Finishing Touches

Over the last few days I have been working on several projects including the shot cotton quilt. As well as this I decided I should sort my fabric stash out to make sure I can find what I need in the coming weeks. However after sorting one box out last weekend, I felt quite overwhelmed by the amount of fabric I had and abandoned that idea and got back to quilting.

i decided to try some different designs on the quilt so used a wave ruler which gave me more design opportunities. I designed another 6 different blocks using the wave ruler, Op Curve Ruler and Line Tamer ruler to complete a total of 9 blocks.

This is one of my favourite designs using the Wave Ruler and Line Tamer.

The design underneath uses the Op Curve.

After quilting 9 blocks I am pleased to say that I was very happy with the way my machine performed having overcame the earlier tension issues I had when stitching the first couple of blocks. Absolutely delighted with the stitch quality and tension by the time I finished the quilt.

The Quilting Begins

There are 9 circles that make up this sample quilt and I have challenged myself to use a different design within each circle. I started quilting yesterday and the machine has run like a dream since I sorted the tension out. The only issues I have had are operator related. This happens when I start daydreaming or go to fast when doing minute designs. I usually quilt to music to develop rhythm but find I get lost in the music at times and then lose track of where I am going. As machine quilting can take intense concentration I take a break every 20 minutes to refresh the eyes and stretch.

Since I have started quilting the first circle I have really been enjoying working on this quilt. This quilt may not be perfect as there are a fair few creative design opportunities, but I am doing my best and I find my quilting is improving with each block which is satisfying.

The last image is the back of the quilt.

Thread Selection

Yesterday I auditioned the threads for my quilt. I selected 3 threads as you can see. The threads are all Glide 40wt. I wanted a contrasting thread so I could see the stitch quality. I also wanted to use Glide in the bobbin so the colour matched on both back and front of the quilt. My hope is the front and back of the quilt look as good as each other.

I finally decided on the lilac thread as I felt a subtle thread would look better and also overcome any creative quilting.
With the thread selected I moved on to quilting the major quilting lines, that is when I discovered a few tension issues as both the thread and fabric are very slippery. After trying many different tension settings, rethreading the machine, changing the needle and cleaning everything, I called Brad our local Bernina expert. Brad made a few suggestions, and also suggested a drop of oil … well I’d done that in the morning, however I tried and it and it did improve things no end but not 100%. I decided to loosen the lower tension another increment and low and behold the machine has run smoothly and has not missed a beat since.

I used the Westalee Circles on Circles ruler and the Line Tamer to anchor the major quilting lines and will use the Curved  Op Ruler for the minor lines before quilting in the fillers.

Wholecloth Quilt – join my journey

Having finished 2 UFO’s this year and completing an Australian quilt for my youngest daughter, I decided I would like to make a wholecloth quilt. Being a machine quilter this is one of my greatest passions.

I selected some beautiful shot cotton from my stash, this fabric was given to me by my friend Phil Thomas several years ago and I love it. The photograph below does not do it justice. First of all I had to mark the quilt.

I have chosen to use a repeating medallion design which I drew up myself last year with a view to making a wholecloth quilt.

You will see 2 different designs in the medallion and each will be used separately in the quilt. My goal for today was to mark and baste the quilt which I managed. My next goal is to select thread and quilt the major lines. More to follow in a few days.