August 29, 2011
Do you See What I see?
This was my first BIG quilt to quilt on the mid arm frame. I will say there is theory which I picked up as much as I could reading everything I could get my hands on. This is real tangible data, but it has no true meaning until reality combines and the key clicks.
Keys to making the key click:
1. There are such a thing as defective needles. It might look great but if you've changed the thread, adjusted the tension, checked your needle plate for burrs, called in some else who knows more than you, clearly rethreaded the machine a zillion times, and checked the manual... Guess what? It might just be that brand new needle. This one in particular I felt the burr as soon as I removed it from the sewing machine. Wish I'd thought of that before loosing hours and hours.
2. When quilting on a quilt frame needle size should be two sizes bigger. So if you've always done freemotion quilting with a side 90/14 you need an 18. Don't try to bull you're way past that needle size. My home machine doesn't care, but the Janome 1600P, goes so fast it cares and will shred your thread.
3. Thread does matter. I read somewhere that Janome 1600's likes overlock thread, you know the two strand serger thread? I'm still trying to figure out if that's true. But currently I have everything set perfectly for the quilt I just quilted using So Fine Thread.
4. In a the span of half of a 12" block you should not have any thread breakages. Certainly not the 3-5+ I was experiencing for the past month.
When everything comes together it's like the best homemade gravy you've ever had smothering the best pot roast you've ever tastes. I'm sure there are more keys to unlock and mid arm frame tricks to learn. But I can't tell you how happy I am that after 5 amazing passes last night I stopped at half way and went to bed. Today I finished the quilt! Okay I still have the binding - let me know when you find a quilting frame that will sew that on too, I'm sure everyone will want one.
Do you know what that means? Another quilt from the quilt list will be gracing my living room. I wonder which one it will be? Actually I already know, but you'll find that out soon enough.