The fun part of quilting

Those of you who have longarm quilting machines know that quilting can be a lot of work.  If you have a custom quilt job (lots of fancy stuff in it), you need to do lots of SID, or stitch in the ditch, to offset the motifs.  Stitch in the ditch is pretty basic on a regular sewing machine, because you’ve got your presser foot holding everything in place and you just have to follow the path.  A longarm quilting machine doesn’t have a presser foot.  It has a hopping foot, and it does just that – it hops all over the place if you’re not careful!  Lines to be quilted along the X and Y axes are not that difficult.  The machine naturally wants to travel vertically or horizontally.  It’s when you come to those diagonal lines that things get tricky.  Anyway, I do all of my SID before I begin to lay in the designs.  Yep, all of it.  I want that whole puppy stabilized before I start to play.  This quilt had lots and lots of SID to be done.  I finished that part a few days ago and am nearly done with the quilt, but I’m running off to do something else at the moment.  This is a photo taken when the hard part was done and the fun began.

fun part of quilting


Although this type of quilt is a lot of work, it is my very favorite type to do.  Classic, blue and white or red and white quilts really melt my butter.  I hope you’ll all enjoy what I’ve done with this one when you see the finished photos.  It will probably be just over a week before you see those, because I’m running away to Silver Falls!  Gotta take the dog to the sitter, get the house and cat sitter all situated, finish packing, do a few errands, and I’m outta here!  Eat, sleep, sew, with a few campfires and a couple hikes around the waterfalls here I come.

A little Mucha quilt

A while back I showed you a color palette for a little art quilt I was making.  Well, as sometimes happens, things didn’t go as I planned, and I scrapped the quilt.  I was using the lovely batik fabrics to make a fusible appliqué representation of one of Alphonse Mucha’s posters.  So, I decided to use the same design, but instead, I would produce the image in whole cloth, and then paint it.  The exhibit in which it will be displayed is about painters so, why not paint it?

Today, I finished the initial quilting.  This quilt measures about 19.7″ square or 50 centimeters.  After I finish painting it, it will most likely go back on the machine for a little thread painting too.  The image is from Mucha’s Dance from his “The Arts” series.

Ready no watermark copy

and a bit of detail

Ready detail no watermark copy

Update on Saturday, October 5.  I was reminded this morning that I need to watermark my photos.  I forget that people just take pictures that aren’t theirs and show them around on the internet.  You may share my photos if there is a watermark.  Otherwise, I would hope you would leave them where they are.  Thanks!

I’m in love again!

No, no . . .  not like that.  I am once again in love with my quilting machine!Eowyn2

Sigh – gone are the days when my studio was so clean and tidy!  At any rate, I have been out of commission for a few weeks because my stitch regulator began to cut out on me.  Quilting left to right or right to left, I began getting long stitches.  It would cause a hiccup in my quilting because those big stitches left me sort of floating in thin air, like there was no connection to anything, and it caused some majorly ugly quilting.  So, I ordered a new encoder wheel for my stitch regulator’s horizontal axis box.  It came with lovely instructions on how it was all to go together, with the encoder wheel fitting snuggly into the rear carriage wheel.  However, despite my best efforts, I could not even force the encoder close enough to snug up as it should.  Luckily, a call to Amy in service at APQS led me down an adventurous path.  I entirely removed the encoder box, filed out the adjustment slot, replaced everything, and now I’m back to beautiful stitches and the machine floating just as it should.  It’s almost like having a new machine again!

Here’s the encoder box off the machine with the wheel and all its shims and washers:

encoder box apart

This notch needed to be elongated at the bottom, so I could slide the encoder wheel into the drive wheel

ecoder notchLooks like it will worksungging up

Having to jack up the machine a bit to get the wheel back on

propping upPerfect fit!

perfectI often see those cutesy little tool sets made for women.  As if they would even come close to being sufficient!  Here’s what a big girl’s tool box looks like:


and add a set of files and rasps from Harbor Freight:

rasps and filesNow we’re talkin’!  My machine is running wonderfully again.