Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Practice Sample from "Fast And Free .5"

By the way,  I Have A Notion has these DVDs on sale.  Kelly is going to make me go broke..LOL.

I put in "Fast And Free .5" and started the lesson.  Feeling quite smug, I thought this should be easy.  Get your tension right and then do the first lesson.  After all, I've been doing this for 5 years.  It can't be that hard.  In about an hour I should have the first chapter done.

I got out one of my quilt sandwiches, pulled on those dreaded PITA gloves and started working with my tension.  I only put on these gloves as Patsy said they helped and figured what the heck.  She lies.  It may work for her, but I feel constricted.  I can't feel anything and they make my hands feel creepy and sticky.

I was WRONG about this being easy.  I start messing with my tension using two colored threads so I could prove it could be done.  10 minutes later and I can't even get that to work.  It's the top tension since the blue keeps going to the other side of the quilt.  It's also me not getting the movements rights.  I really miss having manual tension on my Topaz machines.  It's a piece of cake on my Janome 6600, but I want to work with this machine.

Meh..close enough on tension.  Figuring I'm close enough I start doing loopy thingies.  There are reasons why I don't do this and detest it.  I can't do it without getting stuck somewhere or they are all the same size.   The picture isn't the greatest, but you get the idea.

 Here are my questions/thoughts after doing this.

*  She can get her machine needle to stop on a dime even as fast as she goes.  My machine takes a couple of extra stitches and then stops.

*  It also looks like when she stops at places, she can start up at the same pace she left off.  My machine still likes to take extra stitches.

Part of the problem is that my foot moves up after you stop making you take that extra stitch when in needle down.  I know she has a Pfaff and some of the machines do the same thing.  I don't know if hers does.

*  Fingering position and those PITA gloves.  How do you move the sandwich with ease?  I know it's practice but even on a small piece, I feel like it's going to run away from me.

*  Keeping even speeds.  Again, it's practice but my eyes get tired and then my foot slows/speeds up.  I don't think it's a light issue since the machine has two lights.  Does anyone else do this?

It's ll:30pm..I think I'll give it a rest and try tomorrow.


Holly said...

Get some of those flat pad gripper thingys from the grocery store and use those instead of the gloves. they're usually in the section where Ziploc bags and drawer lining stuff is, at least in my Publix store. I HATE the gloves too. Just lay the gripper pads on top of the quilt where you put your hands, then put your hands down on top of them.

as for regulating speed, have you tried temporarily gluing a small block of wood under the foot pedal of the sewing machine? or use a rubber band or something, the idea is to cause the machine to not go past a certain speed. might help. Dunno about the extra couple stitches; my machine does that too, but I sew on a cheap Kenmore (supposedly made by Janome but I have my doubts.) Hope it helps though.

Amy said...

I don't if this will help, but here is what I'm finding as I've been learning to machine quilt on my Sapphire 870.

I have set the speed at 2. Since I really slowed the machine and my hands down, I don't notice the needle taking extra stitches. I hope to get some stitching in before the weekend so I'll watch for this.

I took a class from Sue Nickels a few weeks ago. I was having the same problem when I first started. I ended up with some tiny stitches or some long stitches. Sue said the first stitch she takes is in the same place where she stopped and then she moves from there. I've been trying this and having good success with it. My stops and starts aren't as noticeable. I don't mind the gloves but I know others do. I've been using the Atlas Nitrile Touch gloves for quilting. I think they grip even better than the ones in the video. Sue Nickel's used rubber finger tips and if I remember right it was just on the 2nd and 3rd fingers. She said she didn't like gloves either. She also showed how light her touch is on the quilt. If you use too heavy a hand, you will have problems moving the quilt. She was right, it does move easier. You kind of fluff the quilt up around the sewing bed. The part you are sewing is laying flat but you can easily move the quilt because there isn't any tension on it. Paula Reid swears by the grippers mentioned in the post above. Darn if I can remember the name either.

I think your stitching is looking good. Stay with it. I find that to be the hardest part. Real life happens.