Thursday, 3 April 2014

Me or the Machine?

I sat down to do some straight line quilting last night and, to be honest, I had been dreading it.  You would think that straight lines would be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy ... but not for me.

My last attempt for a lap sized quilt had me in tears. I did a few lines, unpicked it, tried again, unpicked it, tried again, then threw it on the floor and stomped away from the sewing machine like a two year throwing a (spectacular) tantrum.

Patty over, I hit Google, I hit Blogs, I hit Youtube and I squeezed every last drop of advice from my Monday night quilting group to find out all the tricks of the straight-line quilting trade.

I was basting right
I was using the same weight/value 100% cotton for both the top and bottom of the quilt sandwich
I was using a walking foot on my machine
I was supporting the quilt so the machine wasn't having to pull the quilt
I was using good quality thread
I'd had a glass of wine 

But still I got results like this ...

Front quilting horror
Back quilting horror
Can you see why I cried?  Such lovely Aneela Hoey fabric and it was being butchered.

Then came my new machine.  Bought primarily because I wanted to learn FMQ.  I've been having fun doing that, but even better, I've discovered that I can straight-line quilt on this baby.  It's quick, it's flat and it's all kinds of magnificent!

I'm aware of the old saying the a good tradesman never blames his/her tools ... but just look at the difference!  

I'm still doing everything the same.  Basting-wise, fabric-wise, thread-wise, wine-wise.

So whilst I'd like to take all the credit, I really do think it's the machine.

I think a new sewing machine cover is in order - he deserves a special treat :)


Linking up with:

I Quilt over at Pretty Bobbins


  1. Oh no! I would have cried too. Did you spray baste? I had an issue like that when I was trying spray basting so I've had to go back to pin basting.

    But I agree that sometimes it really is the machine! I bought a new machine last year because I found the one I was using was too limiting in what I could do and I feel like my quilting is a lot better now with a better machine.

  2. Wow, what a difference. Looks great and I love that backing fabric you've got in the photo!

  3. Thanks for linking up! I've featured you here: Love your work Serena, super cute stuff!! Thanks again xx

  4. Wow, that is so different!! I think we'll be seeing lots of stylish straight line quilting by Serena and her super sewing machine!!

  5. Oh you poor dear! That would have had me tearing my hair out. So glad you got a new machine & now beautiful stitches! And good on you to have a glass of wine too. :-) Sometimes it truly is the machine!

  6. So happy you have what you need now machinewise! This kind of thing can be so frustrating. What a difference!

  7. I can see why you cried! That would have been very frustrating. Your new machine looks like it works much better.

  8. We are all running out to buy new machines, now! ;)

  9. What machine were you using before and after?

    1. My old machine is a Brother, you can read about it here and my new machine is a Janome - you can read about that here I still use my old machine for some piecing and taking along to sewing outings as it has an accurate 1/4" stitch setting and is very light and portable ... I'll leave all the in-house sewing and quilting to my new Janome :)

  10. Glad you got that sorted!!! Clearly it was the machine and not you! :)

  11. Big difference - this definitely justifies the new machine. xx

  12. wonderful! it must be such a relief, and I'm really glad for you that you persisted and didn't just give it up as too hard. :)



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