Saturday, October 17, 2009

...And the Rainbow Lighted the Sky

The case of the missing batting (60 yards total) is now solved. I've been chasing down the company I ordered this from wholesale, but thanks to all the hoopla in Houston, the response had been slow. This morning, because I wanted to try actually quilting a top, I braved the trip to Joann's. I generally try to avoid it with kids in tow, especially 2 weeks before Halloween. I expected the worst, but was pleasantly home in less than an hour with 2 yards of batting. Only about 20 minutes later did I see this...
...and my mail lady dragging them one by one on her back to our door! Nice to finally have a lifetime supply (I know, yea right!) in my possession! And happy daughter modelling her birthday dress with all the batting rolls. Always the camera ham.
On to the more interesting stuff now- After a few days of battling my machine on tension, and thinking it was really going to win, I found that tension adjustment is pretty simple with the Superior So Fine threads. I have many spools/cones of 40 and 50 wt cottons that I really like and want to quilt with. But I have gotten VERY disgusted trying to adjust tensions on bobbin and top thread to get appropriate tension without thread breakage. I had to throw my hands up at one point and accept that I can live with quilting with the finer polyester threads for a while. On the plus side, they leave virtually NO lint, unlike their dirtier cotton cousins. I just miss the look of the heavier thread...
To get on with the process of learning to long arm quilt, I loaded my Rainbow Colorblocks quilt onto the frame. This is free quilted in swirls in a tan So Fine thread - the only color I have until an order of a few cones arrives, hopefully next week. I am very pleased with how the quilt turned out for it being just an allover pattern. The tan thread just mostly disappears in all the colored squares, and blends with the backing.
Here it is on the frame. Notice that the dungeon is not so dark anymore. $200 later, I have a dedicated outlet, and some nice bright lights that run the length of the machine. It's much nicer now!
Here's a quick peek at the backing. It's very bold and fun - definitely a quilt geared for a young to teenage girl, but then all those bright colors were not really intended for the guys anyhow. I happened to have just 3 yards of this fabric and it coordinated so I used it. I have no idea what will become of this 1st quilt of mine so I was not going to put additional $$ into finding that perfect backing. I think that this is it!
Where to from here?? Not really sure. I have many more tops to conquer but they rely on a perticular color thread. I suspect I will play with cotton thread tensions again in hopes of mastering it so I can move onto one of these other quilts.
Have a great weekend.

10 comments:

Maple said...

Very pretty. My daughter would love this. I love the backing fabric you picked. It works perfectly.

luv2quilt2 said...

What fun to learn a new machine. You'll have it mastered in no time.

Lee said...

glad to see your are wining with the LA. The quilt is beautiful and the backing is perfect. I can't imagine having my own roll of batting at home, how convenient!

barcement said...

Beautiful and colorful quilt. I have several that I need to get quilted and a few that need binding. I have an 8 foot table and a jamone machine with a long throat that I use to quilt with. I would love to have a long arm but this machine does what I need. I got my quilt frame table as a retirement gift to myself in 2004. I have quilted 100+ quilts for me and a few for my niece that is learning how to piece quilt. It is a challange to learn to free motion but once you get it you will have loads of fun with it. I wish you lots of luck with the new business. I buy my batting from Joanns too. I got a 50 yard roll that is 90 inches wide of the warm and natural. I love having all the batting I need when I get ready to put a quilt top on the rack to quilt.
I hope to check into your blog again soon. I started one but I am not sure how to do it. I guess I will learn as I go along.
hugs from Louisiana,,,
b

Dawn-Marie said...

Glad you are having fun with your new machine. I use the So Fine thread as well. I just love how the tension is so easy to deal with. On the cotton front all though the colors are great King Tut is a very hard thread to deal with. I know a lot of people who have a hard time with that brand.

The quilt looks great and I think the backing was a great choice.

zarina said...

I too am saving money to buy batting in bulk. Saves me the time to sandwich the quilt anytime I want to.

Helen said...

Go Margaret!!!! Looking good! You'll ease out the hassles of thread tension soon enough, annoying though when you want to get flying!

Elizabeth said...

Wow what a cool thing to have come USPS, glad you found it.

Kathy said...

I enjoyed reading your post about working on your new machine. I love seeing the color block arrangement. Happy quilting.

jovaliquilts said...

I love your rainbow color quilt! Glad you have the batting, and are mastering your machine.