I have managed to grab the time between Christmas and New Year to do a bit more and have now finished quilting a small lap sized quilt based on a simple 9 patch design.
So what have I learnt?
Well, as I reported in an earlier post, I bought myself a quilting frame (how rash) and I has a few issues getting used to it!
Well, perserverence and I have cracked it!
My biggest challenge was getting used to working with the machine side on - it seems daft but that really took some time to get my head around that. Other challenges were:-
- Not being able to see when the bobbin was due to run out! That caught me unawares a number of times.
- The trolley 'sticking' sometimes causing the stitching to jump slightly. I have no idea why that was - something to keep an eye on perhaps (though interestingly when I did the very last bit of quilting around the border of the quilt I did take the quilt off and put re-attach it to the frame and it ran much smoother - mystery!)
- getting my head around planning the quilting in 'a line' along the quilt to accommodate the 'arm' of the machine and planning for that.
But golly it makes quilting a whole lot quicker. Once set up and in the groove, so to speak, I fairly whizzed along, and this thing is quite heavily quilted (I used it as a sampler to see what techniques worked best etc.)
So, after a slightly shaky start I have to say that I am really, really pleased with this purchase. I have a paper based quilt to finish (one of the Spanish Garden series) and was finding that impossible on the machine set up conventionally, and I bought it with larger paper quilts in mind (it's a one off purchase and while extravagant my reasoning is that it will last me years!)
There is a post script to this, which I am sure you traditional quilters will recognise - the need for some more gadgets and gizmos!
First up, I need a stool with wheels to use with the frame (perching on a chair back is not really very good!) and, guess what, I think I need another machine! One with a longer 'neck' so that I get more scope with the frame, and one that I can dedicate to using on the frame alone. Ebay here I come!