Thursday 30 April 2020

Thread Play On The Capri

Have been quietly playing with my new machine the Handiquilter Capri 18. Very happy with how she is performing, so the other day I spent the entire day trialing different thread combinations.  I did struggle with the colourful and shiny Polyester threads on my Sweet 16 and wanted to see how I go on this machine. I am glad that I have had those 2 years with the Sweet 16 before I got this machine...I am approaching this obviously much calmer and with a lot more knowledge than when I first started with the Sweet 16.

Trialed Fantastico from Superior threads. Initially used Bottom Line in the bobbin (self wound) and set the Towa value to about 180 (using a table that is provided by Superior threads). That was ok but I had a fair amount of pokies which just did not want to budge (I was using Soft and Bright Polyester batting which was probably not helping). Also, variegated thread can be a bit tricky in general. Changed over to Aurifil 50/2 thread in the bobbin. Set the bobbin tension to about 230...that is the amount of bobbin tension that I seem to like. I do set my bobbin using the 'standing the bobbin up in your hand' method but I do also check with the Towa what value it is. I find that very handy as it gives me a starting point for the bobbin tension. Stitching along was fine, but I still had some pokies on the back.
Switched to the orange variegated King Tut, also with Aurifil 50/2 thread in the bobbin. First time I ever tried this thread for freemotionquilting. Liked it better than the shiny Polyester thread for some reason. Reduced the bobbin tension to see whether I could get rid of those pokies on the back and finally at a Towa value of about 190 the pokies disappeared largely

Tried the Fantastico thread also with reduced Aurifil bobbin tension...heaps better and hardly any pokies.

Also did a fair amount of mucking around with the stitch I am not attending our local group I cannot really ask anybody on how to use this properly, so I just played with different speed settings and literally went by what was feeling ok, i.e. movement was even and not jerky and the machine was literally just cruising along with me. Found that for an overall design like this meander I needed to set the Cruise speed fairly high to get that nice rhythm going. Worked really well and looks great.
Also did some more research on the Towa gadget in general and thread weights etc. Very productive day...I think I am beginning to understand this much better.


Tuesday 28 April 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work #9

Another week has passed by...hope you are keeping busy and healthy. I have been playing on the new machine, finished off my HQ Group challenge project and am now onto the next thing.

I have made this little quilt in early January. It is my own pattern and you can grab it under above tab 'Free Patterns'. I have made this quilt several times, but each time given it away, so felt the need to do it again, particularly as I had that gorgeous hedgehog fabric. Looks totally different in different colours.

It's bold and colourful and I am still undecided how to quilt it. A while back I had seen Debbie Brown demonstrate a cool pattern at the Handiquilter Cyber Quilt Show to stitch with the Clamshell ruler which she called Spiral Mini. I thought that this would look great as an overall pattern. I stitched it a couple of times, but when looking at my quilt got hopelessly confused.

Here is the Clamshell Ruler...really like this one...easy to hold and good fun!

So, I drew the pattern on some fabric and tried to stitch this out to work out the alignment of the ruler.

Well, epic very confused when I tried to offset the spirals. I tried to follow the seams or so I thought...(sorry, photos are a bit dark, it is a very grey and rainy day over here)
Just could not work out the alignment and how far to go down for the next spiral, even offsetting them caused my brain to revolt.

So, out came the Ikea paper...clearly I did not understand how this pattern worked in terms of alignment. I again drew out my pattern first and equipped with one of those little stitching disks, drew out the spirals with the ruler.
Happy to say that this worked, I was able to understand the pattern, i.e. it shifts over about half an inch as you go along which actually makes sense once you are drawing it out and thinking about it. Also managed to figure out how far to go down to have about 1in space in between and offsetting them in an orderly way. Somehow could not get my head around this on the fabric in terms of which pretend seam to use to align the ruler exactly.
 Next issue stitching is going to fall exactly on the seam lines as I go down in the pattern. While this looks ok on paper this is not ideal on the quilt. I am thinking of using the echo feet to make the spiral bigger, maybe just the 3/8in echo foot, that should be enough to get it off the seams. If I am not mistaken, that should make the spiral 1/2in bigger and shift everything down. Hmm...what does this mean for my alignment lines? Will have to have another trial with the echo foot on to see how that works. Or, reduce the space in between to just half an inch?
If all fails this quilt will just get an allover meander over it, because I am already thinking about the next project...the Heartfelt Wholecloth Quilt from the Ruler of the Month Club 5!

