So I doodled while watching Wolf Hall with G and the dogs all curled up on the sofa and played with scale and added in loops to travel. I did manage to get stuck a few times with dead space but practicing first on paper helped immensely. Then I made some practice pieces, to quilt on my big Husqvarna Viking. All looks lovely on the front but got this on the back:
So, then I hit the search engines and read lots of advice, some of which is to try it in straight stitch mode and if that works ok, then its not the tension but the speed of my hands.
Try quilting with the feed dogs up. My Husqvarna Viking doesn't allow a 0 length so I tried it on 0.5. A little better but not much.
Change from fixed embroidery foot to hopping foot. I tried the purple big foot and that was worse! I went through 4 more practice sandwiches and was still not too happy with it.
A bit perplexed, I decided to try a practice piece on my small Pfaff which I've used to quilt smaller items. I love this machine. It's my take everywhere and I use it for almost all my piecing. (I can get a better scant 1/4" with the HV though for some reason!)
So off I went to practice sandwich number 6 on the Pfaff. Much, much better. Still need to get better control of my hand speed but at least there were proper stitches on the back!
So thinking its not just me, (though I'm not great at going slowly), I contemplated for a bit trying to wrangle a throw or bed sized quilt through the 5 1/2" space on my Pfaff. Then I came to my senses. I have an 8 1/2" machine I bought for bigger projects - make it work!
I eventually did what I probably should have done first and read the manual! Turns out my machine automatically sets tension for the stitch type. (It has an embroidery function too and the tension is set when you plug the embroidery bed in.) You can override it with buttons on the front but your presser foot has to be in the down position for this to work. Thinking I had an aha moment I increased tension with the foot down and then the thread broke! Twice. Grrrr. This machine just does not like to be messed with.
Even though the manual says don't touch the bobbin tension I gave in and borrowed a tiny screwdriver from G. I've read to turn it a 1/4 at a time and test. Eventually after 1 complete turn to the left I got better results front and back. This is what I'm sticking with for now! Of course when I want to make some labels and use the embroidery function I'll have to change it back. Wonder how much a bobbin case costs, might need to buy another. Anyone do that , have a spare on hand?
So I'm finally motoring along now and have plenty of practice at swirly flowers before even touching the quilt! I've gotten more confidence and am increasing the scale of the flowers (otherwise I'll be all year quilting it!). I am loving these titanium needles I got on a massdrop offer and as always using Aurifil 50wt thread (my favourite light pink colour 2410).
The fabrics are Amy Butler which I've not used before. These pretty fabrics are a bit fussy for my normal taste but I love the oriental feel to them. This one reminds me of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. 4 of us went to China on a 22 day holiday a good number of years back and this quilt is destined for one of them - can't say who as they might be reading!
Gratefully linking up to