Monday, 6 October 2014

Quilting "Green Beans Please"

Over the last few days I have quilted "Green Beans Please".  Remember me telling you about it when I was making it, here and here?
This is what it looks like at the moment.  I have put a purple binding on it which matches the purple on that first border and took it to Stitching Hearts on Thursday as it is.  There are several ladies who love to do the hand stitching on binding, so who am I to deprive them of that pleasure?  LOL.
I began by stabilizing all the blocks by stitching in the ditch around the squares and each side of the purple border.  I used a variegated green/sage thread by Signature.  My machine is happy using that thread.
I then used the template I had used to cut the applique flowers, and drew around it on each of the green plaid squares.  For that job I used my Frixion pen.  Works a treat!  Then I FMQ'd the design using the same Signature thread I had used for the ditch stitching.

Next I used a white Robison Anton rayon thread to FMQ around the purple appliqued flowers.  As an aside, I found the largest range of Robison Anton thread I've seen anywhere, at a place in Georgetown, Newcastle, called Zig Zag (no website) when I went up to deliver the first batch of quilts to Samaritans.  Georgetown is not far from Wickham. 
This is where the fun started.  I had a Mettler all purpose thread in the bobbin throughout, and so at all times there was a different thread in the top to the bottom, but in the green sections it didn't matter too much if the tension was a bit off because it wasn't all that visible.  By the time I was quilting on the white sections though I was in real trouble.  No matter what I did, I couldn't set the tension.  It would be OK for a few inches, then it would loose the tension for a short time, then revert back to OK, and so on.  So, so visible when I was using the white thread on white fabric.
I rang my local techo who said it was likely to be some thread or fluff around the bobbin area.  Lucky for me, the machine righted itself when I gave it a good clean.  I had cleaned and oiled the machine just before starting the FMQ so had not anticipated that this might be the cause of my woes.
Next was the border.  I used a favourite inspirations book of mine called "Machine Quilting Solutions" by Christine Maraccini to free motion quilt a continuous spike leaf pattern.  This was the first time I have used this pattern, I generally do my leaves a different shape.  Bit hard to see the variegated thread on the fabric, but that was the intention.  LOL.
I wasn't overly happy with it at first.  My leaves were erratic - some small, some large, some skinny, some fat; every single one was different.  Then I thought to myself, "Hey, leaves are all different in nature, even those from the same tree", and I calmed down.  Looks fine from a distance.
So that's done and dusted. 
Today is a public holiday here in NSW, so after a bit of housework (dirty word!!) I went over to my daughter's.  She and her family have been away most of the school holidays, so it was catch up time.  The kids & I started on a jigsaw.  
It is a very busy picture, of dozens of postcards from all over the USA.  Not difficult but you do have to check each piece of the puzzle to see where you need to put it.
This afternoon I started quilting Go for Gold.  Just doing a lazy meander all over.
I have been learning how to use Instagram, and this was the photo I used as my test photo to upload.  I took the photo on my tablet, then I managed to load it to IG without a hitch.  But now I can't seem to load IG itself onto my phone.  Maybe I should ask the kids? LOL  They were the ones to show me how to fix my settings on IG in the first place.  I want it on my phone as I take way more photos with the phone than the tablet.  Would also be good to access IG from my laptop..... Hmmm.  A bit more tweaking necessary there I think.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.


  1. Tension issues are a real bind! Who'd have thought that fluff and thread could build up round the bobbin so quickly? I'm glad you got it fixed easily.

  2. Oh goodness -- tech work! Blah! I always ask my oldest son to fix our machines if anything happens. He is a natural. It seems he and computers think alike :) My husband's not bad at that either, but it makes him grumpy.

    Your quilts look really lovely. I'm jealous you're on Instagram, so many friends are. I don't have the right kind of machines for that. I do wish my elderly sewing machine (my grandmother's machine from years ago) could spend a weekend with you and get a good cleaning and fixing! It would be a new machine!


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