Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quilting Summer Breeze

After much doodling and agonizing and searching through Angela Walters' book, Free Motion Quilting, I decided on the designs I want to use in Summer Breeze.  A tip from Angela on a similar quilt in her book was to choose 2 designs and repeat them.  I thought that was excellent advice, so that is what I've done.

Here is what I did this afternoon:

One row done, 7 blocks with the connecting sections.  4 more rows of 7 to go.


As per Angela's suggestion, visible in the green rectangle, I'm doing one of her designs, well half of it, from Dot to Dot Quilting (the half-diamond motif), with simple lines weaving back and forth along the sides.  Because these are rectangles, not squares, the diamond motif would have looked skewed, so I am doing it only at the short sides.  In the centre of these rectangles is a straight line and on either side of that line is a wavy line with a loop in it.  I'm making myself use (and already feeling more confident) the blue ruler I asked her about on the chat feature of the class.  I bought it, as well as the extended surface for the machine, to quilt straight lines.  It's tricky, but, as with any new tool, it takes practice to get used to it and to get better at using it!

In the alternate rectangles, the grey in the pic above, I am doing another design of Angela's, just weaving back and forth.  This rectangle has 2 simple wavy lines, no loops running through it.  For the connecting strips, I'm quilting straight-ish lines back and forth vertically, curving the tops, so I'm weaving back and forth in those too, I guess.

Then there is the white.

After much deliberation, I AM going to do the swirls I had planned from the get-go.  I am using an Aurifil variegated grey and white thread, so I was a little concerned (still am) that the grey would be too dark.  Let me know, yay or nay, what you think, because I can rip it out.  I just don't want the eye to jump around, like, "eww, what's that dark line there?  and there?" as one looks at the quilt.

Stitching the first swirls

May I say how very much I love my Avanté?  Without losing one blip of my undying love for my Bernina, of course.  The last thread in her was Isacord 100% polyester with The Bottom Line pre-wound bobbin thread.  Loaded the Aurifil, white The Bottom Line in the bobbin, and did not have to adjust a thing.  Beautiful tension.  :-)  Wish I knew how to make emoticons.  I'd make a big fat smiley one!!

The swirls have to "bleed" over into the white area of the connecting print sections, so it's a little tricky.

Here's another angle.  I don't think the grey bits are distracting, but I do have doubts. . .

Question about an annoying occurrence:
One thing I have always found annoying on the longarm, and even more so with the extended base, happens when I'm quilting along the sides of the quilt.  The base runs into the clamp that holds the quilt sides, and I have to stop (usually with a little bobble in the quilting line) and manually lift the clamp a little to clear the edge of the base.  Of course, if I'm doing a circular or flowing design, I will flow off the clamp and then circle back around to butt up against it again.  Most annoying.  Do any other longarmers have this issue and is there a fix?  I've taken the clamp off sometimes and just held the edge taut with one hand while guiding the machine with the other, but that is not ideal.

Here is a slightly better angle I hope:
The orange clamp gets in the way of the Plexiglas edge of the extended base.  This is bad, bad, bad, I know, not to have much batting on the sides, but it was all I had for white batting and it just fit with 1.5-2" to spare on either side.

I am linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!


  1. Lovely Sandra.

    I went and bought two of those cheap white metal curtain rods (that have a bend on both ends) and I run them across the rollers on the sides of the quilt and rest your clamp bands over the top of them. Problem solved! Some people use simple yard sticks or dowels but I like the bent rod as it never slips off. Good luck!

  2. I am seriously digging this quilt! Your quilting choices are perfect! Love Angela's books :) What Cynthia said about your LA problems. . . since I don't have one and have no business even commenting LOL I do know Cynthia's work though and it is pretty awesome :)

  3. What grey? I see nowt. Looks gorgeous to me!

  4. I use wooden dowels and rest them on top of my roller bars and under the velcro attached to my clamps. This holds up the clamps just a bit so my extended base slides under and no bobble in the quilting.


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