Friday, January 12, 2018

Behind the Seams - As The Frame Turns

I'm making progress this year, 12 days into it and I think I have quilted every single day!!!  My goal is to get in 3 hours of quilting a week, every week, or at least 80% of the weeks. Cuz you know things just happen in a year, they always do. We don't know what, we don't know when, but we do know there will always be a need to be flexible. So far, two weeks in, I'm batting 1000. What do I have to show for all my quilty time this week?  I'll show you a little update on Old Friends BOM, I'm also going to show a bit and explain a little about how I mark my quilt and what works for me.  Ya, I do these sorts of things when I run out of thread.  Hmmm and so far in this short year, I've run out of thread twice.  I hope that doesn't continue through out 2018.  I also have, get this, the first quilt top of the year completed!! Yes really, pretty excited about that one.  Thread.... my husband doesn't understand when my thread stash can look like this  how I can possibly run out of thread not once, but twice in as many weeks.  I tried to explain to him it's like screws, one type, one color works for one situation.  You can use a wood screw when you want to put a screw in metal. I think he gets it. Words he's given to me when I've asked him how many different screws do you need? 
My Thread Stash, I LOVE thread
But this was a little hard to explain - got me some Glide 60 wt thread, can't wait to use it.  I completely left out the little detail that all these wonderful cones of thread still will not resolve my current thread shortage.  I think that will wait for another time.
Glide 60 Wt Thread - yeah!!!
What kind of thread do I need then?  Superior Bottom Line (why do I always when to call it bobbin line) Dark Grey.  I  had a partial cone, used that. Ordered a 1430 yd spool and used that. Ordered a 3000 yd spool and used that.  I have 3 3000 yd cones on order, which should get here in no time.  I did order another spool of 1430 which arrived yesterday to hold me over until the cones get here.  My Old Friends BOM is using a whole lotta thread.  I am using it in both bobbin and on top so it's doing double duty.   And of course I'm quilting every open space I possibly can.   I think its' the lack of quilting in 2017, it's all being taken out on this poor quilt.  Here's some pictures of progress, working on the second of the three rows of star.  A bit more than 1/2 way done with this monster. 
First row of start completely done

Star 1 row 2 - I should have gotten rid of that dark purple

Star 2 row 2 - I like this one best

Star 3 row 3
I was so happy when I finished the first row, just love it.  I did get rid of the bobbin thread poking through with the invisible thread.  I put smoke color invisible thread in the bobbin.   There had been a bit of chatter lately in different nooks and crannies of the internet about invisible thread and long arms.  When I heard that some some put invisible thread in the bobbin too, I was shocked and intrigued.  Even more intrigued when I saw the little pokies on row 1.  So I thought, hey what do I have to lose?  A couple  hours ripping out stitches?  Yep thought it would be worth it so I gave it a try.  And I LOVED it!  The trick is to not wind the bobbin all the way, if you have the normal size bobbins, like me, wind it half way.  Of course there is bobbin tension adjustment to make, but I've got extra bobbin cases so that was all good.  The back didn't feel bad either.  Will be interesting to see how it feels when I take it off the frame.  Hope I'll still like it then.  The only problem I had was that dark purple. I should have switched to smoke color thread on top, I don't like the color of the clear.   But it's not repulsive enough for me to rip it out, yet.  I may change my mind when it gets off the frame, we'll see.

I was asked last week about marking and in a different group if I marked and used rulers, how do I keep it all straight with the marking.  I thought I'd explain a little about that whole process.  First how do I keep it all straight?  I take pictures of how I marked different areas.  That way I can go back and see what is suppose to be where.  I'd be lost without that little exercise. Especially when the four corners are different from the rest of the quilt.  I've had to wind all the way back to the beginning of the quilt to take a look at what was done many times days, sometimes, like in the case of Old Friends, could be weeks before. Here's a few examples.
corner - I would never remember this, shoot I couldn't even remember by the time I go to the corner on the opposite end

