Tuesday 19 February 2019

1/4in Piano Keys

I am having some fun with my Practice Ruler Quilt. After my recent exercise with the microstippling (see post HERE), I decided to put 1/4in piano keys in the border, using the 1/4in HQ Line Grid ruler.
I like the Line Grid rulers (also have the 1/2in one) as they are easy to hold and align with ease. Not sure whether you can see it, but for this exercise I took the Handigrips off at the bottom as they stick to the wadding and that becomes very distracting when sliding along. I have put the Handigrip pieces to the side and will simply re-attach them when I am finished with this. 
I am still using white in the bobbin and dark maroon thread on the top and as I had said in my earlier post I knew that I had the tension right as it stitched out nicely without pokies.
Looks absolutely stunning. You probably wonder why am I doing this...I do stitch a lot of wholecloth quilts and in the planning for a wholecloth the stitching out of these piano keys requires a few considerations. I have stitched out my border design in a dusty pink colour, so I cannot travel along the pink line with the dark thread. In order to do this neatly I had to stitch the piano keys the way longarmers do, i.e. go up and then down again, travel along the bottom and then up and down again. So I started doing that...problem is that it does look somewhat untidy as you are not likely to hit the same hole every time when returning.
You can see in the picture above, that when it came to the corner I had nice even stitches as they were only single lines as I turned the corner. Started concentrating a bit on this and noticed that I stopped every time I came to the top, then started again to go down. Now, I have got the Big Foot pedal which builds up speed to the level of speed that you have set on your machine, so I was very unlikely to match that rhythm and as I found out, most of time I did not. I then decided to let go off the stopping and did the lines with consistent speed up and down without stopping. That was heaps better but as you can see in the above picture, a bit hit and miss. I had a lot of fun doing this, I must say...also practiced going back on the line in the same hole. Yep, could do that carefully and the lines would look more tidy overall, but for this quilt I am not going to worry about it. However, for a wholecloth quilt that possibly goes into a show, I would have to consider my choice of thread and the way I am stitching these lines very carefully. In addition, it would take a huge amount of time to carefully go back on every line trying for that tidy appearance. I think in designing I would prefer to use the same colour so that you can have single stitched lines where you travel on your previous stitching. That, I think would look better.
Really enjoying this quilt, just thinking through some issues and trying different ways of tackling things. I am doing a wholecloth next, so already am starting to think through some design choices. The machine has been very cooperative and given me no trouble whatsoever. I feel we have overcome our initial adjustment issues and now it's a matter of doing a bit more experimenting with the speed to find the levels that I am comfortable with for different design. Very happy!


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