Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Block #65 in the Machine Quilting Challenge
Boy, the best laid plans......Sorry for this break in momentum. I've been having machine problems.
But not to worry, I brought home a machine from work to play with ( I work at Rocky Mountain Sewing and Vacuum in Westminster), and not only did I get some blocks quilted, I also fell in LOVE. More on that below, now lets get to today's stitch out.
This is another design based on the gentle curve. Begin by dividing your square into four squares. Then divide each square in half, diagonally twice to yield four triangles per square. For best results, use a Hera marker for marking.
Beginning near the center of one of your squares, drop down the needle and stitch a small circle around the intersection of the diagonal lines. Make the circle about the size of a large pea. Once the circle is complete stitch over one direction or the other until your needle is lined up with one of the diagonal lines. Stitch a gentle curve on the outside of the line stopping about 1/4" from the end of the line then angle over to the line that divides the squares. Stitch 1/4" up that line then over 1/4" then begin your gentle curve back down the opposite side of the diagonal line. This maneuver creates a small square at the end of the petal. Once you hit the center circle, use it to stitch over to the next diagonal line and repeat the last several steps. Do this two more times until the first square is complete. Knot off and do the same steps to stitch out the remaining three squares. Once all four squares have been stitched then stitch a wavy line over the two lines marked to separate out the four squares.
Now, most of you who know me, know that I've been a die hard Bernina enthusiast for many years, but you also know that money and I aren't always close friends. So, this machine I brought home has a lot of the great features available on the more expensive Bernina's but for about $4000.00 less. Yes, I said $4000.00 less!
Anyway, the machine is a Brother Innov-is QC 1000 (who'd of thunk?). This model is a year or two old and the new model is basically the same but called the Laura Ashley 2000 edition ( it's got about 200 more built in stitches and some other cool add on's) So, anyway, this QC 1000 is an amazing machine. For anyone who all ready has free motion quilting skills the Bernina Stitch Regulator can be a bit of a bummer because you loose a lot of the control you're used to. This brother has two things that work together sort of like a stitch regulator, but one that you get to control. The machine has a sliding speed control (I call it a rabbit) with which you can set your speed - I like it at about 3/4 max. Then, if you don't plug in your foot control you can use the button for start and stop. Once you get your quilt in position and push the button, the machine sews at the speed you selected and you never have to worry about maintaining your speed while sewing - it's just one less thing to have to think about.
The stitch is wonderful with easy to perfect starts and stops. It is really easy to go from sewing mode to fee motion mode - just push a button. I didn't have to adjust my tension at all either. All this, and it comes with three different free motion feet, a walking foot, several other feet, a huge slide on table and more than 160 programed stitches - all for about $2,000.00 for the older model and $2,500.00 for the new one which has nearly 400 built in stitches.
I know I sound like a salesperson - but I'm just so impressed with this machine. I thought that I would have to save for the next year to be able to afford a new machine, but now I think I can get one this month! Woo hoo!
Another aside - I finished the first draft of my color and design book this weekend - it's off to the publisher along with the last of the quilts. Triple Woo Hoo!
See you soon,