Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Won the Knit Purse Competition! Now I can finish that Quilt

Slight digression from knitting today; we’re going to talk a bit about quilting.

First of all, I won the knit purse competition held by Ruti’s Needlebed; I’m so happy! I’m going to put that $100 gift certificate for Ruti’s Needlebed toward the purchase of a new sewing/quilting machine. I’ll be getting the Brother QC-1000. I went to try it out yesterday. Ni-i-i-i-ce. Some of the wonderful features are that it’s computerized with a big LCD screen, does alphabets, lots of different types of stitches, 22”x16” extra-wide table is a standard accessory, automatic needle threading, bobbin loading’s a breeze, and automatic backstitching and cutting of thread (if you so choose) just to name a few.

When I get it, I can finish that quilt I started 8 years ago when I first learned piecing. I don’t know if you can tell, but the fabric has an Egyptian theme; I love things Egyptian. The course I had taken was a different piecing method a week. I had decided back then that I would hand quilt it being the traditionalist that I am. Well, it’s been 8 years. I did a tiny section of hand quilting (which I wasn’t crazy about appearance-wise). Being the perfectionist that I am, I couldn’t do a half-baked, inconsistent job. It took me quite a while to do that small area, too.

Note that the intense basting is because I was intending to hand quilt and I used polyester batting. Ruthie suggested that I use cotton instead of polyester batting. She said that in her experience, there’s (what she believes to be) a static build up with the polyester that causes the sewing machine to miss stitches. I tried doing a net search on this with not much success. In fact, a lot of sites were still advocating using polyester batting. I don’t know if anyone else has knowledge in this area. She was also disappointed in the way I had folded the backing edge over the front and pinned it down. She said I was not supposed to do that. I said, it depends what book you’re reading, but reassured her that that was not going to be my binding and I just rolled it over and pinned it down to keep it out of my way; that I was going to make a separate binding strip and attach it. That appeased her.

After my short experience with hand quilting, I thought then that maybe machine quilting wasn’t so bad after all. I made a small sample of something else to try it on. It was then that I discovered that the sewing machine I have, my husband’s grand-mother’s 50+ year old sewing machine, is not the best for this task.

It has several mechanical…issues. When I got it, the thread tension knob was already not working properly. I thought that rather than destroy what’s left functional of this precious machine, I should just get a new one; hence, the decision to buy a new machine. Let’s see if I can finish that quilt anytime soon.


busterwife said...

wow! congratulations on the contest!!! that is so cool.

i feel so special that i can declare that i have seen that Egyptian quilt firsthand. it is beautiful! i remember seeing it layed out on the floor of your craft room. i think you had just finished piecing it when i saw it. : )

have fun experimenting with your new machine and finishing the quilt!

Wannietta said...

Congrats on the win!!

And FWIW, my mom & granny are excellent & experienced quilters and they both turned the backing for and edging. Perhaps it's more of a time-honoured & frugal edging than is fashionable now.

Fran said...

Thanks, Wannietta. I see nothing wrong with that type of edging either.

Lobug said...

Congratulations on winning the contest!! The quilt is beautiful!

Knitting Mummy said...

That is one beautiful quilt I so admire people who can do that kind of thing. And thanks for your comment on my blog.

Beth said...

Gorgeous quilt!! A new sewing machine....I'm jealous ;)!!

Anonymous said...

Is there no end to your creativity? All this and you quilt too? Wow. Congrats on the win, and enjoy your new sewing machine.

Fran said...

Thank you all for your kind compliments.

Steffi said...

I've tagged you on my blog! Hope you don't mind!