Sunday, 22 September 2019

Second Finish of The 2019 Finish Along Third Quarter

My Fancy Fox Quilt is finished. 
This is the second item from my goal list for the 2019 Finish Along. You can find the information about the 2019 Finish-A- Long on  Leanne's blog She Can Quilt. There you will find more detail on how this link up works and also find the list of bloggers who are hosting this great event. The link up for this quarter opens on 1st October.

I did the Baby Quilt version of Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox Quilt (had just enough grey fabric for that size). The quilt measures 34 x 46in

I used my favourite fabric for this...the Dryad fabric range by Shannon Brinkley for Paintbrush Studio.

For the background I chose some cool woodgrain fabric
As explained in previous posts I used the backing fabric to follow the woodgrain pattern as an overall design and quilted this back to front, so to speak. Love how this turned out! For the thread I used a brownish-grey SoFine thread from Superior.

So cute! I think I am going through a bit of an Elizabeth Hartman phase...already eyeing out her Hedgehog pattern and definitely will do another fox quilt, this time with a brownish background and slightly bigger.


Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Tension Play

Today I allowed myself some time to just play!

It has been 2 years since I acquired the Sweet 16. After many trials and tribulations in the first few months, I have felt quite  comfortable with it over the last year. I did stick with my one thread rule for a while though. However, now slowly but surely, I am branching out in trying different threads and different thread combinations.

Today I trialed Superior Fantastico (wt 40/3)...I have got a beautifully variegated cone that was part of the box full of thread that Superior had thrown in when I purchased the machine. Still very impressed with their generosity.  Initially I left my So Fine bobbin thread (wt 50) in place to use up the thread that was left over from the Fox Quilt. When that was gone (worked fine), I took my bobbin out and adjusted it for a DecoBob Prefilled bobbin (80wt). Was curious on how that would go...

That worked really well, no problem at all. Spent a bit of time on concentrating on the speed and consistency and noticed that I need to slow down a bit. Have gotten into the habit of stitching faster than what I can control. The stitch quality was good...had a few little pokies here and there as I was mucking around with different tension settings, but really nothing to worry about. Really like that thread and will need to make a quilt to go with that (that could be good for the next Fox Quilt actually).

Then went back to Aurifil thread Mako 40/2, this time though stitching with the DecoBob bobbin thread...good combination! Actually I like the DecoBobs as they are wound so evenly...much better for your tension!

Continued to play and now went back to Aurifil 50/2 in the bobbin. Those are the bobbins that I wind myself...hardly any difference other than that I noticed fluctuations in the bobbin thread. On closer inspection I could actually feel that when I unwound the thread off the bobbin. Probably should pay a bit more attention to my bobbin winding...I suspect that I need to slow down the winding a bit to avoid the thread swinging around like it does at times. Winding it slower would probably also be better to avoid any stretching of the thread. Will adjust this next time I wind a bobbin.

Productive play!


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

So close...

Almost finished the quilting on my Fancy Fox quilt. I decided in the end to do a woodgrain design.
Bit of an adventure as I am quilting from the backing to the front as the backing has a woodgrain design on it.
The idea is good and its working well, however I did have some issues with the thread. I am trialing So Fine from Superior 50/3. So I set my tension for the bobbin and adjusted the top but as I went along the thread started shredding. I had a needle size 16 and did not really want to go higher so I persevered for a while, however the shredding continued to happen. In the end I switched over to a needle size 18 and the problem disappeared altogether. I am not sure it actually has to do with the thread...could actually be the quality of the grey background fabric. In stitching front to back and looking at the stitches they did not look that great in parts on the grey but were perfectly fine on the other fabric.
Initially I thought that it had to do with me or the machine tension but after a while I started to see that it was perfectly fine in the coloured areas...must be the quality of that fabric, I reckon. The above photo is taken directly after the quilting...the stitch will settle a bit and look a bit more normal after  a while. How strange is this!
Anyway, I am quite happy with how this is turning out (minus the thread issue). The woodgrain pattern is lovely and I am getting the hang of it and learning how to do it properly thanks to the backing fabric.


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Fancy Fox Quilt Top Done!

Made a concentrated effort to finish off the Fancy Fox quilt top. Don't know about you but it always takes me a moment to really get familiar with a pattern, so the first few blocks are always a bit out in measurement and I usually still try to work out which way I am going to press the seams. After having done a few I then could go over to chain piece elements together.