in the center of the quilt - I put dots in the cells to be filled in

sides of the quilt - this doesn't show, but I add registration marks when I quilt the feathers
In these I used chalk, I have two different chalk pencils, a thick one and a thin one.  The thick one I use when I'm trying out designs and not sure of what I really want. It goes on quick, blows away completely great for trying and retry. If precision isn't required, I prefer to use this one.  It's a thicker line, I can see it better and I think it blows off much more easily than the fine pencil.  The fine pencil I use when precision is needed.  It's harder for me to see, I generally have to mark and then go over that same line again to be happy with the visibility of the line.  It is very precise and blows away almost completely, I can still see a hint of chalk, but nothing that concerns me enough to not use it.  The thicker pencil comes with colored chalk which I used once and to this day that chalk is still in my table runner.  I used a green chalk on yellow fabric.  Many washings later that chalk is still there.  Needless to say, I've disgarded all the color chalk.  I use the purple air disappearing marker for lighter fabrics.  I do mark as I go.  I will mark the entire row, then quilt, then turn,  mark and repeat.  If there is a design that is larger than the throat space on my long arm, I will pre-mark with a blue water erasable marker.  but that is generally the only time I will use those.  When I use either the purple or the blue markers I do spritz as I go using water and baking soda to remove the marks as I go.  I like to have them on the quilt for as little time as possible.  It is still necessary to complete submerge the quilt to remove the residue completely.  But I like to see the quilts mark free as I go. 
Purple marking pen, water with baking soda to remove marks as I go

Chalk pencils, fine and thick, blow it off with air compressor
What do I use to mark, rulers, what fun rulers are.  I have quite a few rulers that are used on this quilt.  I think whenever I use rulers I have to touch almost each and every one to find the ones that will work.  I used a lot of the Quilted Pineapple rulers.  Love all the markings on these rulers. The small square on I use almost every time I quilt. 
this little straight edge is my favorite, I use both sides and ends. Here I use the end on one square

Here the side on another square, love this ruler, use it almost every time I need a ruler on a quilt

And this is it's big sister, all those lines are wonderful
I use the 20 for the big curves - and I like the straight on the end, use that too

12 for large hypotenuse of the triangle - love the marks for the square and help keep everything straight and centered

8 for the sides of the triangle

This is  handy quilter ruler 

This 4-way gets used quite often for continuous curve. Lots of different sizes comes in very handy
lots of different rulers, lots of different curves. 

And that wasn't enough, I still need a few other tools, tape roll for circle marking and a leaf ruler for the setting triangles. These are only used for marking, not used when quilting, I'll free hand the marked lines for these.  Look around, there are all sorts of things in the sewing room that can be used for marking
Tape roll was just the size I needed for these curly feathers

This was just right for a gentle arc for these setting triangle feathers. 
While I was waiting for thread and marking was done, I did get a little sewing completed.  On Ring Lake is officially my first flimsy of the year!  It's my first quilt with little tiny pieces in a very long time.  I think I might add a dark blue border, use up the fabric rather than putting it away, but I'll have to stare at it a bit longer. This is going to be my new couch quilt, so excited.  The hubs will have to get closed and cuddly with me if he wants to share on movie night.  My living room is navy and lime green, actually "pear", so that pop of orange will fit so nicely.  Thanks to Bonnie Hunter for a top notch quilt mystery.  
On Ringo Lake
Well, I hope you've enjoyed a little peek behind the scenes of how the quilting gets done and the tools that are used for marking.  I use to try all different ways to work around marking, but really it's the faster and best way to get the pattern on those quilts. This is what works for me, everyone is different and you have to try different things to find out what works for you.  So get out there and try!!  Check out the side bar for some fabulous linky parties.  If you want to see more variation of On Ringo Lake take a little peak here 

Go get inspired!!



25 comments:

  1. Oh my! Your quilting is exquisite! This quilt is going to be really special. You do have an impressive thread collection. Does your husband think you quite mad when you have all that thread, every color of the rainbow and you now need to go out and buy some grey?

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    1. Thanks! As long as I use thread he's ok. He's got his collections and I have mine. But yes I did run out of the Dark Grey multiple times and had to get more. The amount of thread on this one surprised even me!

