Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quality Time with Harley

It was cool, overcast and off and on rainy this weekend - good quilting weather.

Kristie is making a couple of quilts to enter into a contest - certain rules apply - the patterns must be from a certain book and made from Moda fabric. I don't have the book here so can't tell you what it is. In any event, she has done the quilts and asked if she could quilt one of them on Harley. Well - what are friends for? No charge this time, I said - come on over. So here she is (above) with "Imagine" - it's quite cute - will make a nice baby quilt.

This was a pretty small quilt so we got it all done in a few hours. Kristie is a natural!

After she left, I loaded Harley up with "The Circus is Coming" and as it's small, got that one done yesterday too - got the binding on so it just has to be hand stitched, then it's done.

Today I loaded up "Colour Outside the Lines. " Here it is (below). It's much larger (100 * 65 inches), but I got it all done today. I'm very pleased.

Harley and I are coming to understand each other. I haven't had the same tension issues I had to start - probably because I got a bunch of proper quilting thread. I've switched from "auto" to "manual" and find I like that better - it's sort of like getting the training wheels off. And just getting the feel of the machine - everything from tension adjustments to stitching speed and movement. Still lots of room for improvement, of course - each time I try to focus on something in particular.

I do have a few remarks about the machine in general. It's sort of a compromise between a domestic machine and an industrial machine. There are much better ones available, but they cost a lot more. It's always true - you get what you pay for. The actual machine is OK but the gizmos attached to it are basically crap. Oh - can I say that? Joe had to rebuild the lamp. The auto stitch censors are extremely fragile and I don't think they actually work all that well, which is one reason I just stopped using the auto mode.
Also, I'm not thrilled with the frame. It's aluminum but the knobs are just plastic and not very substantial - they will be the next thing to go. The thing isn't all that easy to slide up and down, which must be done for a larger quilt as it is rolled up.
Anyway - just a few cautions for anyone looking for a long arm machine. For the price, it's OK - but I'd have been fine paying a few more bucks to get a substantial light, decent sensors and metal knobs on the frame.
I guess while I'm in the critique mode, I should also mention the batting issue. I picked up a 10 metre bolt of Soft & Natural batting. I do not like it. I think the kind I like is Warm & Natural. The "Soft" is just too soft. I won't be getting it again. The good news is that I don't have too much left so will be watching for the next sale to get some decent batting.
In any event - I am very pleased with my quilting this weekend. I still have a few Divas quilts to get at so may do those before I start any new projects of my own. And since it's summer, I will try not to spend as much time down in the basement sewing! I have two quilts to hand sew out on the deck now!
I noticed that I'm up to 79 posts for this blog - the same number as my other blog and I'm way behind on that one - so that's something else I need to get caught up on!
Enjoy your summer - assuming you're in the northern hemisphere - if not, just enjoy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Colour Outside the Lines

This is "Colour Outside the Lines."

This is what happens when two ideas come together.

Idea 1: I was looking at the entries for a kids colouring contest and observed the exuberant results of a small child "colouring" a colouring book type of picture - it ends up as a scribble with no concern for the outlines of the drawing. I thought "Outside the Lines" would make a good name for a quilt.

Idea 2: We were visiting relatives. It turns out Joe's great-niece's husband is colour blind so I jokingly told him I would make him a black and white quilt. Further thinking had me coming back to my idea of "Outside the Lines." I thought - black and white centre, for Jason, and colour "Outside the Lines" for the rest of the family. Hence - "Colour Outside the Lines."

This is the top - still needs to meet Harley. Actually - I have a backlog for Harley between my quilts and Divas quilts - so I will have to spend some quality time with Harley over the next little while.