Saturday, January 7, 2012

My First Finish Of 2012

Today I started out with the goal of getting my brown and yellow braid quilt quilted and hopefully the binding on so I could whip it down this evening while watching TV with Roger.
 I spent an hour or so cleaning the machine, oiling, changing the needle, setting the tension on the bobbin....then quilting.  I realized today that this quilt has been in the longarm since September 7th.  I had completed it in time for our quilt guild challenge but when I started to quilt my machine was messing up.  I missed the window of opportunity to get it quilted and into the challenge due to my crazy work schedule and since then time has flown by.  So with doctor's orders to not work this weekend I have spent more time in my studio and getting things ready to quilt.  I had enough time to patiently clean and work on my machine and get her humming again.  She is doing beautifully today.

Below is some of the freehand quilting I am doing on the quilt.
Now today has not totally gone without problems.  See this little "thingy" below.  Roger tells me that it is an O-Ring.  Well this o-ring is part of the stitch regulator on my machine.  I don't always use the stitch regulator and today was one of those free motion days.  But when this broke it got stuck in the track and my machine stopped moving.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what was up.
Below is a picure of the other wheel that uses on of those o-rings.  This is part of a sensor system which tells the machine that I am moving and to sew.  That is a great part of stitch regulation, when you move it sews, when you stop the machine also stops sewing.  Not so with non-regulated stitiching.  When you turn the machine on it runs at the speed you set wide open until you turn it off with your hand.  It takes more getting used to than regulated but I kinda like the freedom of movement I have with unregulated stitching.  You can really get a rhythm going with your designs and it just flows onto the quilt.
Since I was not using the stitch regulator I wondered if I could continue since I only had a few rows left to stitch and really didn't want to stop.  I was able to rig the sensor foot up with a rubber band and continue stitching.  Good thing I could do that.  I finally found one of those o-ring thingys online, Roger had already gone to the auto parts and Lowe's trying to find one to replace the broken one with no luck.  I've ordered 2 so I can replace the other one also since the age is the same and I ordered 2 extra for spares.  Don't want this happening again if I can prevent it.  Be prepared.....right!
 Now back to the see I didn't have much more to quilt when the thingy broke.
Finished quilting and decided that I would try to do the binding on the machine to save some time and stress on my neck.

I watched Pat Sloan's tutorial about binding on the machine and thought I would give it a try.  Several of my bee girls have done some binding on the machine but I had never ventured there yet.  But there is always a first time.  I've listed Pat's tutorial if you want to watch.

After watching Pat's tutorial I decided to try a sample out and work with my Janome to get the stitches right.  It took me FOREVER to figure out how to mirror image a stitch.......should have called one of the girls.....sure would have been quicker.

Below is my sample piece that I used to practice on.
When I turned to the front on my machine the sewing line was too far over, I decided to just fold the binding in half and try that.  Pat used a 1 1/4 inch binding with 1/4 inch folded over and brought around to the front.  

Below is me sewing the binding to the back of my quilt.....that was an odd feeling since we usually sew the finding to the front and pull to the back, this technique is the exact opposite.  See the beautiful paisly print I used for the backing.......beautiful but hard as crap to see your stitches on the back.......I was upside down with a flashlight checking the stitches.  Even my trick of using the mirror underneath and shinning the light on it didn't work with this busy print.  But I love the print now that I am done.
Here is my quilt with some of the binding pulled to the front.  What I didn't take into account when I folded my binding in half was that it would pull it all to the front.  Interesting look, but I'm sure not ripping all that stuff out.  Just a different look to this quilt.
I did get better as I went along, but it was all I could do to get the binding to cover the 1/4 inch seam......whew..........I thought it would be less stressful on the neck.....NOT!!  Well not the way I did it anyway.  I'll have to play with this system again and see if I can get the measurements better.  I think I will cut the next time 2 inches and see how that will do on a sample, maybe some mug mats for practice.
I made a picture of my practice piece with the numbers from my machine written on it for future reference.  See the word mirror with a circle half colored in????   That is the mirror image button on my machine.....hopefully I will remember that next time.
Here is the label on my finished quilt, already sewn own.
TADA............................The finished quilt!!
Looks pretty good if I do say so myself.  Anyway it is finished and many thanks to Pat Sloan's system for getting me organized to finish some of my UFO's.  Next time well do her next tip for finishing our unfinished objects.

Until then,
Happy Quilting,

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