Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 4

So, this week I finally got to start working on Quilt Along series with Leah Day. I really love the way she teaches Free motion quilting. I had accidentally stumbled upon her video while searching for Free Motion quilting in YouTube. And I have been hooked ever since.

This week is kind of a crash-course for me. Because this week I'm practicing everything starting week 1 through week 4.Not sure how many times I have watched all those videos though :-). So, its totally 4 weeks worth of practice. Actually this week's quilt along really intrigued me to get started and find time in my really really busy schedule. You know its kind of hard to find time when you a 6months old baby, who always wants to be held. But I don't mind it though :-). He is my precious little one.

I will be adding the pictures of all the practice I did this week.

By the way, some insight into my very basic sewing machine. I'm using brother XL2600i domestic sewing machine. I purchased a very generic quilting foot after watching Leah's basic quilting video where she explains how to get that quilting foot and other tools. I found this quilting foot on amazon where I didn't have to make changes as Leah had mentioned in her video. It was already done for me :-). Once less thing to worry about.

Week 4 Task:
I'm making a baby changing pad with Debbie Mum's elephant print fabric. I'm using warm and natural cotton batting.
Thread: Coats & Clark's machine quilting thread.
I learned my lesson while quilting my first baby quilt, not to use different weight threads on the top and bobbin. So going forward I always use the same thread both in my bobbin and top.
Needle: I'm using Schmetz machine quilting needles
Batting: Warm & Natural Cotton Batting
Settings on my machine: My manual says that I need to use the darning plate....but the stitches at the back of my quilt looked really bad and loopy. So, I just set my stitch length to ZERO. By the way, my machine doesn't even have the option to lower the feed dogs. I realized that after opening the top of my bobbin and feed dogs.Luckily I didn't mess up anything.( Touch Wood!!)

Here is the Quilted Changing Pad:
Quilt Back:
Back of the quilt - you can see the straight lines
In this picture you can see both the lines and the quilting done around the elephant print:
Quilted around the printed Elephants
I don't think it came out great. Also the print was too small. I think I do better with big print. If I have time I might try a fabric with big print.

Close up of the back of the quilt to see the straight lines:
Quilt Back - closeup shot
Close up of the back 2:
Quilt Back - Another closeup shot

Not bad for a beginner..huh! So, this would be my third mini quilt. Before this I did two baby quilts. First one I just used regular foot to quilt around the blocks. Second I did a combination of the using regular foot to quilt around the print and then free motion quilting using the quilting foot for the tiny prints in the border of the quilt.

Leah if you're reading this, I have 3 of questions:
1. Stitch Length:
I don't have the option to lower the feed-dogs on my sewing machine. Its a very basic Brother XL2600i.
Before I saw your video on basic FMQ, I was trying to lower the feed-dogs on my sewing machine. Luckily your video said I need to use stitch length settings to ZERO. For Straight line FMQ can I keep my stich length to different than ZERO? Are there any consequences??

2. Speed Control:
I seem to do well when I start quilting. but then half way through I can't seem to control my speed. Either I go slow or fast which prevents me from having beautiful curves. How can I work on this? Is your answer going to be Practice...Practice...Practice??

I tired another quilt sandwich where I used variegated thread. It was pink & purple variegated thread. The purple one didn't have a tension issue on the top but the pink did or vice vera. I can't remember exactly. Is this possible? Or could it be my speed which was a problem. As soon as I changed the thread my stitches aren't pretty anymore on the top. You can see the pics below:
Basted and Ready to quilt around the butterflies & Lady bugs
Quilted areas using the variegated thread
Quilted around the butterfly and the body

Another quilted butterfly

Quilted Lady bug; this is where I started
Quilted Back
Closeup shot of the quilted back

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 3

This is the same quilt sandwich which I showed in week2 progress. Since I got to do all the catch-ups from week1 through week 3 during week4. My orders are all messed up. I hoping that I would be able to continue from now on with missing any week.

 See below pictures showing two different scales. I guess 1/2 inch scale comes naturally to me and then I tried the 1/4inch scale. With more practice looks like I might be able to get better at 1/4inch scale.
I didn't try the 1inch scale due to two reasons, first wasn't sure with my machine without any special accessories if I will be able to do 1inch stippling. So stayed away from it.

Here are the pictures:
the full quilt showing 2 different scales of stippling

Left 1/4 inch scale; Right 1/2 inch scale

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 2

Okay this evening when I got some break. I ran into my sewing room and finished up the week2 and week3 quilt along. I can say that I kind of cheated because its the same quilt sandwich but I tried both the tasks for week2 and week3.

Here are some pictures which cover week 2:

First two rows seem okay, then not sure what happened :-). It took a life of its own.
Top Right was the row I started from the center of the quilt

Bottom right was very random.

Left side tried to rows but not sure what happened.

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 1

So last night finally I got to try the week 1's quilt along. I guess it came out okay.
It was easy to do the U shapes but then it got wacky as I went into other shapes. I just tried to finish the quilt sandwich I was working on. I was determined to finish it off no matter what.

week1 front of the quilt-1

week1 front of the quilt2
 I seemed to have some trouble with the stitches at the back. Not sure, what was up with it:

Wondering if too much lint has built-up in my bobbin.