Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Motion Quilting again...

This quilt I've been working on for two weekends now is nearly done. But it's actually GREEN, not purplish like in these pictures.

What the heck--I guess I must need a new camera. I have NO idea why all the pictures turned out like this--but whatever the reason, it just fits into the way my day is turning out already.

Anyway, I've been quilting for about 5-6 hours a day on this for the past two weekends--

I always use fusible batting, it makes the quilt sandwich quite stiff, which makes it easier to move around in the machine while sewing. This was all done on my non-electronic Pfaff machine, which I really like to use more than my more expensive machine.

The thread I used was Aurifil Mako 50, which comes on a pretty good sized spool so I don't have to keep replacing the thread when the spool runs out. I always try to wind about 2-3 bobbins at a time when I sit down and get ready to free motion quilt, that way I don't have to stop and do it in the middle of quilting. (I think I've probably used about 8-10 full bobbins on this already).

I generally use Sharp Microtex needles, size 70 or 80 (depending on what I have on hand) and don't get any thread breakage or problems. It also helps to change your needle after sewing for about 4 hours with it, you'll really see a difference if you keep a fresh needle in your machine.

Another tip is to take that little brush that came with your sewing machine and check the bobbin area once in a while for lint that might build up from your thread. Even with Aurifil thread, which has less lint than practically any other thread I've tried, some still builds up and you need to get it out of there before it affects your machine's sewing ability.

Some people use quilting gloves when doing this type of work -- I bought a pair of rubbery palm gardening gloves at Lowe's a few years ago and find that I like using only one, on my left hand, and keeping my right hand uncovered. Most of the moving and sliding is done w/my left hand, apparently, it's not something that I really think about while I'm doing it.

My arms are definitely sore today!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Middle of July already

I've been pretty bad about posting to this blog, but I have been keeping myself busy! Here's a picture of a largish (40w x 48 h) wall hanging using some of my shibori fabric. It's pretty much done except for quilting, which to me is the most fun part.

Here's a sideways view:

Monoprinting is the monthly project at And Then We Set It on Fire. Since the temperature here has been 95+ every day, and my garage is my "studio", I haven't been able to spend much time out there. I did try some printing yesterday, with some new stamps that I've carved (and some old ones), but the paint was drying before I could get the stamping done. These were printed on some paper, just to see how they'd turn out.

And here's one piece that I'm actually happy with. I still want to add some bubble wrap printing to it, or something like that. It'll make a nice pillow.

And some quilting, since it's so hot outside. It's easier to stay inside in the AC and quilt away.