key border.   I don't know when I'll get to that one!  My feathers though are starting to become more free and curvy.  This has taken a lot of practice.  First I started on my DSM and then now on the Tiara which with the bigger throat space gives me much more freedom.  My shoulders are relaxing more and I just may figure this all out!

In the meantime I'm working on my 30 blocks for March  for the 350 block challenge .  I decided to challenge myself to finish each bobbin I've started by using it for a string block.  I'll wind my bobbins with the Isacord and then because that machine handles the Isacord, I can use it up in string blocks and meet a challenge both to my fabric stash and to my thread stash.

I need to get busy.  We have tickets for a Utah Symphony performance tonight in Ogden, UT.  I'm looking forward to that!


Bridget said...

Thanks for posting of your trials and tribs regarding machine quilting. I am just learning this stuff and last night was frustrated whilst quilting.

Your stuff is looking good. I am still in the tricycle stage but hope to be riding on two wheels soon!

Debbie said...

I am seeing a bit improvement in your stitching! So proud of your efforts...the good and the bad. We only learn by working through those bad results....I have quite a few, too. You are right about the heavier threads...they just don't work for fmq that has curves and reverse direction movements. They are not strong enough. Keep it what you are doing.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I find you have wonderful control of your quilting!! Good job. I've had my Tiara since last spring...still getting used to it. I am a long time hand quilter. Machine quilting is something I had never But I am on my 3rd queen size quilt now...getting better. I came over from the Yahoo group.

Lin Marsh said...

I enjoyed your blog! I saw your mention of in on the Yahoo forum. I think you're doing great(!) with your progress in FMQing. I have the Sweet 16 and love it!

Sandi said...

Your feathers are beautiful! Keep it up. You and your machine just need to get on the same page and it looks like that's happening!