Monday, July 9, 2018

I'm Quilting as Fast as I Can!

Taking a Moment to Breathe

Yes, I know, I haven't been around much lately. I would say AWOL, but I've been making the best of these cool days, and marathon quilting. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, and when these are all bound will take some pictures of the whole quilts. This is all I have so it will have to do for now.

Follow the Zigzag

Pushing to get my own quilts done before August when I've promised to take customer quilts, I've been holding my feet to the fire. There has been little debate about how I should quilt them. I want them done, but I also want to do something on each one I haven't done before. It has been a bit terrifying at times, but I keep going. Done is better than perfect, and these have their share of little imperfections in them. I'm okay with that.

This one was tough to figure out until it was loaded and I was standing there. Pick out a pinwheel, and stipple the rest. It was simple, but still very pretty, I think.

Warm & Natural In Reverse

Every post needs one tip at least, and this was fairly interesting to me. I usually like Warm & White if I'm doing a white quilt or one that these little bits will show through. But as I was going through loads of batting, this was all I had on hand. When I flipped the Warm & Natural over, I saw a big difference in the 'debris'. I placed the cleaner side facing my white top and the darker toward the backing. No little specks showed through on this one, and I was a happy camper. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience.

Ribbon Candy

It must be a joke that this is the hardest motif for me to do. I have practiced up and down yards of paper to make it even passable. I was using a Natural White Omni thread, and it was quite visible. Even so, I chalked it first, and stitched it.

Each time I came to this spot on my table, the machine went due north, and shot off the planned curve. It was as if it was intent on me screwing up the ribbon candy I had worked SO hard on!  I cleaned the wheels. I cleaned the track. I rolled the quilt several inches, and I ripped every time until after the 5th try I said, "Whatever!" 

And I left it, and moved on. I did. 

I couldn't fix it, and had to make up my mind to deal with it later. That is hard when you want things to look good, but also is the kind of thing that totally stalls a project. I may rip out the whole border, and replace the thread with brown that blends. This is only if the tension is very good, and I can still use the Natural White in the bobbin. We shall see after adjusting the table tonight.

Another Little Freak Out

I know people read quilting blogs, and believe we never have any serious issues, but I must tell you openly that we freak out over things just like everyone else. This was another one in the past week. I decided this little quilt needed some borders for added interest, and though I have been known to add borders with out pinning, I pinned these. I carefully pressed after adding each one. (I did these the right way is what I'm telling you.) But when they were all on, and I took the picture, I was mortified at the waviness of the borders! 

Back up to the studio to press and see how this had happened, and as I pressed the waviness disappeared. What?! I hypothesize that there are so many seams in the center of the quilt that they lay flat on the table when pressed, but the fabric 'bounces back' between moving it and the high humidity. There is a tremendous amount of stretch to this top, and I am hoping it cooperates when pinned in the longarm.  I will be sure to let you know what happens, but let's hope it's not a lousy border job because I have two of these quilts.

I felt these were unlikely border fabrics, but loved slipping the little text print between them to pick up on the low volume background prints.

It isn't the Fourth of July without the eagle landing here...

...and here. There are as many as 3 at a time now.

Morning Rush Hour

I'm still inspired to move most mornings, and make sure to dress in brights or neon so I can be seen. I seem out of time next to the buggies and buckboards coming into town. We have a growing population of Old Order Amish here, and many work off the farms, too. The fog was dense this morning, and though he was easily heard, he was hard to see. Old Order Amish don't always use the slow moving vehicle signs so use extra care when traveling in this area. 

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

your quilting looks wonderful - I especially love those circles on the area that was red fabric

Linda Swanekamp said...

Wow, what a productive time you are having. I wish I could just crank through the too clogged lineup I have. Every time I get going, something derails me. Love all the quilts you showed today. Great work! Looks so happy!

chrisknits said...

Those borders are gorgeous on that top!!! What a stunner.

Angie in SoCal said...

You are busy! I'll remember that batting tip. I'll be interested to know how the border problem is solved. My friend swears that by cutting the borders along the selvage solves that problem for her. Most of us don't have that luxury.

PaulaB quilts said...

