Sunday, April 30, 2023

Cut -

The strata are cut - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold
I use my strip cutter die -
With 5 strips across the width of the die -
And can cut 2 sets of strata at a time - 
So each "row" above has the parts for two blocks - 
And needs to be sorted - later - 

The "end cuts" - rolled up on the left side of the cookie sheet - 
Give me a LOT of scraps -
Since I fan-fold the strata in thirds - 
I get two skinny bits at the "folds" - 
And two "selvage" ends - one skinny and one larger - 
Then I can "un-sew" them like I'm doing - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights

The scraps are good for my Scrap Card and Heart

And for "crumb" blocks - 

And other "scrap" projects - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Pressed -

But not cut yet - 
Today I pressed all eight sets of strata - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold
Then I decided to play with the trimmings -
From my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights
I un-sewed the "ends" and made separate little piles - 

And put the "selvage" ends in another pile - 
And the bigger ends in another pile - for the Heart

Then I combined all of the "same" fabrics - 
One pile for each of the twenty fabrics in the jelly rolls -  
Pressed them -
And chose the skinniest strip for the Scrap Card
The rest will go in my "crumb" bin for "crumb" blocks - 

The Scrap Card doesn't need a very big piece of fabric - 
I just want a sample of the fabrics that I used in the quilt -
So these will do nicely - 

Tomorrow I may continue with these - 

And make the Heart
And a Label for the quilt - 

Or I may cut some of the strata that I pressed today - 

I don't know yet - 

I'll decide tomorrow - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Friday, April 28, 2023

The last three -

Sets of strata are sewn - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold
So all eight sets are ready to be pressed and cut -

Maybe tomorrow I can do a bit of that - ;))
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Seventeen -

Wow - 
I knew that I had made a few of these - 
Upstairs/Downstairs tops - 
But I didn't realize that my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold - 
Would make the total - SEVENTEEN -

Until I was asked yesterday how many I had made - 

A while ago I made some "Collage" photos -
But I forgot the first two that I made -
Sorry - but Blogger decided the order - not me - LOL - 
The top one in this first collage is Autumn Squirrel
Which became part of my Ugly Christmas Fabric quilt - 
The bottom one is the very first one I made - 6/14/18
Simply named Upstairs/Downstairs
Before I knew I was going to make a few more -
And it is the smallest of them all - 
I used 1-1/2" strips that finished at 1" - and made a six-step block -
For 6" blocks - 6 x 6 layout - 36" x 36" - 

Then came this batch -
Not necessarily sewn in this order - 
Top row - 
Christmas Red -
Christmas Green -
Sevilla Blues (5x6) -   
Middle Row - 
Iris/Rose Mix -
Green (5x6) - 
Meredith - 
Bottom Row - 
Gleaned - 
Hear Wave (5x6) - 
Winter's Grandeur -   

Then this last batch - 
The left column - from top to bottom - 
Seedlings - 
Wild Things - 

The right column - from top to bottom - 
Blushing Peonies - 
Sherbet - 
Pastel Brights -
I made three in the 5x6 layout - 

But then decided that I preferred the 6x8 version - 

And two 40-strip jelly rolls fit the bill perfectly -
The pattern is pretty much fool-proof - 
And the fabrics do all of the work - 
It's my go-to when I want/need to sew something mindless - 

So now I wonder how many more I will make  - 
Before I get tired of them - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Mindless sewing -

Today I was in the mood for some mindless sewing - 
So I made a couple more sets of strata - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold

That makes five - 

So I only have three more sets to make - 

Then I will press them all and cut them - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Two bound -

Today I was able to finish the binding - 
On my Happy Trails

And my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights

I still need to make the Labels, Scrap Card, and Hearts

But the quilting and binding part is DONE - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Joined -

Today I "joined" the ends of the bindings - 

On my Happy Trails

And my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights

The YELLOW flower-head pins show my start and stop points - 

So I don't have to search for the part I need to sew - 

Maybe tomorrow I can finish them both - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Binding -

Has been sewn to the back - 
Of my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights - on the left - 
And my Happy Trails - on the right - 

The WHITE you see is the "flange" fabric - 

The "main" binding color is the GREEN -
I figured I would bind them both with the same colors - 
And stitch them at the same time -
I still need to do the "join" - 
Then stitch them to the front - 
But when I do - 
I'll have TWO bound - ;))
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Trimmed -

My Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights is trimmed - 
I removed the zippers -
And un-sewed some of the trimmings -  
I quilted my "go-to" design for my Upstairs/Downstairs quilts - 
Three lines in each row of patches in the block -
Alternating between horizontal and vertical lines with each block - 

