Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Very Last Row, Graceful Garden Quilt

Could somebody please come and pull on the quilt back and strrrrrretch the batting as I quilt this last row? I’m telling you, if it fits, if I don’t run out of both back and batting, it will be jusssst baaaarely. . .

If worse comes to worst, I shall remove the quilt from the frame, trim the sides and add onto the bottom, then put the quilt back on the frame and finish quilting. Sounds like a lot of work... but... I’ll do what must be done.

The 9 hours I worked on the quilt today bring the total number of hours spent on this quilt to 907.  138 ½ of that is in the quilting alone.

I wanted to finish tonight, but there are a few hours of work left, and I don't want to fall asleep tomorrow in the middle of Easter church services. The ushers with the goads might get me!

(I said that once to an elderly aunt of Larry's, and ... she thought I meant it.)

Here are just a couple of the blocks done today; the previous row is already rolled up on the take-up bar.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quilting Again -- Graceful Garden Quilt

I’m back in business!  Quilting business, that is.
Kevin, the HQ tech from Country Traditions in Fremont, brought my machine back Wednesday morning a little after 10:00 a.m.  He set up the machine. . . started quilting with it. . . it was working fine. . . then I told him exactly what I was doing when I had troubles with skipping stitches, so he did just what I had been doing – and sho’ ’nuff, it skipped.  He called a tech in Salt Lake City. . . had a little discussion. . .checked a few settings – and suddenly noticed a gap in the bobbin assembly where a gap shouldn’t be.  He investigated. . . and then came to the same conclusion Larry had come to when I first started having troubles:  the bobbin assembly needed to be replaced.
 He replaced it. . . worked for a bit to get tension top and bottom just right. . . I tried it out. . . perfect.  It sews perfectly.  Smoother and nicer than it has ever sewn since I got it.
 So, for a measly (?!) little (?!) $300 (!!!), I’m back in business.  $217 for the bobbin assembly; the rest for labor and gas.  Kevin had given it a thorough take-apart and once-over while it was in his store, oiling and tightening and servicing everything.  And boy, oh, boy, can I ever tell it.  Everything is smoother – motor, movement, needle bar, everything.  While the machine was down for the count, I got all the coordinating pillows done, and all our Easter sewing besides.  I am ready to quilt!!  I quilted for six hours yesterday and eight hours today, giving it a thorough workout with echo stitching, free-motion quilting, laser-light following pantograph, and ruler work.  Not one skipped stitch.  Not one.  Not one!  And the tension is perfect, too, top and bottom.  I’m so happy! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Doorknob Pillow for Graceful Garden Quilt Ensemble

Yep, I'm still making pillows, because my HQ16 is still refusing to quilt without skipping stitches.  Larry has taken it back to the dealership in Fremont so the tech can work on it.

This little 6" x 6" doorknob pillow will be the very last coordinating pillow.  The pieced heart was paper-pieced -- first time I ever did paper-piecing.  The Prairie Points were left over from the Whirligig Pillow.

After taking pictures of this side of the pillow, I decided it was too plain to suit me, so I added a few short strands of beads.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kaleidoscope Pillows

I made these kaleidoscope blocks a couple of months ago when I joined in the 'Bucket Skill' with the online Cyber Quilters group.  Here they are, made into pillows.  After setting the blocks on point, I added some small, leftover pinwheel blocks, a few triangle fillers, and sewed on some trim.

The 9mm stitch width on my Bernina Artista 180 was exactly what I needed for sewing on the wide trim around the Kaleidoscopes in just one pass around the blocks.  I did a simple zigzag so as not to detract from the trim. 
See close-ups below.

The backs are irregular Lemoyne stars.  Irregular, because the pieces, while parallelograms, are not diamonds, as the four sides are not equal.

Back of Kaleidoscope Pillows -- irregular Lemoyne Star

Trim on Kaleidoscope Pillow