Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fully engaged

I've been wrestling with Erica's quilt for a couple of long sessions, getting a full upper body workout trying to stuff the quilt back and forth through my 6" throat opening.  I nearly was sweating until I took off my third layer...it's cold downstairs at night!  Thread bunching was fully engaging me the first night.  I ripped out several runs of quilting and did the rethread, readjust, fiddle with settings routine but it was still happening. So last night I took a break.  This morning I was not feeling well so stayed home from Job #2 after finishing Job #1 (which I do from home).  Later in the afternoon I attacked the quilt again.  I discovered, upon looking it over with Erica, that the thread bunching was only happening on the back, over areas where there was a very thick seam.  That occurs in a lot of places since the dupioni silk used for the triangles was faced with a woven stabilizer that was probably too thick (lesson learned!).

It did not seem to affect the stitching on the front with looseness, etc.  Erica said she could live with it, it didn't bother her at all, and I just let it go, since it will probably continue to happen even if I redid it.  Nothing's perfect, right?  I'm not thrilled but this is not a show quilt, it will live on her bed and get covered with cat hair and crumbs, candy wrappers, shopping bags, and hair ties...the detritus of a young woman.

Yay, last four patch got stitched in the ditch. 

I'm pleased with the way the keystone in the center turned out though it required a lot of pushing and pulling.  I used a wooden version of a Hera marker to score the stitching lines for the keystones.

Now on to the stippling in the remainder of the white sections (I started at the center).  The hardest part of this I think is actually going to be the border, which looks like a big black shadow at the bottom of this photo but is actually a warm purple.  I have an EZ Sliding Stencil with a fleur-de-lis and swag design I want to use.  I tried to look up online for any hints on marking with the tool or doing the actual quilting, but it is an old and discontinued product and the website listed on the packaging produces no matches on a search.  So I will muddle through on my own as usual.  Anyone out there used one? 

8 comments:

Kate said...

Someone said done is better than perfect and if your daughter is OK with the imperfections that's great. She'll have a quilt with character! It looks lovely in your pictures. Good luck on getting it all done.

Barb said...

That is true perseverance.... I love what you are doing....

Tamera said...

You might try slowing down and lifting your presser foot every few stitches when you're going over an area that is thicker.

Michele said...

Ugh! How frustrating! Im not sure about the stencil you are using but I have great luck using the Pounce Pad on my stencils. I have to use it often or the chalk powder rubs off, but I have found that when marking quilts rubbing off is preferable to never coming off! Also, using spray starch on my quilt tops and backs helps me when quilting. I have just started doing this and it helps make the fabric more flat when it is going through the machine. Just don't forget to wash it out when you are done!

Shay said...

Looking good despite the minor imperfections Annie. It's a quilt made with love and you cant beat that.

Stencilling, fancy designs - Ive got nothing for you ...still straight line quilting here !

Tanya said...

Your keystones are PERFECT! How did you do that! I have tried following a traced design on my quilts (machine quilting) and I just get a lot of detours.

Joyful Quilter said...

I don't know anything about the stencil, but one technique I've tried several times on borders is to turn your sewing machine so the nose is facing you - like a long arm. It allows to you work from side to side instead of pushing the quilt away from you...for me it is easier to do a detailed border design this way. Good luck!

Vivian said...

Are you in the middle of a Murphy's Law? The closer you are to a deadline, the more chance there is that something is going to mess up. As long as Erica isn't bothered by the stitches, then you're on your way to finishing it.

Fighting with a good sized quilt through a small opening is NOT fun. Good luck with a finish with no surprises! It's looking good.