14 October 2017

Tension Issues Aside, I Finally Quilted on My Long-Arm!

Firstly, I've completed the October block
to add to the other 9 of my BOM quilt.

This is just a project on the side that's to become a Christmas gift.
A bonus block came out with the October one so I think I'll just
use that as my December block to move that quilt along a little faster.
Next month is November.  November!

Ok, what's really moving along is my LA quilting practice.  Because I'm
still waiting on one more yard of fabric to finish the back of my
nautical quilt for my grandson (still not used to the sound of that!),
I set aside the sea creature pantograph and pulled out my fall one.
The leaves are very forgiving but the acorns I'm still struggling with--
even after all that practice and doing my first quilt.

This flying geese quilt top was made all from scraps last fall.
But when I began to quilt it, either it just wasn't working or I wasn't
so I set it aside, basting pins, sad quilting and all.

This quilt is just for me so it seemed like a great one for my first
go on the long-arm.  I was a little surprised to see that my messy
quilting came out, after a whole year, with virtually no traces.

Yes, I put a pin-basted quilt onto the frame.
It's just that I never dreamed when I basted it together that I'd
be owning a long-arm in the very near future,
and there sure seemed no point in removing all that work.
Somehow that all worked out for me, too.

But that's where the smooth sailing ended and things got ugly.
REALLY ugly.
Talk about tension issues!  And a major problem here is that
you've got your good quilt loaded on the frame so what are you going
to practice on to get that tension straightened out?
Up until this point, I had never seen tension regulation for
winding bobbins--which may very well be my problem.
I tinkered until I got decent stitching but that bobbin case tension
is still way too loose.  If I tighten it, things go way amok so I can
only assume that when I wound the bobbins, I didn't have that
tension set correctly and I'm making up for it down in the bobbin case?
I also feel like the tension on the upper thread is way too tight but,
again, this was how I needed to leave it for things to work.

It was really difficult to find a rhythm when I was constantly stopping
to check under the quilt to see how things were going but I did finally
finish this.  As far as first quilts go, I suppose it sure could've been worse,
though I really thought it would go better.  However, with the busy pattern
of the quilt itself, it's fairly difficult for the average person to even notice.
Hopefully I will always look on it as just the beginning of my long-arm days.

The quilt itself is one of my favorites already.  Other than the sashing,
the entire quilt is made up of scraps of so many quilts that I've made
that it practically reads as a quilt journal to me.

I'm having my husband extend the frame out to its full
twelve feet, at least until we need to put the Christmas tree up in
that room.  Hopefully I've worked most of the kinks and can get right
on to quilt number two.


Debbie said...

Oh boy....it has to happen sometime. Have you watched and seen Jamie Walen on youtube for tension lessons? here's a link

He was a huge help for me to understand. Also....lint in the bobbin case at the catch spring point. I often get a gob of lint and have to pick it out of the case with a pin. It will take the tension off the bobbin thread and you cant get it tight no matter how you try. I use Aurifil now and it has less lint.
Winding bobbins is a big deal....there is also a video to help understand that. I finally gave up and ordered pre-wound bobbins from Superior threads for my machine. I have been very happy with them.

The acorn and leaves look great! It will come together as there is a huge learning curve. Keep stitching.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great quilt. Tension issues are never fun. Hopefully you get them figured out quickly (before the next quilt).

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