Finally quilting again!

It’s been MONTHS since I’ve been quilting.  There have been so many distractions since right before the holidays 2008.   No more excuses, today is the day.

I picked my panto:  Meandering Daisy from Urban Elementz

Urban Elementz Meandering Daisy Panto
Urban Elementz Meandering Daisy Panto

I loaded my top fabric, muslin backing & wool batting.

The longarm is locked & loaded--ready to quilt!
The longarm is locked & loaded--ready to quilt!

Full frontal view:


I selected a gorgeous Fil-Tec Glide Thread and started quilting…yahoo!

Close-up of Meandering Daisy quilting
Close-up of Meandering Daisy quilting

I’ve completed 5 passes…just about 4 more to go. I haven’t had many problems with breakage or tension.  However, thanks to Ginger’s antics (50 pounds of English Bulldog slamming into me) I did need to stop and pick out a couple of times.

My favorite gadget for this is still the Superior Snippers.  This tool is fantastic for digging in to carefully isolate just the right thread to pick out and then snip–if desired–all in one smooth movement.

Stay tuned. I have plans to add some “over” quilting using at least one different thread color for increased dimension.  If all goes well I’ll have pictures of that to share with you next week.

Happy sewing & quilting!!

Dawn Cavanaugh shows you couching with your longarm quilting machine

If you are a longarm quilter, you won’t want to miss this YouTube video by Dawn Cavanaugh.  She shows you very quickly just how easy it is to use your longarm quilting machine to couch fibers, yarns & more on your quilts.

Frog Stitch practice…

As I mentioned in my last post on Panto Progress, I had to spend some time frog stitching (rip it, rip it) because I learned lesson #1 the hard way (NEVER take your eyes off the panto design line…and when you do, make sure your needle is DOWN).

So, learning how to rip the stitching out was a good (notice I didn’t say FUN) experience for me.  I have a new favorite tool…my Superior SnippersThey are PERFECT for handling this job. The very sharp, fine point is fantastic for getting under those tiny stitches and popping them out (always use care when using a seam ripper or sharp instrument on your quilt top).

FrogStitchingWithSuperiorSnippersHow do I frog stitch? I discovered that “for me” if I just pop about every 5th – 6th stitch and then reach underneath and PULL that bobbin thread out it goes the fastes.  For any straggling top thread bits, I use a lint roller (or a piece of packing tape works great too)…swipe across and they’re gone.  Quick spritz…let it dry and I’m ready to quilt again.

I finished the panto…but changed to a different top thread, a Superior LAVA thread; I used Magna-Glide bobbins on the whole thing…they are AWESOME!  Then I decided to “use” the quilted panto design (my rendition wasn’t that great) and “shadow quilt” over it again from the front (freehand style).  When I ran out of the blue LAVA thread, I decided to test a new thread (it’s the yellow one) which I really like.

Doing freehand quilting over the previously quilted panto design was a great way to practice the controls and movement on both sides of the machine…a sort of 2fer.  Oh yeah…I didn’t like how my points turned out inside the flowers on the panto quilting…so I filled them in with thread.  YAY!

This practice piece is small and very simple (I just used muslin)…but I’ll put a simple binding on it and use it as a lap cover this fall/winter when the weather turns cool again.  It will be fun to pull it out then and see how much I’ve learned over the summer.

Wanna see?