Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quilted

HIP, HIP HOORAY!!!  I finished quilting my king sized quilt, my first, in 11 months!!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

Overall, I found it exhilarating!!!  I'm very proud of myself and look forward to the many more I will quilt in the future.  Once I got my tension issues straightened out (I will explain later in the post), I was good to go.  I believe it had everything to do with me using 2 different threads and a flannel backing.  For the bobbin thread, I used Bobbin Line by Fil-Tec:

                                          
    

For the top thread, I used Glide by Fil-Tec:

                                           

I realized that I didn't give myself proper spacing behind my quilting frame.  I had to stand a little to the left of my machine in order for me to quilt each pass.  This was because the machine head would not extend all the way to the back.  What a bummer!!!πŸ˜” I also noticed in certain places my machine did a shimmy dance, it got worse with each pass.  We tried tightening and loosening the tracks, but to no avail.  In order for me to have peace of mind, my dealer will have to come and make the necessary adjustments.  (After the holidays of course!) πŸ˜‰ 
As expected, tension, Tension, TENSION was an issue.  On my first quilt back, I should have never started out with two different thread weights and a flannel backing.  I did practice on my scrap fabric for about 30-40 minutes before I achieved an exceptable tension.  I got started with a previously used wound bobbin, no trouble at with tension.  Once it ran out, replaced with a new bobbin, I started going, snap went my thread.  I looked at the stitches and they were all way loose.  After another 30-40 minutes, I finally got it.  Half way down the quilt, snap.  What now?!?  Some how my threads shredded and tangled up.  I fixed the problem and went to bed.  Next day not one problem.  I think Ava was sleepy too!  Then when this bobbin was empty, I changed the bobbin (Of course) and guess what, no tension issues!!!😊

The starter pass felt awkward, but that's like that for me every time I start a quilt.  After my second full pass, I started to feel more comfortable with the pantograph.  I was able to speed up just a little bit.  I found wearing earbuds and really comfy clothes relaxing.  I listened to a Pandora gospel station and jammed all the way.  My next goal is to download Christian books so I can listen to them as well.

Below is the finished top, I have yet to bind it.                                            
   
                                           

Sandy, from http://quiltingfortherestofus.com, mentioned that the #BFSI is a go!  I refuse to go shopping, tomorrow for anything Christmas related.  Unfortunately, I do have to go to Walmart first thing in the morning to get a booster seat for my daughter (Hers was destroyed in the car accident) so we can travel to my God-Mothers house to celebrate Thanksgiving.  On Black Friday, I have to work half a day.  I plan on going to Joann/Hancock to get batting and Pellon stabilizer and that's it!  Then, home I go to start on my first 2015 commissioned quilt.  Recently, Wanda, my friend just started quilting and she choose me to be her long arm quilter.  Isn't this orange and white twin size quilt a cutie:                                                   
                                                    
                                                    
  
Well, I guess I better hit the sack.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so from my family to yours, have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Getting Ready To Quilt Again

Many say, "It's just like riding a bicycle, once you start peddling, it'll come back to you!"

Well, I wonder how true this is.  It has been 11 months since I've worked on a quilt.  I have several commission quilts that I must quilt before Christmas.  Before I start them, I need to work on something of my own to build up my confidence.  Before I let myself loose on someone else's quilt, I need to feel one with Ava again.  This calls for something big, something like the quilt I started way, way, way back in November of 2013 when Jordan was first hospitalized.  Just in case you don't remember it, here is a pic to remind you:


I finished the quilt top quite some time ago, but it was way too big for my frame.  I had high hopes of going to my friends house to quilt it, but she had developed cancer (Kicked it's butt) and instead of her taking it easy, her cancer was like pure adrenaline for her.  She went on a quilting frenzy and has not looked back since!!!  Now, that I have my frame completely up, I can quilt it at home, at my pace and on my own schedule, yippee!!!  This will be my first bed quilt I made for myself.  It is now freshly pressed and ready for a quick, nice and easy panto!  I'm waiting for the panto I purchased from Urban Elementz called Breathe of Gods, pictured below.

 


In the meantime, I will be cutting, piecing, and pressing my binding strips and my flannel backing.

Well, that's all I got for ya today, what are you working on?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Moved In

Hey Everyone!

