Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Getting somewhere, finally!

Well, I still haven't quilted the baby quilt---I know, surprise, LOL! I'm thinking of finding someone to quilt it for me, I am obviously overwhelmed by it or something. I always put off quilting---I can piece like what, but when it comes to the actual quilting---I'll put it off for years! Since I'd actually like the baby to get his quilt while he is still a "baby", I'm going to look into finding someone who has a long arm machine and can quilt it in an afternoon or something, LOL!

I tried practicing free motion quilting over the last week, but I can't get my tension set right and I can't get my stitches even. The bottom thread keeps showing up on top or if I adjust the bobbin tension so the stitches don't show up on top--the stitches are angled instead of straight and the top stitches are way too tight. Believe me, I played with the tension on top and on bottom for hours. I was practicing with the same thread on top and on bottom, so the weights were the same. The thing is, I wasn't having any tension problems before I started free motion quilting---when I tried to adjust the tensions to work for the free motion, I messed it up overall. I had marked my bobbin case to know where the screw was, but even when I put things back to where they were, the tension is still messed up. Then on top of that, when I was practicing, I can't seem to get a consistent movement where the stitches are the right length instead of these tight, barely seen stitches. I practiced with the feed dogs up and down--no difference. I'll still practice---but in the meantime, I'll look for someone else to do the quilting for me!

I did manage to get another top cut out and I started piecing it together. It's a nine patch in bright colors, with daisies appliqued on top---it's a pattern from the recent Fon's and Porter's Love of Quilting magazine called "Summer Daisies" I wanted a bright quilt for my livingroom wall for spring/summer. I suppose I'll have to send it out to be quilted as well, LOL! You know, I've had my Bernina for 13 years now. I've used it to make many quilts---countless pieces of medieval garb, Hallloween costumes, home accessories---you name it, I've made it. I have machine quilted the majority of the quilts I have made---mostly in the ditch or in grid patterns. For some reason, going beyond that is really messing me up! I've never shied away from a challenge, heck, most of the sewing I've done I've completely taught myself. I really don't know why I can't handle machine quilting--beyond the simple stuff. It's really irritating the heck out of me!!!

That's it for me today! I'll hopefully have the new top done by next week and maybe I'll have a breakthrough with my machine quilting! In the meantime, have a great week everyone!


Rose said...

Ohhh i have the same problems with free motion quilting....its so frustrating but my last practice was getting closer to something that i was happy with....unfortunatley i only had time for the practice....i think ill just stick to straight line quilting for a bit longer lol

Susan said...

Even after taking a class from Harriet Hargrave (who made it look so easy), I didn't like the way it looked. So I bought a longarm. I had a business for 8 years and loved it. I would never go back to quilting on my little machine now. We live fulltime in a 5th wheel now, so I sold the longarm a couple of years ago, but I surely do miss it!

Clare said...

I shall be watching with interest how you go on this. I've tried and gazve up. Mind you, for someone who finds it difficult enough to machine a straight line, let alone FMQ, I'm surprised I've got this far.

Marsaili said...

I'm with you, Rose, on sticking to the straight stitching, LOL! Actually, I can get my practice runs to look pretty good for a while and then either I stop for a minute or something and I lose my rhythm and end up with smaller stitches, usually. Very frustrating!

I'd love to have a longarm, Susan! I've been looking at them online but they are way out of my price range, so I'm determined to figure this out on my machine, somehow, LOL! I can imagine you miss it a great deal, though!!!

Thanks, Clare! I've come close to giving up as well, but then I'll be sitting at my machine and just get inspired to try again. If I can just get my stitches a consistent size, I think I could probably do it fairly well.