The Best Laid Plans


Where to start?

I need to back up a bit to the long weekend…. I had big plans to get the machine quilting done on my Sundown quilt.  I decided to use my machine as it was and not set up my free motion quilting setup ( more on that in a minute)  my thinking that the quilt was small enough that i could manage it on the raised bed of my machine… nope!! did not work well at all, the stitches would become smaller as the quilt became hard to move.

got a few of the vertical lines done and when i did a horizontal line i would get a pucker when i got to the vertical line. I consulted Harriets book, Heirloom Machine stitching and reread the chapter on straight line/grid quilting. I reduced the  pressure on my presser foot and that helped and i also realized i need to stabilize it better by sewing a few lines evenly spaced both vertical and horizontal before really getting going on the grid quilting i am doing. Basically it is a line of stitching 1/4 ” from each seam line both vertical and horizontal.

Having sorted that out the real problem was my sewing space or lack thereof.  I have used a system of styrofoam panels cut to fit around my machine with a piece of heavy clear vinyl on top. used a little table on my left, also built up to the same height.  Worked quite well once set up , but was somewhat time consuming to setup and take down. the problem i was having was i plan to do the borders and then the quilting and i thought i would be wasting a lot of time.

so as it was still only about 8:00 am on good friday i grabbed Heirloom Machine quilting and dh and i went out for breakfast. I showed him the kind of setup i needed and we talked about how it could be done.  My thought was to move my sewing room to the current guest room, which is probably twice as big and then we could build a wall on the current room and have a guest room, but we would also have to re configure our computer room upstairs for the grandkids.

the other option was to expand the room i am currently in, it has a closet with a door at the end of the room with built in fairly deep storage shelves.  when we got home we did some measuring and if we tore down the wall of the closet we could leave the shelves up and still get about 2 1/2 to 3 feet more space. perfect!!!

so we tore down the wall that day, ripped up the old ratty indoor outdoor carpet and put in some of those foam puzzle shapes on the floor. they are really good for standing on and better for finding pins too.  We also decided to build a sewing table that would be level with the bed of my machine that would be good for piecing and quilting.

Off to Home Depot we go looking for a piece of melamine that we could cut to the size we wanted etc etc. found one, the two of us couldnt lift it LOL

and we would also need to get a special blade for the saw.  Couldn’t decide  what to do so we went for a coffee to figure it out and as we went by the paint department i said they make Melamine paint!!  so we got a piece of 3/4″ sanded plywood, some melamine paint , some brackets to hold the shelf the machine sits on.  We got them to cut it there to 4 by 5 feet. easier for two old folks to manage into the basement !

we made a template for the machine and dh did a practice cutout before tackling the cutout on the tabletop. all went well!  while he did that i sorted and organized shelves and containers and moved them to their new place. we also cleaned out some stuff, some to the dump and some to thrift stores.

I still havn’t painted the table but i have tried it out with the piece of vinyl on it and it works great!!!  we were away this past weekend so didnt’ get it finished.

my machine has an oddity on the machine bed where  the needle is, that area is slightly higher that the very front part of the machine bed. It didn’t create any issues when i tried it out but i am thinking that it might when doing free motion. I think our solution is to put the machine on a slightly thinner shelf and have a small piece of something (yet to be determined) cut to fit that small area.   I picked up a slider thing this past weekend and with that over top it should be fine.

I still have a bit of organizing to do but havnt quite decided where some things should go. so i may leave some of that till i am using the setup and see where things make the most sense.

Dont have any pics yet but will try and get some this week. then its back to quilting!!!

thanks for dropping in!


2 responses »

  1. One thing leads to another! lol. You definitely need to post some pictures of your new and improved room! I also have to work within the confines of my 10.5’x10.5′ room and it gets tight when considering how to get tables in there that would give me more quilting space. (sigh) But, progress is progress, even if it wasn’t actual quilting time.

    My machine bed is also not flat, it slopes down in the front for the accessory case. I haven’t had trouble with that yet… but I haven’t tried to quilt anything large. It didn’t pose a problem piecing though.

    Thanks for dropping in on my grid problem post. I ended up getting all of them gridded, except for the 2 that were not on a 45, 30 or 60 degree angles. I cannot figure out how to graph those two. So, I figured they weren’t worth the effort because I would probably never use them being that difficult. I’m really happy with the practice time. I’ve spent alot of time on it, but it’s all part of the process, right?

  2. Yes one thing usually does lead to another!! LOL but it is much better, with my original fmq setup my cutting table was virtually unusable. and i did forget to mention that i had my machine on a long kitchen countertop , so it wasnt very deep either, another problem. I hope to get downstairs tonight and get some more done on my quilt!
    Glad things are going well with your practice gridding. I thought about doing them all at once but decided I would do a practice if i ever wanted to do one, especially an angle. My oldest son who has his Masters Degree in math may be working in town here on a 6 month contract, I can pick his brain for us ( if he gets the contract of course ) 🙂
    I wonder where machine designers get their ideas, my machine is supposed to be for “quilting” its in the brochure, abbreviated in the name QDC but it doesn’t have a flat bed on it ? I guess they don’t actually think things all the way through about how the machine may be used. Oh well I will figure it out, and as you say it may not be an issue at all.
    I better go get dressed for work! TTYL

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