I put a small muslin quilt sandwich on the frame yesterday to get started on my journey to become a better machine quilter.
I started out by using my new TOWA bobbin tension gauge and think I’m going to like it.
Since buying it, hopefully I’ll be able to make use of some of the thread I have that my Juki used to like but doesn’t like now. I’m sure it’s a tension deal because the first large quilt I did (Queen) on the frame used this Thread Art thread. I love the way the thread works up. For some reason, all of a sudden (after using Thread Art thread with no problems), the Juki threw a hissy fit and started making horrible loopies on the back of the quilt and nothing I did would make it behave.
In desperation I tried So Fine and although my machine loves it….I still prefer the texture I get with that cotton thread. I ordered 2 cones of King Tut to try but yesterday I used the So Fine.
I tested the bobbin in the TOWA and after quilting a bit, I tweaked the top tension a wee bit. Right now, I’ve got beautiful tension. I used 2 colors so I can easily see if there’s a problem.
I plugged in Dawn Ramirez’s Pajama Quilter Rethreaded and studied some of the designs. Then I went to the frame to see what kind of success I would have. Well, I still have a lot of learnin’ to do but I think I have hope. 🙂 Granted, these efforts aren’t exciting to anyone but to myself but I promise I’ve done worse. Lol.
One thing I learned is that I need to slow down & relax. Just because the Juki sews fast doesn’t mean I have to move the machine fast. Watching Dawn stitch out the patterns showed me that a slower, easier approach works. I guess I have this mentality that says you can machine quilt a large quilt quickly….it doesn’t have to be done that way. Even if it takes several days to do a quilt….it’s still faster than hand quilting…and easier than pushing a quilt sandwich through the machine.
I had Don watch a segment on the DVD and was commenting about how easy she makes it look. He said “It’s because she’s having fun. It’s supposed to be fun.” Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?