Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inspired by Debra's wonderful homeless teen quilt project, I quilted a guild charity quilt that I put together back in November. It's nothing special, but it was a chance to practice free-motion on the Janome using the push button control rather than the foot pedal. The results are very good. It's by far the best free motion quilting I've ever done. It seemed to take much longer though because I set the speed at medium and so had to move the quilt rather slowly. Usually I sew fast and drag the quilt around, trying desperately to keep up so the stitches don't get tiny. Once I got used to the slower and steady pace, I liked it.

I also invested in a bobbin case specially designed for free motion stitching. I don't know what the difference is, but this too seemed to give good results. I used Superior Bottom Line thread in the bobbin, and there are no pops and pulls at all, even though the top thread was a different color and a heavier weight. I don't know if other machines have this option, but I think it was worth the money.

I think I've come to a decision on how to proceed with the red and white stars, but have nothing to show for the mental gear clashing that has been going on. Maybe by spring--

Speaking of spring: we're having the worst winter weather here in years. Day after day of single digit temperatures, wind, and the infamous lake effect snow. A break in the weather would be good!

And finally, if you haven't looked at the Cyber Fyber Exhibition web site, be sure to do that. The postcards and ATC's are worth a bit of time for browsing, and the invited artists' work is eye-opening. I'd love to see it in reality.


LFF said...

Kay-Good for you on the free motion quilting. I think the purpose of the bobbin case is to allow you to adjust the tension with impunity. Or maybe it already comes tightened up? Supposedly once you adjust it there is no going back to the original setting, literally. I am a novice free motion quilter but so far I have found the following things helpful: a smooth surface on the machine bed, keeping your hands and field of work to a small space,keeping the quilt really rolled up tight and sitting up higher (almost looking down). It is a learned skill to be sure!

Kim said...

I, too, have been inspired by Debra's more-action-less-talk to in making her charity quilts (although I haven't done anything about it yet.)

Excellent way to work on free-motion quilting skills.

McIrish Annie said...

I like your popsicle quilt! really cute!

I am also going to reorganize my sewing space. I'm actually moving it back into the room where it was originally! don't ask! it's a long story. anyway, i'll be interested in what you do with yours and will post pics of mine before and after!

Debra said...

I have run into a problem with my mid-arm that is not making me very happy. I can usually only get about 3/4 of the quilt done before I run out of space in the machine's opening. So, yesterday I had to take the daisy quilt off the frame and finish it on the domestic machine. But, what I did was take the Janome 1600P off the mid-arm frame and use it for free motion since it was already set up. I actually kind of liked it and am now wondering if I should just get a table & sink it into a hole (like I have my 6500) and just free motion that way. Lots of people do it--the frame is just not working that well for me.

So many decisions. It's giving me a headache.

I am sure someone will love your little quilt. As long as it is snuggly, no one notices the stitching! (that's my motto!)

Barbara C said...

It's nice to make something someone will cherish and practice your machine quilting at the same time. I like your color combination: it looks very serene.

We've had strange summer-like weather on my part of the California coast. All the winter weather has passed to the north of us where it dips down and clobbers the rest of the country. Apparently it'll change next week, but this afternoon I sat on my porch and had a cup of coffee in the sun...not to gloat mind you.