Saturday, August 31, 2013

Practice is Over - Now the real Thing

The Voyager 17 and the Hinterberg Stretch Frame are cleaned and reassembled.  I've loaded and unloaded practice non quilted sandwiches, and adjusted the machine for a good machine quilting stitch.  I've practiced and practiced operating the long arm.  All the while, I've been assembling a twin quilt top to put on the long arm.  The quilt top is done and assembled with batting and the back, on the frame.  A new needle and full bobbin has been installed in the Voyager.  I've consulted with an experienced long arm operator, for a list of swear words that are appropriate for quilting on a long arm machine system.  I can't think of anything else - Let's give it a try!

Several hours later.....Long arm machine operating smoothly.  After a minor upper tension adjustment (due to different batting) the machine quilting stitch is fine.  It's working fine as long as the operator does what he is supposed to do.  I need to work on remembering to lower the presser foot when operating.....I have a small sign that reads LOWER THE FOOT.  I'll be making a larger sign....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Sewing Machine

Just sittin in the shop/quilt work area and assembling a queen size quilt.  The individual blocks are all assembled, and I'm sewing them into the rows.  Kind of a boring step, and my mind some times wanders.  Some times when this happens, the blocks get sewed backwards, upside down, or inside out.  But other times I can't help but marvel at what my little Singer Featherweight does.  My Featherweight is an older model, and I sometimes can't help but think of the original owner using it.  Sooner or later I think about a time before the sewing machine was invented.  When you stop and think about it, the sewing machine hasn't been around all that long.  Think about clothes 220 years ago.  Hand made.  "Hand made" then meant needle and thread.  Fifty years ago I remember asking my grandmother what invention meant the most to her in her life.  Without thinking about it she said the sewing machine, the electric sewing machine. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Multi Functional Space!

My wood shop has now been downsized to eliminate space for any cabinet making.  Long arm quilter is now taking that space.  I still have some stuff to eliminate but I am already "multi tasking".  Currently I am switching back and forth between sewing squares for a large quilt, practicing machine quilting on the long arm quilter,  wood carving, and painting the carvings.

One observation worth sharing is that the language one may use when accidentally cutting the nose off a carving, and when quilting squares do not match up is virtually the same.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whittling vs Quilting

I enjoy quilting and whittling equally.  However, there are some HUGE differences.  Take set-up time!  If I want to do some machine/long arm quilting I have to have the quilt nearly done, and on the frame.  This is fine if you have a quilt ready to put on the machine.  Well, it is and it isn't.  It takes some time to load the long arm with the quilt top, batting, and back.  But when whittling, just grab a piece of wood and your pocket knife.  My pieces of wood have been cut into shape on the scroll saw, and are usually in my pocket with my pocket knife.  I think you get my drift.....