EEK, my studio is almost done!!!  I still have work to do, but I wanted to share with you what I have done so far.   I'm smiling from ear to ear because of our progress.  Please know I am not bragging in any way, shape or form - I just wanted to share something I've been wanting and working toward for quite some time.  ☺️

The first thing we did prior to anything being moved in was pray.  My husband and I walked over ever inch of this room and prayed.  Praying brings me balance and peace.  In my studio, I spend quite a bit of my time talking with God while using the gift He has blessed me with.  

The new studio space is a little shy of 200 square feet, yes it's quite petite for a quilting space with a longarm.  So I had to be creative in the things that I purchased for my new space, reused from my old space and the items we repurposed.

First, we brought in all of wall hangings.  After everything was up, I felt something was still missing.  I decided to get some shelves to go above my sewing table.  This way, I can bring in more color to balance against the buff  colored walls.

Next we brought in Ava, my Handi Quilter Avante.  My husband and I tossed the buck back and forth as to who would put her back together.  We assembled her ourselves the first time, not really that hard to do.  I remember, It took us a LONG time getting her leveled and balanced.  In fact, I'm still not sure we got it right because in the middle of the frame I felt tension and then a push.  While quilting, I tried to adjust my speed when approaching this area, but it would ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS mess up the quilting some in that area.   We tried many remedies to get rid of this "Tension push," but all to no avail.  I didn't want this to happen this time around.  I called to see what the charge would be to come the almost 2 hours to set Ava up and to make sure she is running on the frame properly and functioning as she should be - $300.00 😱!!!  Not bad, I guess.  I'm just not wanting to give up my play money to do it.  My husband assured me that he had faith in us and that we were capable of doing it.  He also said, that if by chance we couldn't, he would gladly pay ☺️ for our dealer to come out and level and balance her.  It was much easier putting her up this time around and we had no real problems balancing and leveling her.  I had to reorder black tracks for the track support.  Because originally I had cut them to fit the 8'ft frame.  Black tracks must be one continuous piece, therefore the ones I used before will not work on the 12'ft frame.  I also had to purchase leaders, I splurged for the super leaders.  The original leaders (That come with the machine) were all the same size.  When it came to pinning my backing to the top back pole, I would always end up having a really bad back ache.  I hope to alleviate some of this pain with the super leader.  The back leader is twice the width of the other two leaders which keeps me from bending over as much in an uncomfortable position while pinning. 

Next we put up 8" ft fluorescent daylights, it is super bright, just the way I like it!!!  We took down the ceiling fan, I hope I don't regret making this decision.  I guess if push comes to shove, I will bring in an oscillating floor fan to help keep me cool.  I still might have to get a bendable light for my sewing machine area, but I'm not sure as of this writing.  Once I sit down to sew, I can get a better gauge if one is needed.

Then we brought in the side kick to my sewing table, the Linnmon/Adils by IKEA.  Nothing special, just needed a table to help support quilt tops as I make them.

 I plan on not putting a tv back in my studio.  This is a big distraction for me.  For now, I will settle with my iPad for music and to listen to podcast.  The white cabinet which my tv sat upon in my old studio, I repurposed as a small 20" X 24" ironing station.  I am so pleased with how well it turned out.  Larger strips and yards of fabric will have to be ironed on our home ironing board.

I changed my mind about getting the Gidget II, I chose the Ingo table from IKEA instead.  I got more table for much less, even though I had to create the floating shelf myself.  I gave my husband and my friend David the instructions if found here on Pinterest. It was a fun project not only to watch, but to also lend a hand every now and then.  Actually, David's wife just started quilting and she and I disappeared to talk quilty, she even asked me to be her longarm quilter! 😊 I can honestly say, I think this was my favorite DIY project to date.

My closet contained the same contents as my other closet, so nothing exciting to tell about that.

I still have to get 3 small cabinets that will fit under my frame and 1 to go next to my sewing table.  My current ones were damaged when they were moved to storage, so I don't want to keep moving them and risk my stuff falling out everywhere or worse, getting damaged from falling.  So, I will bring this stuff in from storage as I acquire the cabinets.

Well, I think that's about it, and I kept you all from quilting long enough.  I hope you all enjoy my studio tour pics below: 


  



 
Now, I can slowly gain my footing and get back to doing what my I was born to do - Quilt!!!