Saturday, April 28, 2012

TQ Raffle Quilt is off the frame

After almost 27 hours and 17 days I have finished quilting the raffle quilt.  I've trimmed off the excess backing fabric and wadding.

The pins have been returned to their respective bowls and containers.

The floor has been readied and the tools laid out to square it up and pin it.  Blocking the quilt helps to keep it square. The pins will again be in use, as the quilt will be pinned every inch around the outside edges, through the camping foam floor squares.

The colour catchers are catching all the excess colours as it does the rounds of a gentle wash in my machine.  Now to give it 36 hours to dry before I put the binding on Monday afternoon.

I will be taking it with me to Toowoomba Quilters on Tuesday, to finish sewing the binding and hanging sleeve on.  Then I will only need  to finish the quilt bag before it's first Official airing at Queensland Quilters Picnic on Tuesday 8th May.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Close to the end of TQ Raffle Quilt

This is a close up photo of the detail of the quilting within the ribbons that flow across the quilt. The opening in my machines foot is 1/4" so it gives you an idea of the size of the quilting.

It is a new machine so I have gone overboard with the quilting to give the machine a good workout.  I am learning all about its great features and I am really happy.

This is the fill I am putting between the ribbons.  I am using a variegated thread in autumn tones that ties in well with the different coloured batiks.

After almost twenty five hours of planning, pinning, stitching, rolling, changing threads, winding bobbins etc  I can see the end of the quilt.  I may actually get to finish it tomorrow evening and get it blocked before Anzac Day.

The binding will have to wait until next Monday as I have other commitments before then. So hopefully I can sit at TQ next Tuesday and sew the binding down.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Floating Your Top

I float a top when I am putting it on my longarm to quilt it.  This means that I only roll the backing fabric onto the rollers.

I stitch a horizontal line to hold the wadding to the quilt back, using the horizontal channel lock.
I then line up the first internal border with the front edge of the foot,  horizontal locks on, and pin, every 2" the top to the wadding and backing making sure the border stays straight.
I use my mother's dressmaking ruler to mark where the edges of the quilt top need to be kept. This mark is determined by the smallest measurement across the width/length of the quilt. The top needs to be eased in to this smallest measurement so that it sits flat.

I have quilters clips that I clip to my quilt top roller so that I can give myself a visual reference of where the sides of the quilt, sashing strips in the centre of the quilt, need to be to keep the quilt square

I use lightweight clamps on both sides of the quilt to hold the backing fabric and wadding tight behind the top. A longarmer needa about 3-4" of extra fabric at the sides so the machine does not hit these clips when stitching close to the edge of a quilt. They are held up off the quilt by the rod you can see, but if the machine nudges one it will put a wobble in the stitching.



TQ the Centre and Label

I have started the quilting on the center of the quilt.  Firstly I had to make myself a template for the ribbon effect I wanted to quilt diagonally across the quilt.  This is cut from craft foam, and then taped so that I can guide the foot of my longarm along the edge.  This way I can achieve a consisitent curve on all 48 ribbons.  I am using a "sand" coloured cotton thread on the top and  cream Magna-Soft bobbins.  I am really liking these magnetic centred bobbins.

The quilting of the centre ribbons is more visible - texture wise- from the back of the quilt.  The front of the quilt is getting even more movement.  There are fern fronds unfurling between the ribbons.  I am visualising a great filler between the ribbons and fronds.

I like to put my labels on and then quilt over them, so this was hand stitched on inside the borders, while it was on the frame, as I had already quilted the border before I thought of the label!

Don't think I will get this finished to putting on the binding stage on Monday, so will have to spend some time next weekend quilting it, if I want to take it to TQ on Tuesday 1st May.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Borders Finished on TQ Raffle Quilt

After almost 15 hours and 10 bobbins, I have finished quilting all the borders on the TQ raffle quilt.  So 40% of the quilting is finished.
I really love the texture the quilting in the borders has given to the quilt.  Here are a couple of photos of the back of the quilt.  If you click on the photos it will become a bit larger so you can see it clearer.  This multi coloured Batik backing is looking really good.

The quilting in the body of the quilt is not going to be as intense so I plan on getting a lot of it done today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

TQ Raffle Quilting Continues

I do not have a computer on my longarm machine so if I want to put the same pattern in a part of the quilt then I have to guide the machine.

 I initally place a piece of perspex on the quilt top and with a whiteboard marker work out a design for the particular area.  I then practice drawing it from all directions.  As a last aide I draw the design on a postit and put it on the front of my machine where I can see it as I quilt.

Sometimes  a magic wand helps.  It couldn't help with the correct direction of the photo.

You can see the design between the arches of the curved crosshatching.  It is on both the inside and outside edges of the border blocks.
I couldn't quilt for too long a period today as I am having problems with my back from spending two days of Piecing. So only four hours of work on it today.

APQS Lucey Machine

How cute is the Lucey machine from APQS.     It comes with a throat the same size as my Millenium .  Available with a 10 or 12 foot table.  Stitch regulator.  Single stitch buttton.  Auto needle positioner.       Horizontal wheel system.    Now even has the ergonomic handles..        All new APQS machines now come in the Pearl colour.      More information is available from

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TQ Raffle Quilt Progress

After almost 7 hours of stitching I have completed the black inner border and almost one of the outer borders.
I have had to mark these borders to get spacing precise. I use a special chalk marker that comes off with steam!

I am really liking the look of the crosshatching in the outer border, have been able to use a new ruler and practise a technique from a recent book purchase.  Creates a lot of texture to the blocks.
The pebbling takes a while but I am having fun.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A pinning exercise on TQ Raffle quilt

This is Toowoomba Quilters Club Inc raffle quilt.  A large one at 87" x 93".  if you pinned it with safety pins every 4" you would use about 505 safety pins.

On a longarm machine you still need to stabilise a quilt if you are quilting one colour on the whole top in finite areas.  I am only quilting the black outer border to begin with.

I am using 6 pins in each block, there are 108 blocks.
I am also pinning 3 of the   66" sashing blocks to keep the whole quilt straight every 3".

Total straight pins in this quilt about 750.  At least the quilt is at my height and I am not bending over to pin.  Plus they are straight pins not safety pins.