Time to link up...what have you been working on?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Tuesday 21 April 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work #8

Still required to stay home for the most part but now I have got the new machine I am very busy trying to catch up on all the projects that got left behind.

Currently working on a wall hanging that our local Handiquilter group was working on in the beginning of February. Some have already finished and I am just starting. It is an applique project, designed by Heather Hopkins. Lovely project but had a few challenges for someone who does not do a lot of applique. I am up to the ruler work, laying down the framework.
Lots to do still...

What have you been up to?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Monday 20 April 2020

The Handiquilter Capri

Finally arrived and set up in her spot (actually had to clean up before we even could set's been so long that the whole area was incredibly messy)
Look at this space! I did order both extensions this time, as last time I only had one for a while, however purchased the second one for the Sweet 16 last year. It is so much easier with two extensions. The machine is longer by 2in, hence, the table is bigger and they also added additional width to the extensions, making this very comfortable indeed. The table is 36in x 32in and the extensions are another 18in wide each. It's huge! The new table is very slick, so you do not need an overlay. Bit worried about scratches though, particularly with the rulers if you were to lay them down with the Handigrip side on the table. So I stuck my Supreme Slider to the table on the left because that is where my rulers usually end up. While I am used to always flipping them around when I put them down, I thought, better safe than sorry.

Apart from being bigger, these are the exciting new features
- stitch regulation (optical sensors inside the table insert); both Cruise and Precision are available
- light in the bobbin area, very handy indeed (you can also access the bobbin area from the top by sliding the insert out slightly)
- improved lighting on the top, in fact, it is super bright
- stitching speed increased to 2200 stitches per minute (not so relevant for me as I still stitch very slowly)
- new table set can lift the machine up to standing height
- USB port for updates and additional USB port on the other side that could be used to connect the new laser light for example.
- more basting options (very excited about this...I love the basting function in general)

Before I got into stitching I covered my stitch plate...maybe a bit funny, but I was really used to the overlay of the Sweet 16 and the solid feel around the needle plate area. All of a sudden with this machine I could feel the cutout of the insert table. So, I had an old and crusty Supreme Slider and cut out some holes for the sensors and placed this over the needle plate area. Not as solid as the overlay but visually it does the trick for me and the quilt does not rub against the sides of the cut out of the table.
The first thing I noticed with this machine was that it is much quieter in Manual mode than my Sweet 16 was.  As I am used to the machine by now, Manual was just like it was before...just lovely, particularly as I had not had a machine for a while. I then switched over to Regulated...what a hoot! Definitely louder! At first I thought there was something wrong. I switched it onto Cruise first, where the needle walks at a pre-determined speed when you depress the foot pedal. Somehow my brain took a minute to realise that I actually have to move the fabric. It was the weirdest feeling. It was predictably very jerky and uncomfortable, as if I was working against the machine. Precision mode was even press the foot control down and nothing happens until you move the fabric. Again I felt that there was a fair bit of resistance for the machine to get going. The machine has a start/stop button, so I used that which helped a lot as I could just concentrate for a moment on moving the fabric with my hands and get a feel for the speed. This is going to take a moment to get used to.
The next day then I sat down and did some concentrated exploration of the Regulated mode.
I used Cruise for some of the ruler work and must say...I love this! My stitching looks so much better with that. Tried all sorts of rulers and found that I was beginning to get very comfortable with that mode. Precision will take a bit longer, I reckon, but has its place in ruler work as you would not have the 'jogging' stitches in between, but for now I could only use that for straight lines from point to point. I also did some feathers in Cruise...not perfect, but heaps better than the day before. Tried other smaller designs in Cruise, but found this difficult at this stage, as I don't seem to have found my rhythm with that as yet. Not bothered though, as it will come with more practice. Definitely a lot of fun and the stitch regulation certainly delivers.