It's easy and fits my "work space" so I can quilt one row in one pass - 
And I like the texture it gives the quilt - 

Sometimes I miss a spot -
Like the PURPLE patch with the YELLOW flower-head pin - 

Because I didn't go all the way to the end of the block - 
And switched back too soon - 
I should have gone all the way to the left side of the PURPLE patch - 

And I could fix it - 

But I'm going to "let it go" -

It will be the "one of these is NOT like the others" - 

And the recipient can play "I Spy" trying to find it - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Quilted -

My Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights is quilted - 
YAY!! - 

It goes a WHOLE lot faster - 

When I don't have to stop constantly -
To re-thread it - 
Because the thread broke - ;)) 

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Two passes -

Today - so far - I've made two passes -  

On my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights

And not ONE thread break - 

Shhh - I probably shouldn't say that too loudly- 
And may have just jinxed it - 

But it is SO nice to be back to the FUN part of quilting - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Simple fix -

Short version
"Check the hopping foot height" -
I changed the hopping foot to the ruler foot - 
When I loaded my RED Squirrel
And that's when I started having "tension" issues - 
I adjusted the hopping foot height - 
And all is well - ;))


Feel free to skip this part if you don't want/need to know the details -
Of how I actually figured it out - ;))
Long version
These past few weeks have been SO frustrating - 
I have tried everything I can think of to fix my tension issues - 
And my friends have offered several VERY good suggestions - 
But nothing seems to have solved the problem -  
And BOB and I have had some long conversations -
Trying to figure it out -
NOTE - for those who don't already know - 
BOB is my alter-ego - Bitchy Old Broad - 
So I'm basically talking to myself - 
Trying to "think it out" - LOL -  

Anyway - 
Yesterday the conversation went kinda like this -
Me - This isn't FUN anymore - 
BOB - Well it used to be - 
Me - Yeah - but not anymore - 
BOB - What changed? -
Me - I don't know - 
BOB - OK - so what was the last thing you quilted that WAS fun?
Me - Opal KaBloom - THAT was a FUN one - and the stitches looked pretty good -
BOB - Then what did you quilt after that one? -
Me - RED Squirrel
BOB - Did you change anything before you started quilting it? - 
Me - Yeah - I changed the foot - 
BOB - Maybe that's your problem - 
Me - Nah - it can't be that - I change the foot all the time on my domestic machine - from the 1/4" foot for piecing - to the zigzag foot when I baste on the zippers - and back to the 1/4" foot - and I have never had tension problems like this - 
BOB - Did you have tension problems on your RED Squirrel? -
Me - I don't think so - I used red thread on the top and the bobbin - so the stitches looked OK - but I think I remember the thread breaking a lot - 
BOB - Did you check the instruction manual for that? -
Me - Yes - I checked everything and thought the tension on the top was too tight -
BOB - OK - then what did you quilt? -
Me - Imperial Bargello
BOB - Did you have tension problems on Imperial Bargello?
Me - Yes - I used yellow thread on the top and black on the back - and the black is really loose and looks like it's just laying there - and I see yellow "pokies" - I don't like it at all -
BOB - OK - then what did you quilt? - 
Me - Happy Trails
BOB - And? - 
Me - And I had tension problems with that one, too - 
BOB - Then what did you quilt?- 
Me - Then I got the TOWA and began playing with that - 
BOB - And? - 
Me - I finally found the "sweet spot" for the bobbin setting - 185 -
BOB - But - 
Me - But - the bottom thread looks too loose - and when I tighten the top tension - the thread breaks - like I said - this isn't fun anymore - 
BOB - So start over - check the instructions again - maybe you missed something - begin with threading the top - where did you put the laminated sheet for how to thread it? -
Me - In the drawer - here - 
BOB - What does it say? - 
Me - On the top is the diagram for threading it - and I DO have it threaded correctly.  It also has a bottom section -
Troubleshooting - If your thread is breaking...
1 - Replace your needle if it is bent or burred.
Check - Wanda suggested using a smaller needle -
I replaced the needle - a brand new Size 16 -
Recommended by Grace Co. and Superior Thread for 50 wt thread -

