Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I broke 5 needles

Well I actually broke three, my machine broke the other two. Caryl Bryer-Fallert say that every time you quilt on a new machine the machine first need to learn to quilt and that take several hours. This is quite true- but my machine is partly train now and we are quilting at a steady pace. I only have two more weeks to finish this quilt and in that time quilting is not the only thing I need to do!

I had my sewing machine in a cabinet for piecing and machine quilting in the past. Then I start quilting on an industrial Bernina to get a bit more speed. This machine is in a cabinet so once again I had a flat surface at a comfortable height.

The 830 Bernina is to big to fit in my old cabinet so  for the first time I have to quilt with the machine on the table top. This height is not so comfortable. Luckily my office chair can raise a bit. The big quilt sometimes drag on the needle and it is more difficult to move the quilt when it is not flush with the machine. So not only did the machine need training- I also need to be retrained.

For the first time I quilt with a stitch regulator. The even stitches is a real pleasure. I was sometimes on speed and the BSR was complaining with an alarm. So more things to get used to.

Today I really enjoyed my quilting- once I started to feel comfortable and in control, the stitches also fall in place. My biggest problem is to quilt between the embroidery stitches just to flatten the bubbles formed with the close quilting around the embroidery area. The quilting need to be done in such a way that it does not distract from the embroidery but blend in. So this will be a huge challenge.

I have learned a lot studying the quilt books the long arm quilters have available. These books are mostly self published but is available here. To mark quilting patterns is very time consuming. Long arm quilters sell their time, so to make it more affordable they need short cuts and eliminating marking time helps a lot. Many of this strategies can also be applied with the home sewing machine. Feathers is usually my choice because it can fill any space.

We are all looking for more interesting patterns than squigels for background fillers. I love McTavishing, but small spaces need a special approach. So today I came up with a good combination.I quilted this areas with matching thread so it does not show clearly but give the background more interest than a repetitive background design.


  1. http://www.constantinequilts.com.au/ is also a good site for long arm books and DVDs. I don't know if it would be more expensive to buy from Australia though. I suppose it depends on the exchange rate and postage. I like the design you came up with.


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