Red and White

I went way back into the closet for today’s sewing project.  Do you remember this one?  I finished the top back in May of 2016.

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You can see posts about making the various blocks and putting it all together here.

Today I settled in with my walking foot and outlined all the Xs.  A lot of twisting and pushing to turn all those corners!  I did a row at a time and then paused to bury the thread ends so I could also stretch and unlink my shoulders.  I tend to have my shoulders around my ears as I sew.  I try to be conscious of it and put them down but they inevitably creep up again.

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I sewed just outside the red, following the edge wherever it led.

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It was a happy moment when I reached the last X!

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Now I’m filling in all the white background with free motion loops.  It goes much faster, though it has been a while since I did it, so my stitch lengths are pretty uneven.  This is the stage where I really wish I had access to a long arm quilting machine so I could be more intricate with the fillers.1C1CA2B4-720A-4451-B403-0F5F1DCE897B

I have built up a backlog of quilt tops so my winter goal is to get them all finished.  There are at least four more after this one.

A finish!

imageMoroccan Tiles quilt finishedMoroccan Tiles quilt finished

The Moroccan Tiles quilt is finished!  Quilted, bound, and ready for a quick trip to the laundromat (I don’t want to risk putting this big a quilt into my top loader machine – it would be horrible to mangle it!)

My walking foot woes on the Juki were solved with a trip to the Montavilla Sewing store in Portland where I bought it.  It turned out that the lever on the walking foot that fits over the screw (that also serves to keep needles in) was slipping sideways and catching in a groove.  It had completely bent a pretty sturdy screw and even ground off a bit of the lever metal.  The repair guy ultimately solved it by adding a washer so it can’t slip into the groove anymore.  He also smoothed out the metal on the lever so it rides without catching again.  It works perfectly.  Yay!

Juki walking foot with washer
If you look closely, you can see the new little washer that solved all my walking foot troubles.

Though it seems I’ll be making a second trip there soon because all the fiddling has knocked the needle threaded out of whack and it doesn’t work now.  But that wasn’t something that prevented a finish.

The center I quilted in a grid pattern on the gray sashing.  It made a great diamond pattern on the back.

Moroccan Tiles quilt back

The narrow border I stitched on just the edges, and then I added some wavy lines to the wide border – really fun to sew and they make a good contrast with all the straight lines throughout the main section.

Moroccan Tiles backing detail

Moroccan Tiles backing detail

The binding went on quickly.  I almost always do a hand sewn finish on my binding, but my cousin has a dog and I think it might get washed a lot, so I did a machine sewn finish for extra longevity.   I sewed it on the back first, ironed, and then sewed down the very edge of the front.

Moroccan tiles quilt bindingI used the same fabric that made up the thin border for the binding, so it frames the wider purple border.  My cousin came down to Portland last weekend just in time to bring it to me.

I love how it turned out, and I’m no longer afraid to make such a large quilt.  My Juki’s harp handled it without much trouble – having the blocked on point helped with that I think, since I could pull the corners out of the way through the harp space.  A new quilt four our queen sized bad may be in the near future.

Next up is a duvet cover for my mom, a much quicker project.  Though it did take her an hour and a half in the store to pick the fabric.  She and I have a lot in common – we must touch all the pretty colors!

Fortunately/Unfortunately

It has been rather a fortunately/unfortunately story around here in the crafting arena.  I jumped right into quilting yesterday morning, after moving to the dining room where the table can be made significantly bigger than my sewing room can handle.  I need to do quilting in the morning when it is cooler.

Fortunately, I had a lot of empty bobbins to fill.

Unfortunately, I filled five of them with navy blue before I tested it on a scrap sandwich.Stitch testThe plan was gray thread for the top, navy for the back. Defintely not a success.  The loops of the navy show – not a lot, but definitely not something I wanted for the front, which is going to be quilted entirely in the pale gray areas.

Fortunately, I had more empty bobbins to fill with gray.

Unfortunately, there were only two.  But I didn’t want to waste all that navy thread by pulling it off, so the plan is to just refill the two until I get to a store to buy more.

Once I started quilting, things were going smoothly.  I was able to wrestle the whole thing well enough through the Juki’s harp (fortunately).  Unfortunately, just as I was changing out the second bobbin, I realized I’d never put on my walking foot!  I think all this heat has melted my brain.

Quilting A's Moroccan Tiles quilt
Quilting with the regular presser foot.

That was pretty much the end of the fortunately part of the quilting.  I had nothing but woe once I put on the walking foot.  It would stitch along for a while, then suddenly seize up, forcing me to clip the threads again and again to get the machine to function.  It was as if the needle was getting caught on something.  I checked the bobbins, changed needles, did a thorough cleaning of everywhere in the bobbin casing – same problem kept happening.

It seems to be the walking foot is wrenching the whole bar that the needle is in to the side somehow, twisting it. The screw that tighten the needle and the part of the walking foot that rests around is now out of perpendicular, so the walking foot eventually prevents it from moving up and down smoothly.

Unfortunately this is the second time this has happened, though the first time I just thought the machine had come that way, since I hadn’t had it long.  This is also my second walking foot for this machine as the first made horrible clanking and grinding noises (perhaps while pulling the bar out of perpendicular?)

So, unfortunately, no more quilting with the walking foot until I get the machine into the shop on Monday and find out why this keeps happening.

Back to a more fortunate note, there is no end of fiber crafts to switch to around here.  Today I finished a sock.

Hedgerow purple sock

Hedgerow purple sock

It fits perfectly, and I’ll be casting on shortly for sock two.  Much more of a deep purple than it appears in the pics – I dyed the yarn a while back and started the sock on our June trip to NYC.  It has been languishing since the yarn color and stitch pattern make it hard to see in the evening, which is my usual knitting time.  But fortunately (last time, I promise) I was spending a sunny morning with friends and had lots of light.

This can’t be good

Broken walking foot

I was happily and successfully quilting away on a fairly simple quilt – just straight lines along seams – when the needle started falling out, then broke, and something went sprong, and the walking foot stopped feeding the fabric from the top.

I took it apart to see what was the matter, and now I can’t get it back together again. I’m going to try again in the morning with better light and a less tired brain. There aren’t that many pieces, but I’m all fumble fingers.

So, since I couldn’t keep quilting, I switched to knitting. Also not a smooth ride. When I finally figured out the crochet cast on for a new lace project, I was almost to the right number of stitches when the cable separated from the needle and dropped the middle stitches. Tried again with a new cable and had to unpick the new stitches of the first row when I didn’t follow directions correctly. I’m now a whopping two rows into the project and I’m putting that down too.

I’m excited about the quilt, though. It is made with Moda’s Road 15 by Sweetwater line. I had a layer cake and a charm pack, so I added some Kona solids and did a combo of squares, half square triangles, and four patch blocks. I also found a great green and white fabric for the back with lots of little houses that fits the roads/houses/maps theme of the top.

White houses on green fabric

Quilt in profess

P.S. Wrote this last night, but couldn’t log on to post it. Not my night for great success!