Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Straight Lines?

Well, not exactly. I had to work through some tension issues. I think my machine just needed a good oiling. I learned that I did the best pulling the fabric. I couldn't see where I was going when I pushed it. Going right or left I had the least control. This was a bit boring. so I didn't finish the whole cloth that I cut. I think I will save the rest of the space to test out tension. 
I keep spelling that with a tion. Thanks spell-check!

This little quilt sandwich was intended to just test tension. So there are tension issues. I know, it should probably just have lines and wavy lines, BUT THEY ARE BORING. So, I get a little carried away:)

Here's my question for Leah:
Please look at the photos below. the first one (the front side)of pebbling has little knots. Could this be the result of thread. I used Coats and Clark embroidery thread (color peacock). It was thicker than the Isacord that is the white thread. The white tension is all wrong on the pebbling, I know.
The next photo is on the back up close of the flower. Were the flower meets the little 2 leaves there is a big blob of thread build up. Is this normal, acceptable, how it's supposed to look. Like, if I were to enter a quilt in a show and I had areas like this, would I get a big thumbs down?

Anyhoo, that's all for today. Can't wait to link up with Leah tomorrow!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Piecing Problems

This is the Hello Kitty Quilt I have been working on. Does any one have this problem? In every piece I quilt I have at least one, if not more, seams that have flipped over during the piecing process. I am NOT going to rip it out and re-piece it, but it bugs me. I thought I was being very careful and conscious of what I was doing. I guess not. Does anyone else have this problem and/or what do you do to prevent it. Do you rip it out or just leave it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FMQ Scale Practice

Here's my scale practice. I banged this out tonight. That is probably why I'm not to happy with it.*PROCRASTINATOR*I have been working on a quilt top all week + working so I just haven't had time. In my rush to catch up, I made quite a few mistakes. My big is to big. I had a lot more hooks than I care for. Sometimes I think I repeat my shapes a little to much. I really need to work on making the shapes fit together. One thing I am happy with is my tension was good all the way through! Over all, I guess it's not to bad. The best lesson for me was I can't rush myself and expect good results!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FMQ Tention/Skipped Stitches Problem Suggestions

Today on Leah's blog she suggested some great tips to remedy tention problems. Last week, I was in a stand off with my maching, trying to figure out why I was getting the eyelashes and skipped stiches. I tried ALL of these suggestions and then some. I have a vintage 1961 Singer 500 Slant-O-Matic. I wish a had a new fancy schmancy machine, But I do love my singer 500 and will never get rid of it. Determined to not let bad stiches beat me, I got on the internet. I found this great sit on vintage machines TNT Repairhttp http://www.tandtrepair.com/index.html which gives lots of tips.

I learned, that on my particular machine, there is a problem with skipped stitches. I actually talked to a dealer about this a couple of months ago who told me if my machine was skipping stiches, he could put a kit on it to eliminate that. I guess it didn't sink in because I rarely had that problem. Now that I am sewing like a maniac, I see the problem is bigger than I thought. This kit to solve the issue came out in 1975! Also, The TNT Repair site suggests 2 other things.

One, use plastic bobbins. I never had because I had it in my head(and I don't know why) That I had to use metal. The machine is all metal so why not keep the bobbin metal? Here is why. The top thread catches on the ring that holds the bobbin together. Makes sense. There is a visible seam with a visible gap right there. So I switched!

Two, there is an improved threading suggestion that bypasses the 2nd and 3rd thread guides for my particular machine. The reasons are listed on the TNT website.

So, I tried both of these suggestions and so far so good! I haven't had any major frustrations. And, with this improved threading, I have found that my machine accepts polyester thread MUCH better!

I still need to get my machine serviced and GET THAT DANG KIT PUT ON! But here is what I am saying in a nutshell. If you have tried all of the obvious. Research your machine. There may be an issue. More importantly, there may be a SOLUTION!!! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sesame Seed Stippling

Since we are practicing stippling for Quilt Along Wednesdays, I thought I would share this pattern. I bought a pattern off of Etsy called Build-A-Burger Quilted Potholder Hot Pad Set by OhSewFabuliousQuilts. I don't have pictures of my finished project of the hamburger potholders. I gave them away for Christmas and I just didn't think about it. When I was making the buns, I was thinking, how am I going to make this look like a bun with the quilting. That's when I thought of this.

Now, I will say, this was not easy to do. I actually drew the stippling on first and then just added the seeds as i followed the lines. But I did this blue piece freestyle, so it can be done.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 FMQ Challenge + Quilt Along Wednesdays =

The Practice Quilt
 I decided to combine the 2 quilt alongs on my practice. This quilt measures 16x16. 
Here is the back

and here is a close up
I did hit a little snag right at the end. I got a nest on the back. Not sure what happened, but I was so close to the end, that I wasn't discouraged.

 Here is a little potholder size practice piece, although I don't think I will use it for a potholder. It only has 1 layer of batting
Now with all this practice, I think I will be comfortable making a big quilt. I have made plenty of baby quilts, but nothing big. I think what has been holding me back is the quilting. I feel like sending it off to a longarmer is cheating. I want to do my quilts from start to finish. I have had this Hello Kitty fabric forever. I bought it to make a quilt for my daughter years ago. She has out grown the fabric, but I still like Hello Kitty=]Guess I never had the guts to go for it. I do now!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Craftsy BOM

Got my Craftsy BOM's done! I'm using 1930's repo prints.

I can't wait to see the Feb. blocks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blowing Leaves

I added a design to my oak leaves today which I got off youtube.  Check out the video if you want to give it a go!Its REALLY easy to do!

Here is the back, I like it better!OK now look at the front again. the bottom left hand corner looks different, right? At first, I was just doing echoing lines. I like the look, but it was waaaay to difficult to do. there are to many twists and turns on this leaf design to travel on. Plus, traveling is not my strong suit. Neither is echoing..haha.

Here is a closeup so you can see the difference

So what do you think? Does it look better with, or without the wind blowing through it? Check out my last post to see it without. Tootles=]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Practice, practice, practice

I get bored easy. I have to change it up. Here is my practice today for the 2012 FMQ Challenge.The green is the front and the grey is the back(I actually like the back better)I think I should have gotten the leaves a little closer together. I am thinking off adding random echoing lines in the blank spaces. If it looks like whats in my brain, It would look like leaves blowing in the wind. To do, or not to do. That is the question.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


So here is my Quilt Along Wednesday sample
I had some issues. My thread was breaking. When I finally got that lined out, I realized I had eyelashes all over the back!
Here's where frustration has set in. I have used just about all of my bag of tricks. So I'm thinking, what have I not tried?? THREAD! I was using Gutermann 100%cotton thread. I switched to Isacord. It was like the Heaven's opened up! Now, I will be honest, I haven't had any luck with Isacord at all. Every time I have tried to use it, I got huge loops on the back. But today, front and back were perfect! Here's a pic of the back with Isacord.
And the front is just as good! My stippling may not be great, but the stitches are alright. And why are sewing machines so fickle with FMQ? Why, why, WHY???? It's always a crap shoot. Maybe that's why I like it so much. It's a challenge getting your machine straight, and I love a challenge!

Ok, now for my 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge practice samples
These are done on 8in blocks. I have an idea for a pretty cool one. I will let you know if it turns out. Welp, hope you likey=]

It's O.K. to say now

It's OK to say now , I made potholders for Christmas. I liked how they turned out. I tried a few different quilting designs, but ended up using Leah Day's Stomach Lining on most of them. I thought it was fitting. It looked like it's where the heat should go.Now, I need to get to the sewing room and work on the Quilt Along Wednesdays and the 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge!