Friday, June 05, 2009

Log Cabin Nearly Finished, and Needles


This huge project is getting close to DONE. Hooray!

Dimensions WERE 88 x 88 inches, and now, nearly all quilted, it's 86 x 86 inches. Interesting.

I am machine quilting (DSM) one section at a sit-down, i.e., one light area, one dark area, changing thread each time. This is my Flexicurve, for marking consistent curves in the area.

Yesterday, I was wondering about changing my needle, as I'd used the same one since the beginning of the quilting process, but being rushed, I didn't. BIG MISTAKE!

When I finished that section, the thread line looked a little loose, but when I looked at the back - OMGosh, loopy-loops, big mess! Additionally, the back is a very busy pattern and impossible to actually SEE the stitches, so all the frog stitching on the front (unsewing) had to be done only a few stitches at a time. Dang it - several hours later (about 4!!!) I'm ready to try again. Solution? Both the machine and bobbin were threaded correctly, bobbin area was not too linty, but my needle??? Oh my, it was dull, dull, dull!!! (note to SELF -- Every time I pat myself on the back for being smart, or clever, I am humbled by some dumb mistake, so SELF -- don't get cocky!).

If I ever do this large a project again, I will do it in sections - this was a huge job, even with a large sewing table and 10 inches of sewing space between my needle and the machine housing.

Quilt Show is coming up, and maybe I can complete this in time, even with a vacation coming up.

17 comments:

jovaliquilts said...

Thanks for the reminder -- changing needles is something I rarely think of unless something goes awry.

LC said...

One instructor changes her needle every time she reloads her bobbin. That might be a bit much, but anything is better than unsewing!

Your quilt is lovely!!

CJ said...

PRETTY!!! I have never heard of the needle causing problems like that, but ewwwwwwwwww.
Great idea to use that flex ruler - what do you mark the lines with then??

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh wow Elaine, this look so beautiful. I too wonder how you use the flex ruler with machine quilting.

Diana said...

I am so bad about remembering to change needles. I never knew it could cause a problem like that. It's going to look great, though, when you finish it.

Pam said...

It's amazing that many sewers only change the needle when it breaks.
Glad to see your productivity. Good job.

Pam in SC

grammilou said...

Forgive my ignorance, but what is your DSM? I'm wondering what kind of needles you use. For my Janome 6500 I prefer the Schmetz Microtex. Sometimes I use the quilting needles for the machine quilting.

I certainly prefer to quilt the bigger projects in sections. The convenience of having smaller sections to machine quilt makes up for having to handsew the backs of the joining seams, don't you think?

Your quilt is beautiful! Well worth the effort and time you've put into it.

SUPERQUILTER said...

Your quilt is beautiful and I to use my DSM. I am currently quilting my Road to Dixie. I never thought of using the flex curve tool. What do you use when marking with it?

GARI said...

I am quilting my log cabin, too. It is 88 x 100 and is taking forever: feathers in the light sections and ruler work in the dark. My good part is that I am using a black and white varigated thread all over so no thread changes. LOL

Margo in Maine said...

Beautiful colors in quilt...flex curve is interesting..will have to check that out...I forget to change needles and get reminded when it feels different...is important...

The Calico Quilter said...

Thank you for the reminder on keeping a new sharp needle in the machine. I am so guilty about not changing the needle regularly. Even when just piecing, it makes such a difference. Recently, it felt like my Juki was laboring trying to sew a seam. Such noises! I checked out everything and it was the needle - it was almost blunt. A needle change later and you would have thought it was a different machine. It's the little things that get you...

Mary said...

BOY I hate to frog stitches -- it always takes so much longer to pull them out than to put them in.

meggie said...

What a huge task! I too, loathe frogging!

Joyce said...

It's amazing how slow undoing is compared to sewing. Thanks for the heads up about dull needles. I am very bad about changing them regularly.

Carole said...

You know, I don't miss machine quilting on my dsm! Somehow, I knew your pain! the quilt is lovely!

Frederique said...

Gorgeous! This is a piece of art, even if it shrinked a little during the process!!

Quilter Kathy said...

Do you like the flexicurve tool for machine quilting??