Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A little unpicking and an almost finish

The one thing about quilting on a frame that I still can’t get used to is not being able to see the underside of the quilt as you progress.  So with most of the quilt done and as I advanced to another section I noticed really bad tension in one area and knew I would have to unpick.  I think this happened just before I ran out of bobbin thread.  So I continued after replacing the bobbin and with the quilt off the frame, I had to find the spot needed to unpick.  With this amount of stitching, not an easy job.

Finally spotted the bad area and then could start unpicking.

With my quilting done, binding sewn to the front, label glued in place…. Guess what I’ll be doing on the public holiday tomorrow in South Africa??

Sunday, March 18, 2018

New credit card needed

O dear, o dear, o dear.  Some ridiculous quilter somewhere towards the end of last year posted on her blog that she kept track of her expenses during 2017.  She posted the amount, so obviously in US dollar and it didn’t sound too bad to me (or maybe it didn’t make any sense).  The bad part for me was, me deciding to do the same.  For one, I’ve never dug into garbage bins this much ever….. I’d go shopping, forget about keeping track and then a day later, remember and go dustbin hunting to find the slip.  Filthy I guarantee you!

Anyway, my credit card is due for renewal very soon and it turns out the magnet is not truly fully functional anymore, so more than once my dear card had to be swiped and wiped several times before it registers but ha-ha, no problem with this when internet shopping or that is what I thought until I took a quick peak at my expenses for 2½ months.  A flippin total of R14 463.45  (roughly $1 207).  I think I am having an asthma attack….. and no I don’t suffer from asthma!  But heck, look at my last purchase, can’t wait for these to arrive.

And then being new to long arm quilting, I need all the books I can lay my hands on now, don’t I?

The excuses will never stop.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

And I vowed never to buy a quilt book again…

Nope I don’t dislike authors or don’t like supporting them but at some stage I realized that apart from paging through it when I get my hands on a new book, I hardly ever make something from it or read the book from front to back BUT I am back to the game I enjoy playing.  So today when a new book “Quilting wide open spaces by Judi Madsen” arrived, I was per usual ecstatic and best of all was that I had a salon appointment, so while washing the grey out, I actually read MOST of the book.

Apart from getting some great ideas, I picked up valuable little lessons from her.  She practiced 6 (yes SIX) years before regarding herself a good quilter.  So this is a shout out to any and every one out there, claiming they’ve practiced the WHOLE afternoon or Saturday….. it takes just a little bit longer, okay.  So I am still good.  I only have my machine for 4 months now, so a couple of years more of fun practicing.

I am however in the process of quilting my “Bonnie Hunter’s On Ringo Lake” quilt and decided to try Angela Walter’s technique in her Free Motion Quilt along Challenge.  I am doing the echoed leaves in some blocks.

Another great lesson learnt from Judi Madsen’s book was “don’t quilt if you don’t feel like it”.  So all the pressure of having this quilt finished is off as I’ve really struggled with my bobbin and tension issues on this one (luckily my own) and I simply don’t feel like forcing myself.  So now I simply enjoy the break.  I know my FM mojo will return soon.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Riana’s quilt done

Now I can proudly say that even though ignorant, I found out that I’ve officially done my first custom quilt.  It is definitely more tedious than simply doing a free motion overall motif but the final look is so rewarding and the best part is the fact that the quilter is satisfied.  All is well that ends well.

Even the back didn’t look all that back from afar.  One should just not go and sit to inspect every minute detail.

Now back to a little quilting for myself.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Financial Year End and all that jazz

I hardly did any quilting this week with the financial year end and stock taking.

I however had the Bernina technician all the way from Johannesburg to fix some issues on my long arm, so hopefully better days ahead and I’ve also been asked to quilt another striking quilt by a fellow quilter.  With all these interesting happenings I had to abstain and focus on the reality of being in business.  Murderous!

When I finally got around to spending time on the long arm, I experienced every problem in the book.  My ruler foot, obviously mass produced and one that slipped through inspection, is so off center it is just not true.  The needle ends up being anywhere but the center, then my take up rail still gets stuck on the frame at a certain point but unfortunately this only happens occasionally, so I’ve been unable to proof this when the clever people are around.

The quilter whose quilt I am doing decided on a grey thread and a white sheet for the backing, what a moral destroyer for any new long arm quilter.  One sees every little mishap, every little curve that went haywire and every stitch defect. I might never quilt with a sheet and contrasting thread ever again.  If the thread perfectly matches the sheet, it can be considered but then it should match the top as well.  I really have to force myself not to look at the back as then I will simply phone the quilter and say I can’t do this.

Fortunately I had amazing feedback, just when I was about to cry and give up totally, from none other than the very amazing Patricia Heinrich Hechler from the FB page The Threadworks Factory, which kept me going, ignoring the back, as not part of my responsibility.  Also a huge thank you to Kathy Rogers who told me that fixing quilting problems or choices about thread or backing was not my job.  Believe me, anyone out there not doing long arm quilting, the price they charge is worth every minute of their time, you have no idea what goes into quilting on a frame.  Bleeding fingertips covered in plasters and tears threatening to appear any moment are just some of the emotional/physical pain I went through up to now.

But… not wanting to end this post in total negativity, is this not the most stunning quilt top and named so appropriately “shimmering triangles”.