Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Solutions, finishing and borders

What an interesting day ... I came home and skipped the gym so I could get started on fixing my machine.  I followed a video I had seen last night on taking both of the tension assemblies on the front of the machine back to the factory setting.  Then I adjusted the tension based on the thread I was using.  I practiced on a strip and all looked good.  Then I quilted and made about 4 passes ... no breaks ... yay!  I got to the very bottom, changed the bobbin, and the thread started breaking again.  I think it's a problem with it coming out of the main tension assembly, but I've tweaked it a couple more times and finished the quilt.  I'm going to put my Christmas quilt on the frame tomorrow and get that done and see where it stands.  If I still am having problems, I'm going to call the distributor.  At least it appears the timing issue is fixed.  He had me adjust the tension assembly a tad when I was fixing the timing, and I think I messed something up.  This is all a learning process, right?

Here's the quilt I had on the frame when all this breaking started ...
Isn't it beautiful?  Christine just wanted a simple stipple all over.  Her piecing is amazing because the whole thing layed flat and square.  What an absolute pleasure to quilt.  It's just so pretty ... here's a not very good picture of the whole quilt.  So much prettier in person.

Now, while we're on the subject of piecing, I'm going to tell you my number one pet peeve ... borders that are not measured and sewn on properly.  It makes a difference . . . a lot of people doubt this, and they don't want to take the extra time.  But I am going to tell you the proper way to put on a border.  DON'T just lay a strip of fabric onto your quilt, sew it down and then trim the ends.  The first step is measure down the center of the quilt to find your side border length ...

Now cut two borders to this size.  Fold the border in half and mark the center with a pin.  Fold the quilt in half and mark the center of the quilt side with a pin.

Now match the border pin center to the pin center of your quilt.  Pin each end of the quilt to the ends of the border.  Then ease in the fullness.
Like my big foot in the center of the picture?
Now that you have the side borders sewn on, measure across the width of your quilt to get the size of the top and bottom borders.
Add those borders as you did the sides.  I promise you that you will have a beautifully, squared-up quilt.  Your borders will not be wavy, your quilt will lay nice and flat.  And if your quilt is being quilted by a frame quilter, they will really appreciate not having to ease in the fullness of a border that is not sewn on properly!  =:)  Now I'm off my soapbox.  I have to tell you this is not the way I learned; I learned to just sew a strip on and trim it off.  But just in the last few years I've learned this method, and what a difference it makes.  Okay, off to finish sewing my backing together so I can get my quilt loaded tomorrow a.m. before I have to go into work to help get ready for the Christmas open house on Saturday.  I have so much to do before Sat., and I wonder how I'm going to get it all done.  Oh well, I should learn by now not to fret ... it always gets done!

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