Sunday, April 24, 2016

Quilting Trees

I don't think I've ever mentioned that I sometimes participate in a quilt-along on Ravelry. I'm a member of the Quilters Knitting group and each quarter they have a "UFO" club. (That's UnFinished Object.) You have to have at least five UFOs, you list them at the beginning of the quarter, and then share progress and (hopefully) (sometimes) finished projects.

They always offer two groups--one where you send a fat quarter of fabric to anyone who finishes a project and one where you do not. I signed up for the "send group" this quarter, but no one else did so I was moved over to the no-send group. (You can imagine that members of this quilt-along are frequent repeaters and I'm guessing they didn't want to keep up with the postage and sending. And many are not interested in accumulating more fabric anyway.)

All this is to give context for progress I made on the Mt. Robson quilt. It's amazing how knowing that a few people are expecting to see progress and/or will celebrate when you make some is motivation to get stuff done! (I think they call that accountability...)

After a week of vacation in which almost every day I told myself I would work on this quilt, I did not put it under the sewing machine needle until Saturday. I did a little sewing and didn't enjoy it that much. The quilt is very stiff because of the multiple layers of fabric and adhesive and the machine doesn't sew perfectly smoothly in free-motion mode.

The machine skips stitches. I think I figured out that if I go a lot slower, it doesn't happen nearly as much. It has more trouble sewing in some directions than others so I have to be aware of that too. (Apparently this is common among sewing machines.)

But then there are other times the top thread gets caught up below the quilt, makes knots, and prevents the quilt from moving around. There are a couple blobs of thread in this section:
 And here's the worst one:
It's frustrating. I'm sewing with a Husqvarna. They make chainsaws. (Troy has one.) So I think it should be able to handle it, but I guess it still needs to be handled carefully.

Sometimes I can pull a little harder to get past the snaggle spot and continue sewing, but for the one above I had to stop sewing and remove it all. In the other areas, I noticed the top thread was cut so I trimmed off the loose ends. I'm not too worried about the thread ends coming loose because of the adhesive.

Here is a view of some of the trees that I did:
The top two sections of green slopes have not been quilted yet.

Here's the back, if you want to see the pattern a little better:
I changed it a little from the drawing on glass I did. On the glass, it was drawn like scallops, but I decided to stitch it more pointy to look like abstract tree-top shapes.

Here's the back after the top two sections of trees are done as well:
You can also see that the top thread is showing more on the new sections. (The little green dots.) I never did figure out why that was. I didn't change the tension but obviously something was sewing differently. It may have been connected to increased trouble with the machine, but I couldn't tell for sure.

Here is the other side of the quilt:
 I enjoyed sewing the dark trees in the foreground.
At first I just outlined the bright green area in the back, but that left the background puffy while the foreground trees were tacked down. That makes the background project more prominently than the foreground and that won't do.

So I went back in and quilted some vaguely tree-like angles to press it down:
The second day of quilting was more enjoyable despite the hangups of the  machine. I did have to push myself a bit (telling myself "do just one more section"), but I got all of the green areas done using the same green thread for all of the fabrics. I couldn't quite push myself to do the next colour, but I'm going to consider this a successful session! :)

2 comments:

  1. AWESOME!!! The trees are fantastic... except for the thread barf is. LOL
    Did you check that the bobbin case and its surroundings were clean? My machine does this type of thing when there's a big lint ball down in there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AWESOME!!! The trees are fantastic... except for the thread barf is. LOL
    Did you check that the bobbin case and its surroundings were clean? My machine does this type of thing when there's a big lint ball down in there.

    ReplyDelete

Recently

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...