Friday, March 16, 2007

The Hour A Day

First let me say that I love this quilt pattern and the colors I chose for it. (Thanks, Judy!)

This longarm quilting is very much a learning process for me. I never learned what enhances a quilt and what detracts from a quilt, because I didn't have the capability to do too much either way before. I made this quilt with the QOV in mind and even bought a wide white backing for it, but I'm not going to donate it.

I was going to do an allover loops and stars meander (go with your instincts), but I had a loops and stars pantograph that came with the Gammill and I liked the stars better (they were open, whereas in a meander they would have been filled with lines). What I failed to realize was this pantograph is a straight line rather than an interlocking, which means there's a space between each line and even though it is only 1/2" - 3/4" or so, it is still noticeable and I don't like the looks of it. I should go back and meander a line in between that would not be noticeable and in the future, if I use a straight line pantograph again, I will do that.

Second thing I don't like is the thread I used. I ordered a variegated red/white/blue thread especially for this quilt -- thinking I was pretty clever ;-). The thread not only does not enhance the quilt, but it definitely detracts from it. I will definitely audition every thread in my case for each quilt now. Also, I used a white in the bobbin, which was fine, but because the top thread was dark in some areas, there were a few pokies on the back -- not a lot, and I had the tension right -- but I prefer the looks of using the same color thread front and back -- looks more professional I think. However, that is not always possible, so as long as I get the tension right, there's not much I can do about a few pokies.

Third thing is that doing a pantograph from the backside of the machine limits your ability to ease in any fullness or waviness. There were two spots in my borders that were a little wavy and I had to keep stopping and starting and running around to the front of the machine to work them in -- whereas if you are free-handing from the front, you can easily work the fabric (if it isn't waaaaayyyy to wavy!).

Anyway -- that's why I won't donate this quilt, but it was a great quilt to practice on. Probably one of my kids will get it.

Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon working on the tension on the machine. Finally realized I had it threaded wrong (because the manual tells you one thing and the instructor tells you how it should be). So, I got no quilting done yesterday, but I do have one loaded to work on today.


I'm learning a lot about my machine and enhancing and detracting from the quilt itself.

Free time (quilt time)

Making mistakes -- make them early and they are a learning experience (make the same mistake again and you didn't learn a thing!).


Vicki W said...

I'm a relatively new longarm quilter too and I'd say you got a 30day seminar's worth of value from quilting this quilt! I constantly have to remind myself that every quilt is "practice" for something and as long as I learned one new thing then the quilt is a success. I think you are probably being too critical of yourself too. Lay the quilt aside for a week or so and then have someone else look at it. I'll bet they will tell you it really is lovely (it is) and that it is worthy as a QOV.

McIrish Annie said...

Took a look at your quilt and I think you are being too hard on yourself. it looks good to me and definitely worthy of donation as a QOV. We quilters tend to be overly critical of our own work.

Mary said...

I agree with the others, you're being too critical. I find things on each quilt I do that I'm not especially happy about and through experience have learned more about which threads and patterns enhance a particular top. I think this is a beautiful quilt and certainly worthy of donating.

Dona said...

JT, I love this quilt. The colors are stunning. If you can't find a place for it, my address

Conni Lu said...

From another longarm quilter, it sounds like you are doing good. I am self-taught with some help now & then from some purchased DVDs but haven't ever had a class or gone to a longarm quilt show. There's definitely a learning curve! Best wishes :D

Happy Valley Quilter said...

You're quilt looks lovely. I'm certain that whoever ends up with it will be thrilled!

Jeanne said...

Your colors and fabrics are wonderful in your one hour a day quilt.

Dawn said...

You are really learning aren't you! WOW! The quilt still looks good and someone will enjoy it!

JudyL said...

Glad you liked the pattern! Don't be too hard on yourself about the longarm. I still buy lots of variegated thread because it's beautiful but I so rarely used it. I like to use it on black backgrounds and that's about it.

I gave up all the pantos that don't interlock a long time ago. You're right - they just aren't pretty at all.

I hate using a solid backing - the busier, the better. It's hard not to get pokies if using a different color bobbin thread. Makes me nervous every time I have to do it.

You learned from what you did so that's a good thing! And by posting here, you probably helped someone along the way.

KCQuilter said...

I think the quilt looks spectacular! You are being way too hard on yourself. Only you can see any parts that might seem unpleasing. To me, it looks just great!

swooze said...

I love this quilt. The colors are great. If you are just too unhappy with it you can always send it to me :D.