Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Settling In With My New Machine

The cabinet to the Q-20 arrived Thursday in three big cartons. Dan hauled them all upstairs and assembled it on Friday.

Meanwhile, I continued on the Wishing Tree.

Got the light triangles done...

...repeated the curvy narrow border and then did the outer border. I'm trying to keep roughly 1/4" spacing on everything so that the quilt will lay flat when I'm done. And I'm sure nobody noticed that my binding is a couple of inches short? All of the leftover fabric was pieced into the back, so I didn't have any more of that one. Chose one similar, added it in, and if nobody looks at the upper left hand corner.....

On Saturday, the machine head was delivered and installed on the table. My friend Rhonda (who I love like a sister!) was at Bernina University in Las Vegas last week; when that was over, her husband Steve joined her and they came here to bring the machine and to visit for the weekend. So while the guys got the machine all set up, Rhonda and I went to my local quilt shop, Bolts in the Bathtub.

This is Dawna's latest LeMoyne Star quilt -- spectacular! She's piecing one for me, but it's way different from this because my fabric has skulls and crowns and roses and we're setting it into a black background.

The Southern California Quilt Run was going on so there were periods of quiet and then all of sudden there would be 10 people at once. Traffic was pretty steady, but I still managed to buy some fabric....duh!

This is the classroom and it's where everybody was greeted, got their passports stamped, could get cookies and water to keep up their strength....the theme for the run was camping oriented, so Dawna set up the tent and put up picnic tables -- fun!

It's always fun to go into the classroom and look at all the quilts.

This is a fun adaptation of a pattern that features a flag in the upper left corner.

Here's the pattern pic -- what a switch! It's one of the strip club patterns from Cozy Quilts.

After we got back from Bolts, I tested the machine to make sure it was running beautifully and then Rhonda and I sat downstairs and chatted while she did the hand sewing on a quilt for her granddaughter Ava and I did the binding on the Wishing Tree.

After they left on Monday morning, I did the straight line quilting with a Westalee ruler in the dark triangles. Of course the best way to learn a machine is to thread it up with metallic thread, right? I had to mess around with needles, but finally found the needle that worked well with this thread. A 100/16 Jeans/Denim needle from Schmetz turned out to be the one; I tried Topstitch in a couple of sizes and brands, but the thread kept shredding. I kept telling myself that patience is a virtue!

Then I started the last border, the one between the triangles and the first little narrow one. I was saving it for last because I haven't stitched this design before. I kept practicing on sample quilt sandwiches but just couldn't get the look I wanted. Drawing it out doesn't help me because I sew so much better than I draw; I just don't seem to internalize the motion with paper and pencil. So I kept stitching and practicing until I was ready to go to the quilt. It's a serpentine pattern, spaced about 1/4" apart for a few lines and then about 1/2" to make room for some circles. I'll get that finished up today and get some more photos.

Then I can wash it, block it and it will be ready to go to Missouri with me on Thursday! I'll be teaching for three days at Appletree Quilting in Columbia MO. I've taught there several times and love the owners, staff and customers, so it should be an awesome experience as always!

What kind of stitching do you like to do in borders? I've been making a few quilts lately that are mostly borders so that I can practice designs that can be stitched without marking. I've always done stencil work with a little bit of freehand, but I want to become more skilled at the freehand stitching -- I certainly have the machine to do it now!

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