Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Roll of Quilts & Shredding Thread

Fresh Off the Longarm

Things have really been moo-ving around here since I hung out my shingle as a longarm quilter. I'm learning there is a fine line between busy and swamped, and that can change in a breath if I'm not careful. With Christmas around the corner, I'm in the swamped camp with most other quilters. Time management is important, but I'm enjoying the pace. 

Blog posts have been few and far between, but I have dog sitting duty today, and thought I'd show you some of the fabulous quilts by customers brought to me for quilting. 

Some quilters walk in with no idea what they are looking for in quilting. When someone says to just meander, I try to show them some of the options of an E2E or edge-to-edge. Not surprising, most people decide on a cute edge-to-edge over a stippling or meander once they see how much it enhances their quilt. Depending on the size of the quilting or length of the stitch out, there's not much difference in overall price. Let's look!

Every heard of glamping?
Like that puffiness? Try wool batting.

Period appropriate designs work in retro or vintage inspired quilts.

Christmas designs don't have to include snowflakes or holly.

So cute how the E2E here made Santa's beard look curly! 

This is the stitch pattern from My Creative Stitches called Twist-and-Shout. Love!

Pellon Nature's Touch 80/20 batting is wonderful!

This is a most unusual quilt for a young boy who loves cats. I thought birds in the garden would be something he would love too. We left room for the whiskers to be added after quilting.

So many of these quilters have had a real vision for what they wanted in the quilting. I just helped to make it happen. I love this one!

Hairy, Scary, and Not Ordinary Problems!

While a gorgeous, finished quilt is glammy times nine, getting it there is a different story! I swear every quilt hits a snag somewhere, and several of them have with me. In theory, longarm quilting machines are supposed to be able to sew left to right, right to left, up and down, etc. But where rubber meets the road, like above, it doesn't always happen without a snag. Or a shred. 

I've been battling shredding thread for the past several weeks whenever I stitched out a pattern that required a lot of circling, backtracking, and directional changes. I've spent hours trying to figure it out. Top thread, bottom thread, tension, mechanics, needles, speed, acceleration, and on and on. Finally it came down to touching every single surface my thread came into contact with to see if there was something rough causing it. 

Can you see the burr? Fine emery paper (220 grit) helped, and then I changed the position. That helped too. Also, just taking a Q-tip with a little water on it all over these surfaces helped to clean areas where dust might have built up over time into 'lint crud'. I believe there may have been starch overspray in this piece also as I use spray starch to help even out puffy tops while quilting. And the biggest lesson? A thread net is essential on some spools to prevent the unwinding of thread, and curling that leads to twisted thread and breakage. 

I think I should have an honorary degree from Sherlock Holmes after this adventure, but am just happy to found the answer to my problem. Hope your sewing adventures are going well, and your holiday projects on track.

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


Barb N said...

Oh those nasty burrs! High Five for you that you discovered the culprit in your shredding adventure. I know it's a royal pain in the neck (or other places...). Glad you are enjoying everyone's quilts. Isn't it fun to play!

Linda Swanekamp said...

Just super work. Better than I will ever be. I am slow and quilt without pantos or computer, so I inch along. I am so glad you discovered your problem. My problem with tension has spanned 2 1/2 years. Finally, I brought in a dealer for the big bucks and found the problem. The machine which was new, was wrong from the factory. The hook assembly was not snug on the shaft and had up to 1/4" play back and forth. As a result, the tension kept going south on every quilt. Now, the hook is all mashed with gashes where it banged on the needle. I kept asking the company and dealer all this time and tried different needles, thread, prewound bobbins, loose takeup on the quilt - a million things. The company and the dealer did not think it was anything other than operator error. So I beat myself up for 2 1/2 years. The machine is unable to get a new hook assembly until the end of November because of their schedules. Congratulations on your fix!

Janice Holton said...

I so enjoyed this post!! Love looking at all that beautiful quilting and yummy texture. vERY impressed with your tenacity and detective work!

Angie in SoCal said...

I see that burr! So frustrating. Glad you figured it out. Thanks for the quilt show. You do such great quilting.

patty a. said...

You have been very busy! I am glad you finally figured out what was causing the shredding issue. I can see how you could go from busy to swamped in a heartbeat. I know it is hard to say no.

KaHolly said...

You certainly have been busy! Each customer quilt is a beauty! Now, Julie,dear, you know nothing is ever easy, but you are so good at patiently working through each problem and challenge. By sharing, you inspire others to slow down and do what it takes.

Sandy Panagos said...

What a great variety of quilting designs. Love "Twist and Shout"! Your work is beautiful.

Kate said...

Wow! You've been really busy! But oh such gorgeous quiltiness as the result.

Rebecca Grace said...

Look at all those lovely quilts! I especially like the design with the bird. Good job sleuthing out that burr on your thread guide -- those baffling technical difficulties are the worst. Glad you're up and running again!