All was going swimmingly with my Christmas Quilt. I managed to make the quilt sandwich without too much trauma. I had originally thought I would try to do this part on the floor in the sitting room but at the last minute I decided against it. This was partly because I couldn’t face crawling about the floor (won’t someone think of the knees!) but also because I found it difficult to estimate how long it would take and envisioned everyone wanted to get back and forth to the kitchen making it twice as stressful.
I used the kitchen table instead and this was the best option. Not only was I up off the floor but the weight of the quilt hanging off the table pulled out any wrinkles. I started with the centre of the quilt in the centre of the table and the rest hanging over each side.
I pinned a handwidth apart all over the quilt. Again starting from the centre and radiating outwards. Once all the fabric on the table was pinned I pulled the quilt until an unpinned bit was on the table and continued that way. I found that as long as I checked for wrinkles and folds each time I moved it and it was fine. It’s probably not as taut as quilts that are taped to large tables but it’s the best I can do with what I have.
I was pleased with the result.
I then went on to quilt in the ditch; horizontally and vertically through the charm square triangles then diagonally along the sashing. I haven’t got a photo of this but it is basic stitch in the ditch so we can use our imagination.
I then moved on to the free motion quilting and all went very wrong. My poor sewing machine wasn’t happy. Thread snapped. Stitches were ugly. Needles broke. The machine clunked. I persisted for a few days and during that time I took the machine apart twice (to fix the clunking) re-threaded more times than I care to remember and got more and more frustrated. Each time it went horribly wrong I did all of the above then went back to ordinary mode with an ordinary foot and all was well. I read blogs on FMQ. Watched excellent classes on Craftsy by the inspirational Leah Day. Nothing made any difference.
So I went to Tullys in Sunderland and test drove a new machine. I could FMQ fairly easily. I now have a new machine. It’s a Bernina 350 Special Edition. The Ricky Tims one.
It is beautiful. My trusty old Janome is still in use and wonderful for most stitches but I think I was asking too much with the FMQ. She just wasn’t happy with it. And now I can be 100% certain any issues I have with FMQ will be down to me and not the machine.
I haven’t done any more with my Christmas Quilt as I want to use Bernina on less complex projects than FMQ until I’m more familiar with it so have moved onto one of my other projects; perfecting zipped fabric bags.