Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Good, Working With Wool Batting!

In Sewtopia this week, Lucy and I are working on quilting the "Stackers" quilt. I have it about half done, it is a full size quilt. What started as a simple pattern and easy to assemble piece is just that. Now, if I had a computerized long-arm this would already have been sent as a gift. As it is, I am still working with the sit down mid-arm machine. Husband has been trying to get me to buy a bigger machine, I have resisted for many reasons. I may change my mind. Who knows?
It has been a while since I sat down to quilt on the Handi Quilter Sweet 16. Point number one, I am not so keen on basting so I put it off until the tops pile up. I really like the quilting process, just not the basting. So, after calibrating the machine, changing the needle, winding the bobbins and oiling the bobbin case I was ready to go.

This is what happens when you are out of sync with your machine. Even with a stitch regulator my stitches are different sizes. With this machine the stitch regulator is totally depending on how fast you move the fabric. Clearly, I am needing more time to reacquaint myself with this machine. Towards the end of the day my work improved but this illustrates one big flaw in this type of machine. You have to work with it regularly to maintain your skill and rhythm.
  Of course, this is less evident on the white fabric because the thread blends. Now, if I were someone who entered quilts for competition this would not be acceptable but I do this because I enjoy it. Not to win prizes. I never aspired to be that person. I don't have the talent or the patience to labor over a craft that would overwhelm my enjoyment of the craft. Not that I don't try to improve with each item, but I know myself.
Speaking of thread, I am back to using the Isacord. I started using that on this machine when I first got it (that was 12-4-12!) and it has always been the thread that best suits this machine and the way I work.
This is my favorite, I plan to test it in Destiny as well. Now, this looks yellow-ish on the spool but it is a very slightly off-white. Somewhere along the line I bought a lot of this. So, we will be seeing it a few more times before I re-order.
 I originally planned to do some ruler work on this quilt because it is linear, however, I changed up something else and fell in love.
Mama Mia, this batting is fabulous. It quilts beautifully, particularly on curves and it is dimensional. I used only one layer and in the areas where the quilting is moderately dense it looks like Trapunto work. It is lightweight though, I am anxious to see how it washes and feels on a warm night. I am told it breathes. We will see.
  • I dislike basting, no matter what method I use it is my least favorite quilting process.
  • If I get a bigger quilting machine, that will be the reason why!
  • Wool batting, so far, is fabulous. It is a little more expensive but it needles beautifully. I am sure it would be the same with hand quilting. This is a winner.
  • I need to be more consistent in my stitching, more often, more patterns, start on the ruler work. 
Fortunately, I keep my machines covered. Dust is the enemy of the tension discs and the electric connections. When I cleaned the studio after the mad-man cable dude drilled holes in the plaster above this machine ( I still cringe when I see all that wiring) this machine was directly below one of his masterpieces and it was literally covered with plaster dust. Twit!  

Stitch On!

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