Friday, June 29, 2012

Small Setback

So while I did get started quilting yet another baby quilt I ran into a small set back.  If you look at the bottom of the following picture you can see the red clamp that is holding the backing fabric onto the leader.  You can also see how the quilt top extends past that point!  I ran short of backing fabric.

I had pieced the backing to this quilt using up scraps before I had a longarm. There would have been plenty of fabric if I had pin basted it and quilted it on my Janome.  Now I know how important it is to have about 8-10" extra inches in length for the backing fabric to load it onto the longarm frame.  I knew this information in theory before, but there is nothing like hands on learning!

All was not lost however.  I took the quilt off the frame. Cut off the extra backing fabric that was at the top (you can see it at the bottom in this picture)  and sewed it to the bottom where it was needed. (Hindsight really is 20/20 -  I could have saved myself the trouble by adding a piece of scrap fabric to the top of the backing in the first place to give myself the wiggle room I needed.)  

Now all is well and I can finish the last bit of this quilt.  Hope this is the only lesson I learn on this one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All the pretty colors

My thread arrived today after what seemed like an eternity.  (It really was just 2 weeks but apparently waiting isn't my strength.)  Isn't it pretty?

Now to decide what to load on the machine next....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another top

As I am impatiently waiting for my thread order to arrive so I can continue to practice my quilting I took some time to finish piecing another baby quilt top.  The used the "girl" panel and 6 coordinating fat quarter that I had received as a prize from the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks blog tour. I found the bright pink in my stash (part of the Northcott winnings that are kicking around).

 I decided to be really thrifty and piece a scrappy binding from what was leftover.

And since I didn't have thread to quilt anything else, I decided to dye some backings.  Dyeing is not an exact science for me at all, but these turned out exactly how I was hoping they would.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flannel Baby Quilt

Binding is now on my colorful circle baby quilt.  I think that extra little bit of red really helps tie things together.

I found a Ziploc bag with some other squares made from my Northcott winnings.  It didn't take long to get them together into this top.  This was a lovely flannel collection and I was able to make two quilts like this.  I only had to getting backing and binding.  One was given away a few years back.

 I decided to try the Burning Bush panto with King Tut thread on top and bottom line in the bobbin.

The back

 Now someone just needs to have a baby boy so I can give it away!

Here is another flannel baby quilt that came from the Northcott fat quarters.  This was fabric I normally wouldn't have been drawn to, but it turned out very pretty. I quilted this one on my DSM and remember getting lost a lot while I quilted the leaves and flowers.  

And my last bit of excitement came when my first batting order arrived at lunchtime yesterday.  One roll of Quilters Dream Blend and one roll of Quilters Dream Puff.   I have used the blend before, but I am excited to try the Puff.   (If you are need of some batting just give me a call.)  Now my wonderful husband has another job - a storage solution for the batting!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Quilt

I am very excited to say that I finally found the time to load a quilt on the frame yesterday.

This little baby top was made from some Northcott Fat quarters that I had won back in 2008.  Kathy and I entered a block challenge and ending up winning $1000 of fat quarters.  We divided up the collections and this was my share (minus the purple section in the top right corner that we shared and used to make this charity quilt.)

Most of the collections had between 6 and 12 fat quarters so it has been a bit of a challenge putting them to good use.  All this "free" fabric has also sparked other fabric purchases to use it up.  I still have about 1/2 of these left!

I decided to give the Flying Paisley panto a try as many of the fabrics had a paisley design on them. 

 I had some Warm & Natural batting that was just the right size and I tried the sample cone of ONMI thread  on top and So Fine in the bobbin.

In progress...

The front...
The back.

This picture does not have the best color but you can really see the texture that the panto gives the quilt.

I have never really loved this quilt top, but I am pleased with my first effort on the longarm.  It came off flat and square with good tension.  My panto following skills are not quite where I want them to be, but for the first one out of the gate I am very happy.  I could see improvement from the first row to the last and that is all I can ask for.  All that is left is the binding.

Thanks for checking in on me!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Loving Every Minute Of It!

I am very please to report that my Innova is all assembled and working well.  The instructions and videos make it really quite easy.

Friday night we were able to get everything all assembled, except for the leveling and small fine tuning of the stitch regulator.   We decided we were both too tired and felt we would do a much better job on Saturday.  We didn't get at things too early on Saturday as we spent the day building a shed for our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  It was a fun, productive and rewarding experience.

On Saturday evening we got everything finished and some fabric loaded on. I was a little scared to turn the thing on, but after taking a deep breath I went for it. Here I am taking my first few stitches.  (Please ignore who fetching I look after a day of construction!)

The girls gave it a little try.  I think the whole thing will come very easily to them.

 I was so impressed with how easily the Innova moved.  I have lots to learn, but I was pretty pleased with the results of my play time. I am pleased that my swirls are more round than square and that with some practice I may actually be able to quilt some decent feathers.  I really was having fun!

First lesson learned was not to make the quilt layers too tight on the machine.  (You don't need to be able to bounce a quarter off of it!) I had some thread shredding issues and decided to phone a friend to see what to try first to fix the problem.  Kathy suggested I loosen it up and bit and problem solved!  Thanks Kathy - you rock!

I tried my hand at stitching out the Keukenhof panto too.

Maybe I will get brave enough to load a real quilt later today!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's here, it's here, it's here!

Wednesday was a very exciting day when I saw this truck backing up into my driveway.

On it was my new Innova which looks like this when it arrives.

It came on a pallet and one long crate.  We had to peek in the boxes sure make sure everything arrived in good condition and this is what we saw.

We had company from Flin Flon for the evening so wine and visiting took priority over setting things up, but we did get everything moved downstairs.  Luckily there is a very conveniently located window into my sewing area, as there is no way the 12' poles would have made it down the basement stairs and around the corner.

So yesterday I started sorting out the parts while my husband was at work.  The pieces to an Innova look a lot like a grown up sized Meccano or Erector set.

 Here is the pile of nuts, bolts and washers.  There are over 190 bolts.  Everything is extremely well labeled so it really isn't too bad.

The instructions say to expect to need about 6 hours to get things together.  I didn't know when we would find six hours together at the same, so I thought I would get a head start and I was able to get the caster/feet assemblies and a good start on the sides of the frame together all on my own. (Not bad for a person who can't use her left index finger!)

After supper we had about an hour before I had to leave to go to the guild meeting.  We made some pretty good progress.

 After soccer Nolan worked at it a little more and got the frame and under carriage together and squared up.  I was able to roll it back and forth and that was pretty exciting.

  If all goes well we should be able to get the rest of it assembled this evening!! 
Look how much smaller that pile of bolts and nuts and washers is!