I have been practicing on my new Juki and Grace Quilt Frame. When we first got everything set up I was afraid to even use it. Then I got my nerve up and threaded the machine and wound a few bobbins. I found a panel and put it on the frame.
First mistake-not enough backing at the top and bottom. You really need at least 6-8” more(at the top AND bottom) to attach the quilt comfortably although the directions say 10-12”.
Second mistake- and this is a biggy- do not use unfused fusible batting. I know, a rookie mistake but it was just a practice piece and I did not want to go out and buy more, blah, blah, blah. What a mess-it really dulled and junked up the needle. I don’t even care for fusible when I use it the right way, what possessed me to use it the wrong way?
This piece came out so bad that I just chucked it. How embarrassing-and a waste of time.
Lesson learned again? Trying to save time usually wastes time.
My next experiment was a piece of cheater cloth that looked like a bunch of pieced diamonds. This time I loaded it correctly and used a good batting. I stitched rows of quilting using a different quilting pattern on each pass. I learned what I liked to do, what I was good at, and what I needed to practice. This piece I put a binding on and gave to my grandson as a play quilt. My daughter has it on her couch so I guess it is not that bad.
I finally felt confident enough to work on a REAL quilt so I pulled out a top that I said I would quilt for a friend. I just did an over all meander and it looks OK!
So of course I felt I was ready for a queen sized quilt. It is a log cabin that I pieced about 5 years ago and it measures 84” x 108”. It took two large spools of thread and 22 bobbins (from another spool). I quilted 2-3 hours every day and it took me 5 days. I did a close meander over the whole quilt.
I have forgotten how bulky a large quilt is to attach a binding completely by machine. And of course I did not clear off my sewing table properly (although it was completely cleaned off when I finished!). My arms ached when I was done!
And here it is!
Here is a close-up of the quilting:
I am pleased at how well it turned out. I have a few more quilts to do(of course!!) and maybe I will actually get caught up. Maybe….