Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A new toy!

A few weeks ago I received a message from the president of the TMQG, asking if I'd be interested in a quilting frame. I'm sure you can guess what my answer was (!?!), and then I found out I was being offered it for free. WHAT? A lovely local quilter sadly passed away recently, and she wanted all her quilting things to go to people who would use them. So I was offered the quilting frame, and our guild now has a pile of equipment on hand for running kids workshops and so forth. I'm constantly amazed and grateful at how generous and wonderful quilty people are :o)

We picked up the frame a few weeks ago, and then last weekend we set it up in my garage aka studio. This thing is HUGE - 3m long, and about 1m wide. It meant a quick rearrangement of the garage, but it is now installed along one wall - and there is no longer any doubt that the garage is my sole domain ;o)


I decided to jump straight in and quilt the biggest top I've ever put together - my Birds and Bees colourblock quilt. I've been putting quilting this one off for a couple of years, due to the sheer size of it, and had been thinking about sending it to someone to long arm it. It's nice to be quilting it myself without needing a year's worth of massage, though!


Once I got the quilt loaded, and my machine on the frame, I realised I'd be fairly limited with what I can do. I only have about 3-4" I can quilt at a time, so it won't be great for large designs, but for straight lines and smaller designs (pebbles and such) it will be fabulous. I've spent the last two days quilting on it, and I'm slowly getting used to it. Up until now, I've never had thread breakage or tension issues on my machine, but I'm finding that's something I'm contending with while using the frame. I spent more time swearing and unpicking stitches with dodgy tension than actually quilting yesterday, but things went more smoothly today and I am about 3/4 of the way through. Considering the size of this quilt, only spending 6 hours or so quilting that much is insane - normally I'd have easily spent ten times that long. Eventually I will look at getting something with a larger throat space, but for now I'm very content.


I've decided to do dense straight lines on this quilt, strongly influenced by Leanne's style of quilting. I had wanted to quilt each colour block individually with different designs and blending thread, but I think this will be really effective - plus the texture is amazing. I'll have to get used to not seeing how it's looking until I take it off the frame though, the suspense is killing me at the moment! I'm hoping to get the rest done over the next few evenings, I can't wait to see it!

xx Jess




20 comments:

Deb B said...

Hi jess, You may like to watch Jamie Wallen's youtube video for bobbin tension. I am a longarm quilter and watching that really helped iron out the bugs with my tension issues. No point swearing at the machine, it only makes it worse!!

Leanne said...

How wonderful! It is looking good too, it takes a bit to get used to it as your machine will operate a bit differently.

Renee said...

This is exciting! And hurray for finally quilting that quilt! I look forward to seeing it finished, I think the straight lines will be very fitting for the quilt pattern.

Charlotte said...

how lovely to pass your belongings onto others who will appreciate them. You couldn't get a more perfect recipient of this one! Enjoy :-)

Cheryl said...

Congrats! That is so exciting!

Sandra W said...

More info please! Do you have a longarm machine and were you using it without a frame? Or do you use the system where a domestic machine slides across the quilt in a frame? It's hard to see from the photos what is really being done.
Please tell us how this works.

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful surprised and gift it forward; that is super exciting! I started with straight line stitching when I upgraded to a frame as well, and I think it works well and is a great place to start to get used to how the machine behaves. I can't wait to see how the quilt finishes out for you and all the new adventures you will have with quilting! :)

Debbie said...

Very cool for you - just amazing the relatively little time to quilt that huge quilt! And the straight lines look terrific!

sherry said...

oh wonderful to be gifted such an amazing piece of equipment

felicity said...

Wow! What a score! You're doing great so far. I'm also interested in the setup - it's a frame that converts your domestic machine into a long-arm-type setup? Cool!

Also cool: THAT QUILT OMG.

Jessica said...

Yay! So freaking exciting! I can't wait to see this one. One of my favorites you've made. :)

Ella said...

Are you keeping track of how much thread you're using? I'm always curious on matchstick amounts.

leanne said...

love your quilt !!! and looks like that frame is a great time saver ! I think I'm only just realising that you are a big Tula fan !?!!! how did I miss that before !!

leanne said...

love your quilt !!! and looks like that frame is a great time saver ! I think I'm only just realising that you are a big Tula fan !?!!! how did I miss that before !!

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Oh my gosh, lucky you! Fab quilting!

Artsy-Craftsy Ivy said...

You lucky girl! So happy for you! :)

Ruth said...

Fantastic. What a lovely thing to receive. You are putting it to good use - love the straight line quilting!

Kristin said...

Awesome!! Yay, you!! I can't wait to see this completed. :)

SheQuiltsAlot - Peta said...

That is awesome and so wonderful all at the same time. This community never ceases to amaze me!

Newbie Jen said...

What fortune! I wish I could decrease my quilting time from 60 hours to 6! Heck, even to 20 would be nice!