Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a hot mess, aka the challenge quilt

Well, I started quilting on the challenge quilt today. I have been working toward that end for days now.

I loaded the quilt on my HQ frame several days ago.

After MUCH thought, I finally settled on a stitching/quilting design.

Then yesterday, I spent practically the whole day trying to resolve tension issues. This was tough...I tightened tensions and loosened tensions...rinse and repeat. I flossed the tension dial. I brushed out the bobbin area and bobbin case. I poked around with a pipe cleaner, to free any obstructions that might be there. I held my tongue just right. Still, the tiny loops occurred. And it was not just loops on the top or loops on the bottom. The loops would alternate between top and bottom, depending on the direction I was stitching or the speed with which I moved the machine! How can that be resolved? Eventually, after gettting the sample stitching as good as it was gonna get, I decided that the BEST option for overcoming the potential for these tiny loops was to use the same color thread in the bobbin as I was using on the machine...despite the fact that the back of this quilt is BLACK and despite the fact that I had already wound TWO black bobbins!

Next, I decided I needed to make some marks on the quilt to use a guidelines for stitching. I don't usually do that, but this quilt needed some. I started marking with my Dritz Wash-away blue marker...but it was nearly dried up. So I grabbed my keys and ran out to the store to pick up another one, so I'd be ready to start actually quilting in the morning.

Ok, so today, I used the new marker and marked off the areas to quilt...then I actually started stitching ON the quilt! At first, it was going quilt well. Then I stopped for lunch. When I came back, suddenly I was having 'issues'. The thread would break or there'd be skipped stitches. I thought, maybe the needle is I changed it. I tried a bigger needle...then back to the smaller needle. I raised the fabric and lowered the fabric...the poles which hold the quilt have to be raised or lowered to keep the target area on the bed of the machine as the rolled-up quilt gets fatter. Finally, I found that it was the straight stitching that was the most bothersome, so I'd stitch straight for a short bit, then, if a stitch skipped, I back up and start stippling! Eventually, after lots of starts and stops and ripping-out, the section I had marked off was done.

Time to change thread colors.

I figured this was a good stopping point for the day, as it was dinner time. I wanted to take a look at how this was turning out, so I grabbed a wet paper towel and began sopping at some of the wash-away markings, to make them go away so I could better evaluate the design I had stitched. Well, guess what?! One of the hand-dyed fabrics I have used in this quilt is bleeding!!! Yep...and of course, it is the INDIGO...which is right next to the very light basically, my blue is bleeding on to my yellow!!! I am pissed.

No comments:

Free Hit Counter