Your Quilting looks very good to me and if you don’t mention it, I’m sure no one will notice. As for the unruly seams. I learned to ALWAYS press the seam still closed to help it flatten out, and you can see it happen. Then when I press to one side, it does not lump or pucker. I think that was what improved them for you as well.

Stitchin At Home said...

Love the texture on the pinwheel quilt! Once you start quilting those borders should fall into place.

Pamela Arbour said...

Thanks for all the pics and comments. Lots of eye candy! I think ribbon candy is easier in more narrow strips like 2". I think there is too much room or error on wider borders, or that is how it is for me. You did a great job on all of your quilting. Way to go!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Your quilting looks wonderful to me! Whenever I try doing ribbon candy.....mine gets a little wobbly.

Brenda / Songbird Designs said...

Your quilting looks great, Julie! I have issues with ribbon candy too. AND, my longarm, Mattie, had the same issue with getting to a certain point and would not follow the quilty lines as ordered!! I decided mine had to do with the magnetic channel locks. Since I removed them and got the Pro-Stitcher, it hasn't been an issue. That may not be your problem. Sometimes, these machines just have a mind of their own!

Alison V. said...

Your quilting looks absolutely fabulous! I really love that pinwheel quilt. :D

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Julie,
What a nice, newsy post! Aww, I think your ribbon candy looks lovely. No one is going to look at it THAT closely . . . they will just enjoy the overall pattern. You have really been busy, and I can't wait to see some of these more closely! Happy Tuesday! ~smile~ Roseanne

Tu-Na Quilts said...

I enjoyed reading your post and looking at the pics. You quilting looks amazing even if you don't think so!! I hope your borders smooth out when on the machine. My elephant quilt (She Has Her Mommy's Nose) that I quilted this spring was perfectly square and flat before I loaded her on the machine and quilted her. When I took her off the machine, her sides rippled and my heart sunk! I wasn't going to rip out all that stitching and start over, so I just finished it up and sent her to her forever home to be loved anyway. I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong; it could have been the flannel on the back although I pre-washed it and it was quilt shop quality or maybe I wound the rollers for the backing too tight. The good thing with aging is that we tend to forget things after awhile. So your lovely quilt will be lovely years from now. And if you really don't like it, you could always send it my way.

audrey said...

Oh too bad about your Ribbon Candy motif. Frustrating to be doing everything right and have issues like that! Your comment about all of us quilters having things that go wrong, having things to panic about--so true!! And the funny thing is, if I talk too much about the mistakes then I get chided for pointing them out.:) The fact is, even the most experienced quilters are going to get things that go sideways in our quilting and then we have to figure out how best to deal with them. I have days where I know the best thing to do is to fold things up and come back another time! lol

O'Quilts said...

U continue to inspire me...u be such a good quilter...xo

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

good to see you blogging. I love the little elephants and the zig zag fabric. I gave up on borders on the end,they always seem to have a life of their own. Like cutting a child's fringe, or as you americans say, bangs. Comb it all out, trim and it bounces away off on a tangent of its own.
I finally, unbelievably after all this time, worked out how to put my fmq foot on . Before I just couldn't get it on. So, I am enjoying quilting now, whereas before it used to be a bore. Now I just need to cultivate the time.

I am never sure whether life for elderly Amish is very simple and enjoyable, without of many of the stresses and strains of modern life. Or if it is actually harder without many of the things we take for granted.

Barb Neiwert said...

I have a spot on my longarm that 'catches' about half the time when I am stitching at a certain angle using a ruler. It is beyond me why this happens, and so dang frustrating! For your ribbons, just think that when the quilt is washed up, those squiggles will probably disappear into the quilt and no one shall be the wiser! Lots of great projects you're finishing up - congrats!

Christine Slaughter said...

Wow, you are really getting some quilting done! I never seem to be able to get the flow of the ribbon candy down. I'm not sure what it is, but my brain and my hands never seem to coordinate properly. I hope the wavy border issue disappears for you when you pin it to the long arm!

Miaismine said...

Wow! I can only say my appreciation for Long Arm Quilters has gone through the roof! You are one talented and productive lady! Thank you for sharing your hard work and inspiration!

Kate said...

No wonder you've been a bit scarce, that's a lot of progress on a lot of projects. Hope you've continued to make progress and haven't run into any snags.