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  2. Your Ringo Lake quilt top turned out so wonderful! I love your fabric choices and it sounds like it will be perfect for your couch. Nice Job!

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  3. Fabulous thread collection! And what a beautiful black beauty! What is the ratio of baking soda to water?

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    1. I put about 1/2 teaspoon in when I fill the bottle, works like a charm!

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  4. I really enjoyed seeing your process. Your quilting is amazing!!

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  5. You are going to love quilting with Glide60. You mark tops much like I do but instead of the thick chalk I use a soap sliver and a microfiber cloth works well to wipe it off.

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  6. Great post, Sue ! I know it will be helpful to many. and all that thread!! geesh lucky you. I hope you get to use alot of it this year.

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  7. SO many tools and SEW much thread!!! ORL color combo is not something I would have thought to use. LOVE your new Bonnie quilt because of it!!

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  8. I am about to order more Glide, glad you mentioned the 60 weight, I want to try that. What brand is your chalk markers that blow off so easily?

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    1. The thicker one has the chalk that comes off very easily, I believe it's Bohn. It comes with a sharpener, but I never use it. And it's only the white chalk, I won't use the colored chalk

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  9. I like your suggestions about the invisible thread! I shall have to give it a try. May I ask what color of thread you are using for the colored sections of your quilt? Lots of work in this one! Also, your On Ringo Lake quilt is looking gorgeous!

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  10. Wow! I am overwhelmed! I had no idea so much was involved or there were so many tools and tricks to long arm quilting! You certainly know what your doing!!

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  11. What an impressive quilting and quilting rulers review! I start to be interested in using rulers in quilting, with a domestic sewing machine. Sounds funny!!

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  12. On the colored section of the quilt I'm using the invisible thread. Not sure I would do it again. I admit, I did it out of pure laziness. But next time I would choose either a med to light grey or tan, some sort of neutral.

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  13. What a great post! I love that quilt. The colors, the quilting, everything about it. Then you follow up with all that terrific information about how you do things. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  14. Both of your projects have such beautiful color! I really enjoyed taking a look at them!

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  15. I want to try Bottom Line on top but haven't yet. There are so many great threads out there, we have to try as many as we can! I love your wood screw analogy you gave your hubby. Gonna keep that one in mind! :) I use the same chalk pens to mark, as well as the blue & purple pens. Thanks for the tip on adding baking soda to the water; that will help me a lot! I get so excited when a thread order arrives - your box of Glide looks amazing!!

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  16. Thank you for the marking and quilting tips! Love your ringo lake! so pretty

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  17. great tutorial and i love your ringo colors- thanks

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  18. You with the thread shortages are like me with my fabric shortages so far this year! And while I'm waiting for the postman to show up with the Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I ran out of in the colors I needed, I'm trying to get motivated to go up to the studio and make friends with the longarm machine that I bought last March. I did lots of practice quilting on it but now I've got my first "real" quilt loaded on the frame and I've been procrastinating. I walk into the room and that longarm machine and I size each other up like I'm a bullfighter and she's the bull... Then I chicken out and go back downstairs! You know it's bad when you look around your house and find things to CLEAN in order to postpone QUILTING! I really enjoyed reading about your marking process. Your quilt is just magnificent!

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  19. Wow, lots of great info shared Behind the Seams! Second On Ringo Lake finished flimsy that I've seen, and I really love your fabric choices. Sounds like it will go so well in your house, which is exactly what every cuddly quilt wants to grow up to do.
    Thanks for linking up with TGIFF

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  20. Your ORL colorway is super. The lime green is a great highlight. And I do understand about "just the right" thread!

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  21. Thanks for sharing so much about your process, Sue! This budding longarmer really appreciates it a lot. This is a really beautiful quilt - the kind of work I aspire to. :)

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  22. Your quilt and the quilting is gorgeous. I don't do my own quilting (I'd never finish anything), but it's fun to see how it's done. Your On Ringo Lake turned out beautifully. A dark blue border would be a very nice frame for the green and orange.

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