Sunday 27 January 2019

My Beloved's Vineyard

Very challenging to find a place to take a picture of a queen-sized quilt that shows the whole quilt
I started this quilt 2 years ago and it was supposed to have been for my sister Judy's 65th birthday. She'll be 70 in August. But I am gradually closing in on my goal of creating a quilt for every sister. Janet, Cindy and Judy will now have one, and I have the fabric for the quilts for the remaining two sisters. Plus a zillion other quilts. Currently I'm working on my very first signature quilt for a nurse that retired. 
This is just the beginnings of it. I'll have to be careful to whom I give these, or every health care worker I have ever known will think they need one when they retire/resign/move...
But back to Judy's quilt: if you want to know more of it's story you'll need to read my post, "Un-squaring Square Quilts." I've had the quilt top done for nearly 2 years. And I actually had some rental time booked on the longarm to finish it. Then I injured my back, was off work for a few weeks and I was in no shape to do the quilting. Especially when, as a renter, I would have to do it all in one shot, and I estimated this quilt would take me 8 hours to quilt. 
After the back injury healed, I tried to book my already paid for time on the longarm, but was not getting any response from the rental studio. And really, I didn't want to pay for it again at another studio (the first studio still owes me 8 hours of quilting time). I kept hoping that I would be able to get the basement renovations done and purchase my own longarm. That didn't happen until September of 2018. Then I had problems with the flooring and had to wait until that was taken care of before I could get to this quilt.
Vineyard Pantograph from Urban Elementz
Once I was finally able to start quilting it, I,unfortunately, was having major tension issues. I would set it to where I thought it was a good tension, but the thread kept breaking. I don't think I finished a whole row without at least one thread break. I kept reducing the tension and thought I was finally going to be able to quilt, but then suddenly it was too loose and I had to rip out loops of thread on the back several times. For polyester thread, I had a lot of lint accumulating in the bobbin area.
I went through a lot of thread with all of the re-starts I had to do. 
Look at all of that thread in the garbage, and the quilt is only half done!
I thought maybe it was that particular spool of thread, so when it ran out, I was hoping that maybe a new spool would be better.

I tried 3 different needles, hoping that would make a difference and finally resorted to the manual and reset the tension at least three times. It would work for a short period of time and then start breaking or looping again. Plus the rear display was not working consistently, which is not good when you primarily quilt from the back. I had no end of headaches, messaged the company, emailed the vendor, spoke with them in person, spoke with them on the phone. Just by sheer persistence, I eventually managed to finish the quilting
and took the longarm into the vendor for repair. In spite of all of my stops and starts, I think that the quilting is quite attractive. And I'm so thankful it's finished.
Mystery assisted with the binding
and was very helpful. 
Now, I just have to find a box that's the right size and get it mailed to my sister. And hopefully, the repairman will be able to find what's wrong with my machine and remedy it quickly. 
Trialling the quilt on my bed

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