Thursday, June 16, 2011


I'm back! Hopefully things have slowed down for a while. The hay is up and we were also just working around on the farm doing somethings that needed to be done. I am sooooo tired from it all and put my back out. It is getting better now just a little bit "quicky" One evening this past week Hunter wanted to go back fishing so Richard took him down to the pond. I stayed home and nursed my back. Here is a photo of a few catfish that they caught. They are now in my freezer and I will fix them for supper real soon. Now I have a question for some of you machine quilters out there. Let me give some background first. If you remember I moved my machine/frame into the new house and set it up. I had a customer quilt on the frame and started to quilt it and my tension was completely off. So I took that quilt off and put on a baby quilt that will be donated so that I could get my tension adjusted correctly. During that time I broke my plastic quilting foot and ordered a new one. I put the customer quilt back on the frame and started to quilt it. Now my tension was adjusted and quilted fine on the baby quilt but when I started quilting this one the tension was messed up again. The tension is off, it is skipping stitches and breaking thread so I'm thinking that it is not the machine but maybe the fabric in this top.

This quilt top is an antique top that is completely hand pieced. I do love antique quilts and have a fascination with them. I have several antique quilts of my own and also several antique tops that need to be quilted. If you look in the photo below...the red and blue fabrics in the sashing are a VERY THICK fabric, something between a polyester knit and an upholstery fabric. Most of the fabrics in the blocks are cotton or a cotton blend. This is the back of the top and you will see that these blocks are pieced on a very heavy muslin so that makes it extra thick and very dense. So I'm wondering if these things that I have mentioned could be the problem.So I removed the top from the frame once again because I do not want to damage it at all. I've used every thread combination that I can think of and that doesn't help. A fellow longarmer suggested that I try a different batting with it. Right now I am using warm & natural but she suggested a thinner cotton. Any suggestions????

Late last night I worked on a few more blocks while I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to do for this antique top. These string blocks are mindless sewing and sometimes I think I need something like that. If I am thinking correctly I should have somewhere around 100 of these string blocks. This pile needs to be trimmed. My mom flew out for New Orleans this morning. :( I miss her already! Funny thing, she called around 7am this morning and Hunter answered the phone. She said "Tell your mommy that I just landed in Detroit" Hunter......."Uh....I think you went the wrong way!" LOL! But you know how that is with connecting flights.

Yesterday morning we got a call that Richard's grandmother had fallen. So to the ER she went, nothing major just a bad sprang. When we first got the call we were told that her ankle might have been broken but thankfully it wasn't. She just turned 91 last week! She is unable to get up and down by herself but her youngest daughter lives with her and helps her. She usually goes from the recliner to the wheelchair and to bed. But with her ankle injury she can't put any weight on it so she can't help herself get up and down and she is not a small lady. :) So after the ER visit, Richard helped her get settled at home. Then they called again around 5:30pm (that's what time she goes to bed every evening) they could not get her up out of the chair and into the wheelchair and on to bed. Richard drove back in to town to get her put in bed. This morning he was there at 7:30am to get her up and will be going back this evening. So just say a little prayer for her that she gets her strength built up so she can get around a little better. Richard called today about a gait belt that should help handling her.



Libby said...

Well, I can't help you with your machine quilting..but I would guess that the different kinds of fabrics could be the cause.
Sorry to hear about Richard's Grandmother, thoug I 'm glad it wasnt worse!
Good to hear from you..I havent been on computer much this summer.

Kentucky Granny said...

Could you stitch around the blocks and leave off quilting the borders? Have any larger needles? Try one of them. Good luck.

I can almost smell that hay! We used to work Dad's hay fields with a horse and had to rake, pile, and gather the hay by hand. We put into haystacks, as we had no balers. Smelled great, but sure was hot, sticky, itchy work.

Jeanette Shouse

Yvette said...

Sorry, I can't help you with your tension issues.

I am still in awe of how the boys can just go out and catch fish. I think that is awesome!

I hope Richard's grandmother heals quickly, it is so nice of him to run out there and help here.

Honey Bear said...

I made a "practice" piece to check tension on our machine and found that fabric does make a difference. The stitches looked perfect on it but on the quilt they were awful. I had to rip out 2 full rows and part of another. Next practice piece will be of the same type of fabric.

marth225 said...

I've had a tension problem with mine lately and it drove me crazy. I did like you and did something else while I thought about it. When I went back to it I had a 'DUH' moment - it was threaded wrong. Usually it's something simple.

jillquilts said...

I think that the odd fabric has a lot to do with the tension. A thin batting should do the trick. And if it doesn't, you might need to adjust the tension just for this quilt and then adjust it back when it's done. That's rough!

QuiltedSimple said...

I'm so sorry I'm causing you so much trouble!!! I found a batting at wal-mart a while back - it's really, really thin. Or - and I am fine with this - quilt it without batting and it will just be a blanket/cover/whatever you want to call it - it will just have the quilt top and the backing.