Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cleaning my machine and mystery quilt

At new years I cleaned my long arm, I had been having some tension issues and figured it might need a good cleaning regardless, so I got out rubbing alcohol, paper towels and canned air! see how dirty the towel got from just rubbing down the rails in the back!
I also cleaned the grooves on the rail of the machine carriage.
I also took apart the top tension knob assembly and cleaned it and put it back together
Then I did a TEST, I tried different designs with and without the SLR (Stitch length regulator) and also tried sharp turns, MY speed, stop and go etc. and marked with a marker.
I used a different top and bottom thread and had it contrast the top and backing fabrics, then on the back I circles the “problems” which weren’t a lot, but still…. the problem is when I come to a complete STOP with the SLR on and then start up again, the SLR can’t keep up and will pull some of the top thread down a bit, it’s not SUPER bad, I do think the cleaning helped, but I’ll still play around with it.
There’s so many different things that can go wrong with long arm quilting:
top thread tension, bobbin tension, bobbin case, speed of stitching, how it’s threaded, the thread, the bobbin thread, the needle, how tight or loose it’s on the frame, the fabrics, the batting, the rear bar, the height of the quilt to the bed of the machine, the SLR settings and I’m sure there’s more..

Meanwhile I’ve done some more mystery blocks, now I’m doing 1/4 of the blocks and one block only needed 4, which would mean 1 for me, but that seems silly, so I was sure I’d make 3 more once the final was revealed.
Since the mystery was revealed I finished the blocks, I decided to do a 3 x 3 quilt, so needed 9 blocks, since the final was 25 blocks and I did a 1/4 of the blocks I needed to cut and sew quite a bit more, but it wasn’t too bad.
Here is the finished top!
Once I got going and I calculated the borders, the math wouldn’t fit, so I decided to just disregard the border blocks and do a simple outer block.
Now my quilt is kind of matchy matchy, but I still like it, the contrast IS there but subtle. The quilt finished at 57 1/2” and I’ll do the dark blue fabric as the binding.
I actually like to look at the quilt and squint my eyes then I see the swirl.
Here’s a close up of the quilt
Now I’ve read mixed reviews of this mystery quilt, I do like it, it’s DIFFERENT, but I’m glad I changed my colors.


Calicojoan said...

Love your color choices. I went with the recommended. Last year I made some changes that should not have been made! Live and learn. I hope to have my top finished piecing today, just a few borders to add.

tubakk said...

This one was one of the best I've seen. Great colours. An interesting mystery, but noe the easiest I've done.

Melody said...

Love the colours you chose.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Love your GI, the blues are wonderful.

Vireya said...

Love your colours - they are fresh and spring-like!

Quilter Kathy said...

I love your version of the mystery! Your colour choices are perfect!

Michele said...

Your colors are very ocean inspiring and I like them too.

Christine S said...

Yours was my favorite! I wanted to do this so bad but I'm so bad with color choice I didn't. Maybe seeing the picture of your single block I could do it now. Looking at the whole quilt on others pictures it seemed so overwhelming.