Friday, July 23, 2010

Quilting, yes, quilting!

If you've been reading my posts, you'll know that I design, make and quilt my quilts myself. I have a B-Line 18 mid-arm sewing machine on a B-Line Studio Frame. In simple terms, I have a large wooden frame in my basement with a large sewing machine on it so I can machine quilt my projects. I really like the B-Line products from To Be Quilting and have never had any problems until I got this machine. For some reason, I have been having stitching issues with it. I've tried all the usual remedies and Julie and Horst from To Be Quilting have gone above and beyond in helping me with these problems. They've even stopped in and spent a few hours trying to rectify this situation. Finally, we changed out the encoder wheels and this has fixed the problem (cross your fingers!).  But what I really wanted to note was how much time you can spend quilting a quilt when your machine isn't really performing up to par. 

Up until this problem was fixed, my typical quilting session was to start quilting, stop after about 5 minutes,  unstitch the previous stitches, start all over again, stop again, unstitch the stitches - well, you can imagine. I would spend hours, even days, quilting a lap-size quilt. Of course the frustration level was high - and the air was often blue - as I tried to adjust and continue on. But I was determined to persevere and finish that quilt. 

Now that my machine is running smoothly (thank you long-arm gods!), I can't believe how quickly I can finish a quilt. I just completed two charity quilts for Victoria's Quilts in Calgary and was astounded that I did one in one afternoon and the other in one evening. This included loading the quilt on the frame and deciding on the thread and quilt motif that I would use (probably the longest part of the process). 

I finally realize why my friend, Cathy, a long-arm quilter, couldn't understand why it was taking me so long to get my quilts quilted. 'Cause after all, "it ain't a quilt until it's quilted"! Hopefully now I'll have lots more "quilts" in the house.

Note: I no longer own the B-Line 18 machine as I have sold it and upgraded to a Handi Quilter Infinity as of December 2015.


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