Monday, July 17, 2017

Under My Needle Now

I had originally planned not to go Christmas Project crazy this July but I have a few small things I wanted to work on. This panel for example. I have had it for a year or two and it is a cute little birdy print. Mostly I am practicing doodling in smaller spaces. I am working on controlling my speed when doing little circles, swirls and lines.
Today I learned that if I put my chair at its highest position I can sit down and quilt on this machine. I still stand for many tasks but the close and tedious stitching is going well sitting down. This was a concern with my arthritis situation.
 Cute little birds. I just used the varigated King Tut thread already in the machine so that I could see it well. I outlined the elements and doodled around in the open spaces. I need much more practice before I hop on to a good quilt.
This machine gets away from me at times. Using the Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen was a totally different process, I moved the fabric, the machine stayed in one place, like a domestic sewing machine. I had mastered many free motion techniques on that machine. On this one the machine moves, sometimes really fast. I don't. There is a learning curve here, mine is on the upward trail.
On the first couple blocks I had the closed toe ruler foot on, then I switched to the open toe foot to better see where I was working. Again, we need work.
The work box for this machine is actually an IKEA cart on wheels. I can move it around easily and it holds everything. All my threads and tools fit nicely. One thing I strongly dislike is looking around for tools. That is why each work area has its own work box. For this machine there are multiple wrenches and tools, these big ones were used in assembling the frame. I am looking for a box or something to store them in, on a lower shelf. In addition, my oil bottle, a used needle container (an empty pet prescription bottle) needles and bobbins in the stacked plastic locked lid box, a couple magnetic pincushions, scissors, a pair of hemostats, screw drivers etc. Shelf two and three of this cart hold an assortment of threads and the instruction books.  
  • BTW, this is a Baby Lock Coronet Long Arm Quilting machine.  
  • This was not an easy decision for me. I was totally bonded with the other machine but while quilting the Stackers quilt (that you can see not finished on the back of my chair) all that wrestling and moving the fabric took it's toll on my poor joints. My hands, elbows and shoulders were very painful and the swelling took days to come down. So, if I am going to keep quilting, which I am, I needed an alternative. This was it.  
  • In some ways the transition is relatively smooth, my issues are specific to controlling the speed of the machine. It can do 1500 spm I think. That is ridiculous. Who sews that fast? I have backed the speed down so we will see. 

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