Sunday, January 22, 2012

I made my piece for the Free Motion Challenge.  The pattern requirement, Ivy leaves, is a go-to pattern for me.  I often use it.  So I just did a small bit in the border of this quiltlet.  I'll eventually paint it and add more stitching.  Keep an eye for the progress on my blog.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

FMQ Brother Innovis 4000D

Success on my Brother Innovis 4000D today using free motion quilting "stippling" - I use the term loosely because I've gone outside the lines and crossed over more than I should have,'s pretty good for my first fmq quilt.  I've got Sulky 30w variegated in the top thread, Presencia 60w in the bobbin and with tension set to 4.0 I'm quite happy with the result.  I've noticed today how important it is to secure the beginning and ending with four stitches or so in the same spot so that the fmq doesn't come loose.  Amazing what little, but so important, things you notice.  I was very pleased overall with the result.  My machine didn't skip stitches, I broke no needles (knock on wood) and managed to impress a quilting buddy.  All in all, a good day!  Many happy returns, Mary Ann

Monday, January 16, 2012

More Heart-Shaped Leaves

Practice, practice and more practice.  Trying out the loop-de-lou between leaves.
Miri asked me why I used polyester thread?  An excellent question, I think polyester thread is stronger, the colours won't fade after repeated washings.  So I always use polyester thread in a baby quilt.  Since I have a new sewing machine, there is no reason not to practice with cotton thread as well. ~insert happy grin here~
This is the backside using Sulky 100% 30wt cotton thread.  The stitches look great, but I had some trouble with the needle thread breaking. I reduced the needle tension from 5.2 to 3.8.  Still needle thread broke. Then I replaced the needle from a Schmetz Universal 80/12 to a 90/14.  I think "knock wood" that the problem was solved.
This quilt sandwich was about 18 by 12, I had already quilted about half of it using this gorgeous olive green 100% polyester embroidery thread.  The polyester thread didn't break at all with the needle tension set at 5.2.
I love the way the cotton thread looks.  The stitches appear more defined.
This design is really fun to do.. quite addictive actually.  I find myself doodling leaves every time I have a scrap of paper handy.
Charleigh is Barb's (my dear friend) grand-daughter.  Barb is making a fabric book from squares that were made by the guests at Charleigh's baby showers.  I embroidered the birth announcement as well as a few other pages.
The sewing machine is a Pfaff Creative 2, spring motion open-toe foot and Schmetz universal 90/14 needle.  This was the first time I used cotton thread with this sewing machine.  
New quilt sandwich, the green thread is 100% polyester, the multi-coloured gold/yellow thread is Guiterman 100% cotton 40 wt and the white thread is 100% cotton Sulky 30wt. 
The Pfaff Creative 2 does not like cotton thread, the needle thread keeps breaking and it was skipping stitches.
 I changed needles three times, I tried a Schmetz universal 80/12, 90/14 and top stitch 90/14 it didn't seem to make any differnce at all.  I tried reducing the needle tension from 5.2 to 3.8 still the needle thread was breaking.
Grrrrrrrrrr... I took the bobbin casing out vacuumed the feed dogs and the botton of the machine under the needle bed.  Put everything back together again lint and dust free.  Still the needle thread was breaking.  Time to switch sewing machines.
I took my Sulky 100% cotton 30 wt thread and the bobbin out of the Pfaff Creative 2.  The Husqvarna Lily uses the same bobbins.  I threaded the Lily, put on the spring motion darning foot and dropped the feed dogs.  I don't even know what size needle was in the machine.
The Husqvarna loved the Sulky thread.  Didn't skip a single stitch and the needle thread didn't break even once!
 I should invest in an open-toe darning foot for it as I can't see as well with this machine.
Also the sewing bed is really small compared to the Pfaff Creative 2.  It is difficult to quilt a large quilt with this machine.
 This is the backside of the practice piece with the Husqvarna.
Has anyone else had trouble with the needle thread breaking and skipping stitches when using Sulky 100% cotton thread?  If yes, would you please tell me what you did to fix it?  I sure would welcome comments from quilters who use Sulky 100% cotton thread.  I used the same thread in the bobbin, was that a mistake?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free Motion Quilting - Heart Shaped Leaves

This baby quilt just got it's inside border quilted with heart shaped leaves thanks to Frances Moore and 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.  I used my Pfaff Creative 2 sewing machine with a Schmetz 90/14 embroidery needle and 100% polyester thread.  I made a sampler quilt for the 2012 challenge.
I just bought this machine in December 2011 and this was the first time I free motion quilted with it.  I set it for spring motion quilting and used the open-toe spring motion foot.  It was really fun and easy to do.
The quilt top is 100% cotton, the ribbons are nylon and polyester.  The batting is Warm and Natural 80% cotton and 20% polyester.
I just love the way these leaves look in the border.
The back is 100% cotton flannelette.  It will be very soft and warm for the baby.  On the inside of the quilt I free motion quilted the lions' mane with red thread.  Then I did a quilting grid pattern with wiggly lines in a 100% polyester variegated blue thread.
I was really quite surprised and delighted that the Pfaff Creative 2 did such a fabulous job of free motion quilting these leaves.
 Quilting is such fun!  I can hardly wait for next month's free motion quilting design.
Happy quilting all.