Static!

7 06 2014

For Community Quilt #148, I decided to use white Magna Glide pre-wound bobbin thread for the top AND the bottom thread. Why? because the colour match was perfect. So I slipped the bobbin onto a hacked thread holder and started.

What I didn’t realise was how much static there was on the machine, which picked up the tiniest bits of polyester ‘lint’ from this thread and deposited it on the metal bits of my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen! I’ve never noticed any issue with this sort of static buildup in the bobbin housing, but it was very prevalent in the top thread path.

I wonder if it’s due to the continual up and down motion of the thread before it finally gets to the eye of the needle and into the quilt? The bobbin thread, on the other hand, just loops off the bobbin in one continuous motion, as far as I’m aware.

Whatever the reason, I had to clean the tension disks and other parts of the upper thread path several times while quilting this quilt.

Here are some pictures to show that static build up at the tension disk area and near the needle.

static02

static01

 





Community Quilt 148

7 06 2014

I thought Quilt #146 was my challenge quilt in the latest bunch. Not so. It was this one!!

Why was it such a challenge? Well, it was FULL of bias edges, very thick seam joins, and lots of puffiness as a result of those bias edges. I had to do a LOT of quilting on it to try to flatten it, and I think I succeeded, for the most part. However, there are still parts of this quilt that have pleats and folds that I just couldn’t get out. And where the big circular blocks join, there are masses of seams that come together to form a big lump — having already snapped a needle off in the bobbin case before (which cost me $$ to have fixed as well as a trip to the city), I wasn’t going to attempt to sew through those. Someone has carefully appliqued on little circular disks into the centres of the other seam joins, and I’ll be suggesting that they add more where those horrible lumpy seam joins are.

I started by stitching in the ditch are all the circles and the borders to stabilise the quilt as far as possible. Then I tackled the centres of each circle inside a larger circle by curving out to a point and back in, making flower petals. For the larger circles, I did the same, dividing (with my eye) each inner area into thirds, stitching up to an outer point then back down then up to the centre point of the curve, then down and back up to a seam point.

After stitching the big flower petals like this, they were still too puffy, so I stitched some inner ‘flame’ sort of thing inside each one, then did some echo stitching around the big petals. That squashed them for the most part.

For the areas outside the circles, I just did some echo stitching in a continuous-line spiral. I left the pink borders unstitched. For the main white border, I continued the theme of the curved petals (no markings or rulers — just eyeballed them) then echo stitched around each one.

The first set of pictures below show the finished quilt, followed by pictures showing the puffiness I had to deal with in this quilt. Yes, it WAS a challenge and half!

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

quilt148_01

 

quilt148_03

quilt148_04

 

Puffiness:

quilt148_puff01

Puffy, puffy, puffy…

quilt148_puff02

Seam join with about 8 seams coming together. Very lumpy.

quilt148_puff03

Stitching some puffiness into submission, but some of these folds were just unavoidable

Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Magna Glide pre-wound bobbin (white)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Handi Quilt Sweet Sixteen: Using bobbin thread as the top thread: Hack #2

7 06 2014

Some time back I needed to use some thread I only had wound on a bobbin as the top thread in my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. As the spool rods are too fat for the bobbins, I came up with a dodgy system using painters tape and a paintbrush. Since I posted that hack, I’ve read about another person’s method, using what we used to call ‘pipe cleaners’ in Australia but that I understand are called ‘chenille sticks’ in the US.

So I tried it and it works fine for a bobbin spool. However, I didn’t have as much luck with a normal spool of thread as it ended up wrapping itself into the chenille bit and snapping. That’s probably more user error than it is the fault of the ‘design’!

Here’s my setup; the bobbin thread comes off from underneath the bobbin, not over the top — I think that’s where I went wrong with the other spool of thread I tried with this:

bobbin_hack2

And no, the bear doesn’t come with the machine 😉 He was a gift from one of my quilting buddies.