One happy quilter over here !


Tuesday 14 April 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work #7

Just when I thought that I had to wait several months for the new machine, she arrived...the Handiquilter Capri machine!

Now, this was very exciting and I have not done a lot, other than playing and more playing. Had several rulers that were new to the collection and also a new foot for the machine that I had not yet tried. The machine has got stitch regulation, something I have never really tried before and yes, it is very different. Initially, this was completely weird and very unfamiliar, however after the first day, I did get a bit of a sense on how this works. Yesterday then, I continued on the table runner...had several squares to complete and fill, doing them sometimes with and sometimes without stitch regulation. Basically, gave the machine a bit of a workout to see what she can do.
Now sometimes that worked really well and other times it got a bit sloppy, however was really happy to be doing the ribbon candy again on this machine. Somehow I am more used to be doing it on the bigger machine.

Then came the now it was evening...was ready to give the stitch regulator a 'real' try using a very basic design (used Cindy Needham's Border stencils for this to pre-mark the border), just lines up and down, forming a nice diamond pattern.
This was very easy to do, using a small straight ruler, and the stitch regulator worked extremely well. I hardly had any build up in the points (which I usually get) and the stitches were consistent right to the point.
Was extremely impressed with this, even more so, as I had been lazy again and used a light thread in the bobbin...hardly any pokies! Echoed once more around this design to finish it off...I think this is it for this orphan piece, maybe one day I could fill the area around the diamonds, but not now...I have got several quilt tops that need doing.

What have you been working on?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Tuesday 7 April 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work Linky Party #6

Well, here we are again...I have decided to run the linky every week as it is easier to remember both for participants as well as myself!

Last week we had Terry from On Going Projects participate with some very intense quilting on her Tea Room Quilt.

This really inspired me! I don't know about you, but I have been slightly overwhelmed with what's going on in the world at the moment and surfing the internet has also become somewhat stressful. There is so much going on in the cyber space at the moment...QALs, videos, more posts to look at and explore...I have had problems disengaging and started to spent an enormous amount of time just flicking around the pages or watching videos, becoming completely unproductive.
On top of that I am in whinge mode about not having my Handiquilter machine etc, etc...

So, Terri's post was just so good. I thought...stop the whinging and time wasting and get going back again on your DSM! It's been a while...I learned to ruler quilt on the Sweet 16, so this was going to be interesting. I had made a table runner out of orphan blocks from a Disappearing Four Patch quilt I made some years ago...perfect project to practice some ruler quilting on.
So, out came the curves of which I have got many
HQ 2-1/4 Slice and Arc Ruler
Lisa Calle's ProEcho Rulers
HQ Curved Crosshatch Ruler
Of all those, I prefer the Pro Echo Rulers. For some reason they work better for me than any of the other arc rulers. While I do use the others, I more often than not turn back to the Pro Echo rulers. Something about the lines on them seems to make it easier for me to align, however this might just be me.

I decided to start with some echoed arcs in the coloured prints, but then also did arcs in the white squares...just needed to have that symmetry. I used the Pro Echo 6 and the little Pro Echo 3 (which is also great for travelling in the ditch on the straight edge).
I filled the center part with Ribbon Candy with my Ruler foot on which was a bit more challenging, but I could not be stuffed changing the foot over every single time, so that is going to have some hiccups in there, but I am going for the texture in that section, so it will not matter too much. Also filled the white arced section with some swirls just for a bit of variety.
All a bit busy, but that is what I felt like and it will keep me busy for a while.

What about you...what are you working on?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Popular Posts