Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quilting Class Display

I am fortunate to be one of the instructors of a quilting class at the local Senior Center.  Several years ago the class started as a beginner class.  The class members had all at one time or the other used a sewing machine, but the actual quilting was new to most.  The class is still together since they all get along so well, and they put up with me.  Most have advanced well beyond my best efforts.  This is a display of the classes work over and beyond quilts.  We still make regular sizes of quilts, but for the display cabinets, the smaller projects were selected.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Intervention Dream!

This is too funny not to post.  You all now know why I haven't posted any thing lately.  I am in the process of kind of converting my wood shop into a quilting studio. with a long arm quilter as the main feature.  This morning my wife told me that she had a dream about my wood shop last night.  In her dream all of my buddies had stopped by and staged an intervention, to convince me not to convert the wood shop to a quilting studio.  She went on to say that her only concern was, what was she going to feed them all.  I asked her if my buddies were successful.   She replied, "I don't know, I woke up."

I am, however putting together a step-by-step on whittling a pair of Christmas earrings....This will be up soon.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Voyager 17 Quilting stitches

Those who have set up, adjusted, and used a long arm quilting machine will understand when I say that I am happy to achieve this much on this machine.  This longarm quilter has been in storage in a garage for a number of years.  The parts were not covered and various spiders and rodents regularly visited.  And as I remember, it was always a tempermental machine.  After cleaning, lubricating, reassembling, and adjusting the system it's operational.  What remains is for me to spend lots of time practicing and getting to know this machine.  Here's a sample of what I am so happy about.  The print side is the top, and the plain side the bottom.

The stitches are there!  I'll next load some plain dark fabric so the top stitches will stand out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First efforts!

The first attempts at sewing a series of tests stitches, was a mixed bag.  Everything seemed to work as well as I thought they would, until I looked at the back of the quilt.  OK, maybe not so well.  Then I noticed that the first stitches were fairly okay when moving up and down, but not okay when going side to side I replaced the needle, after it was suggested by Lisa, a member of the HINTERBERG QUILTERS Yahoo Group.  This helped, however, I will check the rollers on the machine carriage to make sure they are well lubricated and in contact with the rails that the carriage ride on.

So far, the problems encountered seem solvable by me.  However, many questions still need answered.  Here's a few:

1.  The needle seems to "stick" when coming up through the quilt.
2.  The back rail that through the sewing machine, and takes up the quilted quilt seems way to low to take up much quilt.
3.  The "tightness" of the stitches seems too loose.

Tomorrow, when the temperature is under 90 degrees I'll re thread the machine and add more tension on the top thread.  I'll also check the rollers on the carriage. 

I am also trying to find better instructions that explain the position of the  quilt "take-up" Rail.

Maybe I'll also get a book on brain surgery and give it a try.......

Monday, July 15, 2013

Maybe Tommorow!

Loaded up a test quilt sandwich.  This I will use to see what problems there might be that I must identify and over come.  Then I'll adjust the machine.  This activity will wait until after a good nights sleep.  Being the pessimist that I am, I must be ready for some problems...


Sunday, July 14, 2013

SLR Attached

Finally attached the Stitch Length Regulator (SLR).  This is the control that lets you move the sewing machine in all directions and at any speed, while the length of the quilt stitches remain the same.  The manufacturer of the SLR states that this attachment "Helps" maintain the same stitch length....We'll soon see whether the gizmo does, doesn't, or just helps......

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Long Arm Quilting System Reassembled

After surviving disassembling, moving, and storage in a garage. and transport across the country; only a few bolts were missing.  But it looks like it is supposed to look - I think.  I've cleaned and oiled the machine, and tomorrow will clean the rails and wax the frame.  Next will be the purchase of some batting, so I can "load" the system and begin to adjust the machine.

Woodshop Nearly Transformed

This is the space where the long arm quilting system will be set up.  I still have quite a bit of sorting and disposal to accomplish.  But 20+ years of accumulating stuff is not all that easy to dispose off, in a few days.
There will be lots of natural light, from windows and French doors that face the east.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Woodshop transition to Quilt Studio

This job has become more work than I thought it would be.   You see, woodworkers are a lot like quilters.  Both keep and build a stash of materials.  The real difference is that wood and scraps of wood are dusty - very dusty.  I knew I would have a hard time throwing out lots of stuff.   I started by developing a strategy that involved giving my large dust collector system to a friend who has a large dump trailer.  My idea was that without the dust collector system I would not start any wood projects,  Plus, I could borrow the dump trailer to take stuff to the dump.  Everything got off to a good start.  However, there exists a predetermined order of what happens when one decides to clean and get rid of stuff.  This is that order, as I have discovered:

1.  As you sort you want to keep everything.
2.  After deciding that you cannot keep everything you do start selecting some things to get rid of.
3.  As time goes by, you decide on more and more stuff to dispose of.
4.  Lunch time, and you loose the "groove" by the time you return to the clean up.
5.  The worse case scenario is that after lunch you begin to go through the throw away pile and return stuff to the keep pile.

Oh well! Back to get into the groove again......I keep telling myself that it will be worth it.  You have to visualize that "shop" area becoming a quilt making area.