2 - Check the tension - set the bottom tension first -
Check - LindaS recommended getting a TOWA bobbin tension gauge - 
So I got one - the recommended setting is 170-200 - for 50 wt thread -
And it's set at 185 - so that's good -
I tightened the top tension to pull the bobbin thread up a bit - 
3 - Check that your machine is threaded correctly - 
Check - 
No problem that I can see - 
4 - Check the bobbin case - 
Check - 
No problem that I can see - 
5 - Check the hopping foot height - 
WAIT!!! - WHAT?!?!?
That one is NOT listed in the instruction manual - 
It has -
  • Damaged needle
  • Incorrect thread tension
  • Machine properly threaded
  • Stitching in place too long
  • Bobbin inserted incorrectly
  • Debris on tension discs
  • Burred bobbin
  • Needle plate is rubbing needle
BOB - You DID change the foot didn't you?  Are you SURE you put the new one on correctly?  You have had tension issues ever since - so it makes sense to me.  You may change the foot on your domestic machine all of the time - but you forget that the longarm has a HOPPING foot - and it's NOT the same - what you do or don't do on your domestic machine may or may not work on the longarm. They're like apples and oranges - you're used to apples - and now you have an orange -
Me - If that's what it is - it's an easy fix - but I'm too tired to mess with it now - I'll check it out tomorrow - 
BOB - You KNOW that's it, don't you? - And you know what I'm going to say if it is - 
Me - Yeah - I know - 
BOB - I told you so!!! - LOL!!!
And BOB was right - 
I adjusted the hopping foot height - 
And all is well - ;))
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

A long day -

Today was supposed to be simple - 
Test the tension - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights

Baste down the batting - 

Baste down the top - 

Start quilting - 
Nope - not simple - not today - 
I tested the tension - 
And thought I had it - 2-1/2 on the top - and 185 in the bobbin - 

I compared it to the tension that I get on my domestic machine - 
And it looked OK - 
But the bottom looked a little loose - 

So I tightened the top a little more -
And set it at 3 on the top - and 185 in the bobbin - 

Then I proceeded to stitch the batting down across the top - 
But I forgot to set it at a larger stitch length - 
Which is probably a good thing - 
Because I may not have realized that I still had a problem - 
Anyway - 
I proceeded to break the thread repeatedly - 
Before I stitched across the length of the top - 
Apparently the top tension is too tight - 
Oh, crap!! - STILL?!?! - 
Then I pulled out the troubleshooting guide - 
To re-check all of the boxes for "thread breaking" - 

And - believe it or not - 
After all of this time - 

There is one thing that I have NOT checked before - 
But I will tomorrow -
I just ran out of patience today - 
And if that one thing IS the problem - 
It's an EASY fix - 
And I will kick myself - 
For not checking this guide sheet SOONER - ;))
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -  

Monday, April 17, 2023

Loaded -

Today I loaded the backing - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Pastel Brights
And cut the batting - 
I decided to use a LIGHT YELLOW cone thread - 
Since the MAIN diagonal on this one is YELLOW - 
And I think it will blend in pretty well - 

Tomorrow I'll baste the batting and top down - 
Wind a few bobbins - 
Test and set the bobbin case tension - 
Then play with the top tension to get it as "perfect" as I can - 
Because I didn't want to do all of that today - 

And because I haven't actually SEWN anything in a while - 

I made another set of strata - 

For my Upstairs/Downstairs - Marigold -

I put the rest of the sets - 
In a basket next to the sewing machine - 
All ready to go - 

I'll use these as "tweens" - 
The odd-ball stuff that is pretty mindless - 
That I can sew beTWEEN other things -
When I just want to SEW something -
And not have to think about it much - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Done -

I'm done testing - 
This is as good as it gets - 

The stitches on the top are decent looking - 

And I still see little pokies on the back - 

But the top tension is loose enough - 
That I can move the machine to the side without breaking the thread - 
And if I use the same color of thread on both the top and bobbin - 

The pokies won't show - 
Today I found some more videos - 
There is one by Grace Company - 
That recommends the "drop test" for setting your bobbin tension - 
Which - to me - is very subjective - with a lot of "wiggle" room - 
The TOWA gauge is much more "objective" - 
You find the number recommended for the thread you're using - 
And use THAT as your guide - it's accurate and consistent - 
Then you can fiddle with the top tension to tweak it -
But what number do I use for Maxilock Serger Thread? - 
I was guessing 170 to 200 - but I didn't know for sure - 
And the "drop test" gave me much lower numbers - 
None of which seemed to be working -
Then I found another video by Adam Sew Fun -
He calls it - "Why I Towa" - HERE -  

It was SUPER helpful - 

Because in the comments - 

One reader mentioned using Maxilock Serger Thread - 
And she asked him what setting he would recommend -

He replied 170 to 200 - 
Since he thought that it is comparable to Masterpiece by Superior Thread - 
THAT'S what I wanted to know!!! - 

So I set my bobbin case to the same range (about 180/190) - 

And fiddled with the top tension a little -
Set that at 2-1/2 -

Since I didn't want it too tight - 

The above photos show my compromise - 

And I'm calling it good - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 


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