Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Round and Round She Goes!

Since my soft books were finished, I started actually quilting a quilt! There was one deadline quilt from 2016 I didn't get finished, but it was pin-basted and ready to quilt, so that's what I chose to work on next. 

It is a quilt for my youngest granddaughter, Miss A, the red-headed wonder! I knew I wanted to use silver thread to quilt it, and I had that, so no problem, but I was struggling to choose a quilting design. I didn't want to meander, but it's pretty chaotic in the house right now, so I needed something pretty easy. I've been seeing quilts with one big spiral quilted on them, and I wanted to try that, so that's what I chose.

I chose the star this fairy is looking at as my center, and I started the spiral free motion. Once I had a few rounds I switched to a walking foot. LOTS of turning the quilt, though as I work my way out that is easier. It's actually a perfect design to quilt when you are stressed. When I'm FMQ I do best if I have a block of time to quilt, and I get in the groove of quilting whatever design I'm stitching out. With this design, I'm just using the edge of my walking foot as my guide, and I can switch on the machine, stitch for 5 minutes or an hour, whatever time I've got, and switch the machine off.

It's pretty fun watching the spiral grow, and I'm now getting close to the edges on the side. Once I get to the edges, I'll just be working on the top and bottom of the quilt separately, and eventually just in each corner. I'm happy with how it's coming out, and I'll definitely be quilting a spiral again. 

I was a little worried about quilting a quilt with my new sewing set up. I normally put my sewing cabinet in a corner of a room so the back of the cabinet and the left hand side are up against walls. I find quilting a large quilt on my DSM much easier if I don't have the quilt falling off the edges of my sewing cabinet causing drag. With our new bedroom, the only way I could place the sewing cabinet in my preferred orientation would have blocked a doorway. DH was strongly opposed to blocking a doorway, so I needed a different solution. 

I ended up buying a set of shelves with nine cubbyholes. Three of those are stuck behind my ironing station, but that's OK, because I stuck things in them I'm not likely to need very often. I purposely bought shelves taller than my sewing cabinet, but not wider, because I didn't want them sticking out into the room, I just wanted them to stop the quilt from falling off the sewing cabinet. 

So far, so good, and it's working like I hoped it would. It won't be really tested until I quilt a really large quilt, but this one is about a full sized quilt, (twin bedspread) and it's doing fine.

It could take a couple more weeks to finish the quilting, I don't always have much sewing time available, but the big spiral is a great option when you can only quilt a few minutes at a time. 

Of course, I could have a extra time to sew if my washing machine isn't easily fixable. It's making an awful high pitched whine, and the repairman couldn't come until Friday. It's under warranty, so I'm not too worried about it. Over the phone their guess was the bearings are going out. Our washer and dryer are over four years old, and they've already done more laundry than some washer/dryers ever do. I'm hoping they can fix it Friday, but we'll see. I'm babying it along right now, doing some small loads, and waiting on whatever can wait. 

My goal for 2017 is to quilt one UFO for every deadline quilt. All my current quilts are technically UFO's since they were started in an earlier year, but I'm counting Miss A's quilt as a deadline quilt. I've already chosen the next quilt to quilt, which is a UFO, and is already pin-basted. I am really hoping to stick with the deadline quilt/UFO/deadline quilt/UFO pattern. I'm fine having a few UFO's, but I'm not comfortable with how many I have right now, so concentrating on catching up now is a good idea. I won't finish my UFO's this year, but if I can finish 2017 with less than I have now, I'll count that as a win!

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