Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carol's Scrappy Sampler

This one was a practice quilt from my church-friend, Carol. Doesn't she have the greatest collection of scraps? I told her if I tried to use up my scraps in one cohesive piece it would be hideous! I used each block to try out a different quilting motif. I also played with scale and asymmetry. I started at one corner in each block very small, then segued bigger and bigger toward the catty-corner. Funky and fun!

This quilt was also good for learning about the tendencies and temperament of my new machine. I'm not afraid to tell you, I had a LOT of frustration with this piece at the beginning. When I was doing swirls or swoops or anything that changed direction a lot, I had no problems. But when I was doing straight-ish lines, I kept getting terrible loops and shreds on the top and rat's nests on the bottom. It was only when going from right to left or bottom to top.

After lots of research on the APQS forum and a shout-out on the Facebook group "Beginner Longarm Quilters", I figured out that it has something to do with static cling and the thread rubbing against the corner of my quilting machine near the LED lights, between the two pigtail guides before the thread goes to the needle. Here in southern Alberta, we are a very dry climate, and static is a common problem. When quilting from right to left, the thread was hugging the side of the machine, and the corner was actually causing the thread to unravel. After doing a LOT of experimenting with various suggestions, an idea from "Lemon Tree Tami" on the APQS Forum ended up remedying it. She taped a safety pin to her top pigtail guide to keep the thread further away from the machine head. I used a butterfly paperclip. This fancy machine, and a paperclip is keeping me going!

Once I figured out this little trick, I sailed right along.
















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