On the weekend I did the remaining 9 blocks chain piecing the segments in one hit. These last 9 blocks were much better in accuracy than the first few, so I felt that I was really getting the hang of things.
All the eyes done! I thought I was on such a roll until I noticed this...
I was trying to keep the direction of the fabric the same, but I am so spatially challenged that I got the eye section the wrong way around. Initially I was going to leave this, but then I thought that I was not going to be able to overlook this, so had to slow down and re-do a few eye sections.

Anyway, it got done and yesterday I completed the sashings and top border
So cute! This is the baby quilt size of 34 x 46in. In retrospect I wished that I had made this larger but I just had enough grey background fabric and for the white I used every available piece that I had down to the very last scrap. I think that I will do another one with a brownish background, maybe adding a row in width and length.

Learnings: don't be too over-zealous with cutting the blocks to size...I did on quite a few occasions and forgot that I was cutting into the seam allowance, hence some of the points were no longer points! the fun begins with the quilting. Would like to do a woodgrain design but am really not that good at it...may need to practice for a little while to see whether I can let loose on the quilt. Alternatively, a nice allover design...still pondering.


Thursday, 29 August 2019

Fancy Fox Quilt: Half Way Through

Thankfully I am a bit busy lately, otherwise you would have had a blog post for every single new fox. I am so enjoying working with the Dryad fabric range from Shannon Brinkley. Absolutely love that fabric.

This is how far I have progressed over the last week...half way through!
I think I am hooked and will definitely be making another one of these. Took me a moment to get familiar with the pattern. The key seems to be in the organisation of your pieces. This is one of Elizabeth Hartman's easier patterns, however I found myself doing the first few one by one as I just could not get my head around all those different pieces, some of them very small. After that though it got easier and I started to work out an order for the construction and then was able to chain piece sections at a time. I am now half way through and have just cut out the remaining 9 foxes, all pieces neatly stacked in piles in the order that I am going to sew them, so it should go much faster now. Really enjoying this pattern and already have looked at some of her other ones, like 'Hazel Hedgehog'...bit of an obsession starting here, I think (I do also have her Bear pattern but that has lots more pieces and appears a bit intimidating). We'll see ...

Linking up to Midweek Makers over at Quilt Fabrication


Sunday, 25 August 2019

Follow Up on Echo Feet

Just a quick note to follow up on my earlier post about the echo feet for the Handiquilter Sweet 16. Long story short and as explained in that post, I had a ‘dud’ echo feet set. I did get the whole lot exchanged and here you can see what a difference the new set makes:

My original 3/8in echo foot
New 1/2in echo foot
As you can see in the picture on the left, my original echo foot was in the way of the needle bar. Upon closer inspection with the woman at the local HQ group we discovered that the neck of the foot was uneven (see earlier post). Initially we only exchanged the 3/8in echo foot but when I got home and looked at my other echo feet they were all the same.
The other day then I got the whole lot exchanged...on the right you can see the difference in how the new echo feet are sitting (I took a picture of the red, 1/2in foot only, but the new ones are all the same). The needle is centred and they all have a little bit of space between the needle bar and the foot. Now that is what I call excellent customer service! Very happy that I followed this up. It was only when I needed it for an entire quilt where accuracy was an issue that I actually noticed this.


Sunday, 18 August 2019

Fancy Fox Details

Seams pressed to the sides
Seams pressed open
I have been doing more testing of the fox 🦊 quilt block. I got somewhat confused with the pressing of the seams and the pattern only talks about pressing of the seams in the first segment. In the picture on the left I pressed the seams to the sides as I always do when constructing quilt blocks. That worked really well but made the middle part somewhat more bulky and protruding. I then started to read up on how others where doing the blocks and found that most people pressed the seams open. This is not something I ever do...

Anyway, knowing that I will do an allover quilting design over the quilt, I thought...why not, let’s give that a go. While I was at it I also changed the eye colour as I was not happy with the quality of the brown fabric. So, the new fox on the right has black eyes and all the seams are pressed open. It does make a difference in the have a more tidy flat block, however it also added in width and length. My Pfaff machine does a very scant seam allowance and is usually spot on, but pressing the seams open, I was then out by several millimeters and the putting together of the segments became a bit of an issue. I then changed my thread from Aurifil 50/2 to Guterman 50/3 and that got me back on track. Also followed some advice on one of the blogs I read to measure each segment as I went along to keep the block straight and accurate.

The other thing I had paid no attention to was the direction of the fabric in the ears and also the snout (as you can see in the fox on the left). Given that some of my fabric is directional I paid some attention to it in the fox on the right. Looks heaps better, however requires some additional cutting, so one strip did not give me all of the fox. As I am planning to do another fox quilt, that does not matter so much, as I will be able to use the additional strip cut for the next quilt.

So now I am ready to get going on this...


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