Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free Motion Quilting Nightmares

Okay, so maybe not a nightmare exactly…but certainly not fun. I have an old Singer 6235 that is very tempermental. It's a beast (in a good way) when it comes to straight line quilting and piecing - I always forget because I tend to use my little Janome - it travels better and has a lighter touch. The Singer means business - the feed dogs pull that fabric along like no one's business and the thump of the needle up and down is intentional and nothing should stand in it's way. The "whir" is more like a growl where the Janome almost sounds like it is purring.

The biggest difference is the Singer has a free-motion quilting foot and my basic Janome does not. 

I want to free-motion quilt SO bad!! I've done it before and loved the way it turned out! This is my very first art quilt I started in 2003, I hand beaded the heart and the sun, traced Sophie and my hands, made ribbon roses out of hand dyed silk ribbons, and echo quilted the whole thing. I was in the process of making spirals on the 4 marbled yellow/pink small borders and ran out of thread after the first one was completed. Flash forward many years later and I have thread similar enough to the one used and really want to finish the sucker. 

The problem is the machine is really jaunty. I've taken it in numerous times over the past few years and the results are always the same. I can't get the smooth curves and spirals or even straight lines that I did years past. She's become a grouchy old lady. I will keep trying though - Maybe it is just me that is out of practice…the back is loopy but it stitches fine when using the feed dogs (still a little jaunty but not enough to mess up piecing. One stitch here and there is a little crooked). The quilts I am making lately are not for any competitions or anything so it has been fine for straight line quilting too. I'm just disappointed and a new machine is out of the question for the time being. Thanks for letting me vent.

So instead I have been working on this Ferris Wheel Quilt by don't call me betsy. I saw the zebra print Safari Moon fabric by the fabulous Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics and fell in love with it! I knew it had to be the center of all of the blocks. I have the smaller print on the same blue that I am using in other blocks. I'm also using a lime-ish green solid with a metallic glint and a soft purple shade that is in the Safari Moon print. I do love these big 18" blocks and I think they will look great all put together.
Work has been crazy busy as it is "Season" for us Florida folks. Everyone is escaping their snowy Winter…and now Spring…and coming to sit by the sea shore in their bikinis and swim trunks. Good for our economy. Siesta Key was named the #3 beach by Mr. Beach this year and the 2 that beat us are in Hawaii. Stiff competition but we are nearly always in the top 5 - this year is the busiest year we've had according to the locals. I will be glad to have the quiet in a few months.


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