Tuesday 31 July 2012

Quilt Along # 24 - Tree Roots

Last week's design in Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays was called Tree Roots. Similar to Bare Branches, however this time with curvy lines. I did a bit of a practice and then stitched it onto my practice quilt.

Here is what it looks like

Not sure what happened, but something was not right with my tension...I used the same thread and the same tension that I had used before (I write this down nowadays!), had the same material and still....when I started off, the top thread floated across the fabric. Could not believe it. Maybe my machine is just temperamental...had to change the tension to a much lower setting before the stitch looked alright. No idea why this occurred...had me scratching my head for a while though, looking whether I maybe mixed up the threads, double-checking what I had written down. Still wondering about that.

Back- bit easier to see the design

Anyway, the design did not give me too many problems other than the spacing. By the time I really got into it, I had started to stitch the branches much closer. I think that would probably even itself out over a bigger area, so I did not worry about it too much. Like this one a bit better than the Bare branches...just flowed a bit better for me and no puckers this time.

Apart from this I am working on writing up some patterns. Am thinking about putting them up on one of those web sites for sale. At the moment wondering about whether or not some of the fabric might create problems with the copyright and have been doing some reading around this...that just about does your head in. It's not as if anybody will make millions from selling a few patterns. I do offer my patterns to the magazines here from time to time and had a few of my quilts published. While I do enjoy this and have and got a real buzz out of it (they do some amazing photography of the quilts) once that pattern is with the magazine I cannot really use it again and in many ways that is a pity. I have come to think that there has to be a better way to share my work which could then also include putting up some patterns for free.

Will just have to push on with this and make it happen...have been procrastinating for some time now.

Until next time



  1. Well it looks good from here. Did you try changing your needle? Sometimes that helps. I look forward to seeing your patterns!

  2. Hm...yes, did change the needle, however now I wonder whether I maybe grabbed the wrong needle. It was pretty late. Will have to have another look.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Pat...all this practice is paying off. I feel much more confident with the designs.

  4. Hey Karin - When this kind of thing happens just stop and re-thread your entire machine. Pull off the spool, pull out the bobbin and completely re-wind the thread through the machine, this time being sure the thread is pulled through the tension discs and going through each step within the machine.

    I know this seems like ridiculous advice, but if the machine was working fine before, and it only now suddenly stopped having good tension, AND you haven't changed anything with the thread or needle, then the only possibility is the thread isn't running through the machine properly.

    I often get into a big hurry with threading my machines and will often miss a step or the tension discs (it's really easy to be on the wrong side of them with older bernina machines). Every time the solution is to slow down, re-thread, then start again properly.

    As for your patterns - I know what you mean about copyright with fabric and with losing a pattern once it's been published in a magazine. Consider two things: try using solids, or batik washes for your pattern projects. While it might seem a little boring at first, fabrics that read solid actually show up better and make for a clearer pattern because they're not so distracting. It's also ridiculous to copyright a solid color, but if you're worried about it, just stick with one fabric line like Robert Kauffman Kona Cotton and include a little blurb in the pattern "show piece was created with xyz fabric"

    Also consider adding a "pattern day" to your blog or run a series to both teach and share a pattern at the same time. This way you can still share a pattern, get experience teaching it, and also give it away for free all at the same time. It will also increase the number of people finding your blog, and if you link it with patterns you sell, it could create interest in those patterns as well.

    I hope that makes sense! Sorry for the book long comment!


    1. Thanks ...yep, definitely was the re-threading.

  5. Karin, I really like your practice piece. I don't see the tension problem and I love the way it turned out.

  6. Thank you Kati...no, it does not show in the photo but you can see it on the quilt. One of my pet hates...a thread that floats over the surface. Next day I sat down and the problem was gone...see Leah's comment...definitely had to do with the re-threading as I did re-thread to wind another bobbin and I was back to normal.


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