Sunday, January 31, 2010


The new handles I made for the HandiQuilter worked very well! It did take some getting used to working on the front side, though.

For example, when I set the needle and pull up the bobbin thread, I find it easier to do when standing BEHIND the machine, because I can hold the carriage in place, as opposed to having it roll uncontrolled on the tracks while I grope for threads!

So I start out behind the machine, pull up the bobbin thread and set the needle into the quilt, then walk around to the needle-side of the machine and begin quilting.

When I stop, I walk around to the back side to cut threads and reset.

So I am getting more exercise than I would if all the steps could be done from the front of the machine! This is not a bad thing, though...standing in one place too long is not good either!

When I first started the quilting on this particular quilt, I was having THREAD TROUBLE. It kept fraying and breaking...that stupid top thread! Because I needed so many different colors, I was using threads from my Dual I had been told that they work fine. I didn't find that to be the case.

So I called my friend, Marilyn, who is a fabulous seamstress and quilt artist, and she advised me to a) use an even bigger needle, and b) get some Gutterman cotton thread (which is available locally). I did BOTH of these things and $75 worth of new thread later, my quilting improved!

I have been quilting on this quilt off and on this past week, making great headway. Feeling especially satisfied with the progress I was making with no more thread breaks, I was finally doing more sewing than ripping! As I rolled the quilt to expose new area to quilt, my hand felt something on the underside that just didn't feel 'right'. When I looked under there, sure enough, I had a problem.

Who knows what caused started and stopped for no apparent reason, but I had an obvious tension issue. There were loops on the backside on what was about 3 full blocks of quilting!

I was pissed.

But the good news ripped out pretty easily!

I have now completed the quilting and am busy burying the start/stop threads. I may get this finished before the deadline after all! :) This is a 'challenge' quilt for my local quilt guild, and must be presented at the meeting on February 23.

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