Monday, November 26, 2012

Practice, Practice

I am getting lots of practice in with the Hinterberg quilt frame. I've completed the quilting on a lap size quilt for my mother, a throw size quilt for one of my granddaughters, and a wall hanging that my mother pieced. the wall hanging was definitely a challenge. Three different quilt motifs -- stippling, a free-form half flower, and then my first attempt at doing feathers. I also had to do blanket stitches on my other machine for the appliques.
While the wall hanging is far from being perfect, overall I was satisfied with the finished product. Hey, its good practice. If I don't keep trying and learning, what's the point of having a quilting frame?
Granddaughter's Quilt (before the frame was stretched)

Mom's Wall Hanging

Closer  Look at Wall Hanging

Saturday, November 24, 2012

S-T-R-E-T-C-H

When I bought the used Hinterberg frame, it came with six foot poles. Sounds big enough, right? Nope. Even with doing a lap size quilt, I had issues with having enough space to quilt all the way across the top and still be able to access the drop in bobbin on my machine. To remedy this problem, I bought ten footers to replace the sixes. The poles are EMT thin wall conduit used for electrical installations. After a bit of prep work including increasing my leader cloth widths and re-leveling the frame, I now have plenty of space to load larger quilts.

I have also added 2 LED clamp on lights to give me even more light. What a difference they make! Especially with the grayer wintery days and shorter daylight hours.

I have new ball bearings for the carriage on order along with thrust bearings to make things easier when quilting. I will be able to turn the poles easier without having to loosen the knobs on the ends every time I advance the quilt. The next thing I want to do is to add Bower lifts. This will make raising the poles easier and faster than the current system on the frame.

Hinterberg Frame with 10' Poles
The quilt you see loaded on the frame is one my mother pieced for one of the grandchildren. I am doing the quilting of it. It has a cotton top, a layer of thin batting, and black fleece backing. This is a first for me and the overall quilting went better than I expected.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Snappers

One thing I quickly discovered when loading a quilt onto my quilting frame is the inordinate amount of pins required. Five, count 'em FIVE rows of pins an inch or so apart. I despised having to pin all those rows.

I looked at different systems and decided to go with the Red Snappers method. On your leader cloths, you sew a small casing and insert the hollow tubes. Then you load your quilt using the small clamps to start and putting the longer pieces across to hold the backing, batting and top.

Red Snapper Kit
Is this my last row of pins? Sewing the casing on the leader cloth.
Quilt Back loaded using the Red Snappers
I had to watch the video on the website to make sure I was doing things correctly. I couldn't figure out how to attach the top and batting to the back roller since the back Snapper already had the backing installed. Well duh! It was so easy to understand after watching the video. You use your machine and baste those layers across close to that back Snapper. Easy peasy!!

First Quilt Loaded with the Red Snappers

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Ornament Exchange

In an earlier post, I shared the mini quilt I received in swap on the Quilting Board. I also participated in a Christmas Ornament Exchange. I signed up for two swaps with my handmade ornaments going to Kentucky and Oregon. Below are what I sent along with a few fat quarters and candy made in Washington. I found a pattern that was for paper piecing the ornaments. I tried it, had troubles (it's a learned skill that I haven't learned), ended up making a template to cut out the twelve pieces per ornament, and sewing together with 1/4" seams. I stuffed them and included a little "I Love Quilting" charm to the bottom. I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Handmade Ornaments I Shipped Out

The ornaments I received in return came from Kentucky (yep, to the same lady I sent one), and the other came from New York. Sherry in Kentucky did the two embroidered ornaments on the rights and Dotty from New York made the clever denim tree.

Handmade Ornaments I Received

Participating in this exchange was so much fun. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Modern Mini Swap

After I started doing more and more quilting, I signed up on the Quilting Board, an online forum of quilters. Participating in swaps or exchanges is a great way to "meet" other quilters. The very first swap I signed up was called "Modern Mini #2". The rules were simple. Make an 18" x 24" quilt to exchange with someone else.

My swap partner was from Massachusetts and this is the mini she sent me.

Modern Mini #2 Exchange
I have been on an orange kick this year, so the colors fit me perfectly.

I could have sworn I took pictures of the quilt I made and sent but I'll be darn if I can find them. Oh well. :-)


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My New Toy!

Back in mid-September, I came across a listing on craigslist that peaked my interest. It was for a Hinterberg quilt frame and Janome 6500 sewing machine combo for sale. While not a longarm system, it is a good start for a home quilter. So I bought it!

I signed up for two Yahoo user groups - one for the Hinterberg frame and another for the Janome. I posted on the Janome group asking a few questions about speed controllers. A wonderful lady from Wisconsin posted that she had a set of handles and mounting frame for the machine specifically matched to the Hinty frame. She had upgraded to another machine and these were in her attic. If I was interested in purchasing them, she would sell them to me. So I bought them!

Here is my new frame set up in my living room. It currently has 6' poles on it but I can expand the frame up to 10 footers if I buy new poles and ends. I am still learning how to use it and I have a test quilt loaded on the frame. I was struggling trying to free motion quilt on my other machine and I know with lots of practice I will be able to quilt my own tops on my new system.

Hinterberg Original Frame with Janome 6500 Sewing Machine

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I've been busy

Since I last posted, I have been busy sewing especially once my job ended at the end of August. So I have lots to update over the next few days.

Here is a top I am piecing for a Christmas present. It will be throw size when complete.

Batik Quilt In Process