Tuesday, July 23, 2013

That "A" Word!!

Oh, the things we will do for a worthy cause!
This is the flimsy for my next AAQI quilt--and yes, it includes two techniques I normally go out of my way to avoid; hexies, and...APPLIQUE! (Did you just fall off your chair, Karen?)

I try to tie the quilt in somehow to the person to whom it is being dedicated, and this one needed flowers. I had wanted to get permission from a designer to use parts of one of her wool applique patterns (that kind of applique I enjoy), but with the registration deadline looming and a family camping trip taking several days between now and then, I realized I had to start something immediately. I caved in and bought the 1/2" hexie papers, made the flowers one evening and appliqued them down the next. And in case you are wondering, I did not learn to love either process!! : )

Now on to my quilting problems. If any of you have advice for me concerning these issues, I would appreciate it. Remember in my last post I shared my discouragement with the back of my red feathered piece, and in a previous post I had told you how my attempt at machine quilting Black & Blooms (bottom of linked post) had twisted threads in the black fabric and left white parts of the fibers exposed. Well, both things just keep happening, but randomly.

Yesterday I quilted  this. It doesn't show well in photos, but there is batting popping through in many places of the back. This was Warm and Natural batting. Some people have told me this is a problem with this batting, others have told me it has never given them such a problem. It was an 80/20 batting that gave me such grief on the red feather piece, so I thought I would try the Warm and Natural. I put in a new needle and used the Aurifil thread on this, because on those feather samples from my last post, I had no batting coming through on the back of the one using Aurifil.
I am through quilting on dark fabric with dark thread at night.
The backtracking on these feathers is atrocious! I could not
see what I was doing!
I also got some of that "white thread" issue in the dark navy border. This is not the batting coming though, it is fibers of the fabric twisting and exposing undyed areas. It isn't as bad as it was on the Black & Blooms, but it is there.


 I am quilting on an HQ Sweet 16 midarm, which I have had for about 1 1/2 years without noticing these issues. This summer they are plaguing me. Maybe it is the heat. Do you think? : )
If you have any suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
Janet O.


28 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you for doing the "A"!!! They look wonderful and of course for a wonderful cause!!

    Can't help you on the problems - but I will come back and see what others say - because...well inquiring minds want to know!! LOL I still love your work!! Always inspires me to get better!! I was a little "tired" trying to finish up on a quilt I was quilting - some my arcs have...well...lots of "character"!! But who will notice on stampeding elephants!!! LOL When I stepped back, I liked the over look - so that's what I see when I look at your work - beautiful handmade quilts from the heart!!

    Blessings sweet friend!

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  2. If you use a black batting, you shouldn't see the "bearding". I like doing hexies! I've not ever done them with wool. Cute!

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  3. Beautiful little hexies Mom! I'm proud of you :)

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  4. Janet, What kind/size of needle are you using? My thought is that maybe it is too big? can you use a smaller size? And how often are you changing for a new one? I can only suppose that the blunt tip of the needle is pushing into the fabric threads and disarranging them instead of piercing through them.
    Another thing I've heard is that there is a front and back to the W&N (or any batting actually), so that the problem will be worse if it is in there wrong side up...I had the same thing happen on one of mine, the first time I had used W&N in years and had a terrible case of fiber migration out the front. yuck! Whoever buys that quilt, will get a lint remover with it. lol
    Anyway, it is frustrating. Your feathers, however, just look fantastic in the pix! You sure have come a long way baby! : )

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  5. Hello- fyi, my 3year old HQ24 (no computer) has tension issues when it is hot and humid outside, though HQ reps report no issues with environent changes. I set a small fan to blow across the area between the machine body and table and that seems to help the tension issues by semi-controlling temperature. (btw-my HQ24 is in a sunroom that does not have direct air conditioning or heat; the machine is not in direct sunlight, but also there are no extreme temp changes) The machine does seem to do better in moderate temps and humidity - can't seem to pinpoint any other conditions that cause or don't cause the tension issues. Also, with dark fabrics I use dark batting.
    Previously I had a HQ16 for 5 years, location the same and also had minor tension issues during high humidity/heat times.. Don't know if this helps, but just to let you know that I have the same problems and the machines do better if they are in controlled atmosphere. Happy stitching!

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  6. Love those "A" hexie flowers... very nice!

    I've not had difficulty with Warm & Natural/White either bearding or poking thru... but then I don't do fancy quilting like you. So I have no ideas about the issue you're having... sorry...

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  7. Well, you know I am learning from you with regard to quilting, so I won't comment on that topic but I did want to say how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new AAQI quilt!! And how appropriate that you would do the "A" thing on an "A""A" QI quilt!! A little hot weather humor!! :-))

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  8. Although you did not enjoy the hexies or the applique, your flimsy is darling... I think you should make at least a dozen more! (Are you throwing darts at me yet???) As for the quilting problem... what little machine quilting I do is very simple, and mostly straight lines. My first thought was the sharpness of the needle. I wasn't aware there is a right and wrong side to batting... I'm learning a lot just reading the comments others are leaving for you... I'll be checking back for more possible causes... I'm getting a good education here!

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  9. AW - your hexie flowers turned out wonderfully Janet! Congrats on tackling a project that you weren't really comfortable with - you came through with flying colors!

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  10. I can't see the problem but it sounds very discouraging. Is it time for the machine to be serviced? Don't know enough to suggest anything else. Your hexie flowers are darling!

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  11. Great little hexie.
    As far as the quilting problem. I do have this problem from time to time, I find a new needle sorts the problem ASAP. With every new customer quilt, I clean, oil & put a new needle in my machine, sometimes, if the quilt is big & I am doing a lot of quilting I will do this again half through the quilt. Some needles are faulty.
    I hope this is of some help.

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  12. P.S remember I use a domestic machine, not mid or long arm, but I would think the same principle applies?

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  13. Love the little snowman quilt. Sorry you are having problems, looks good to me.

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  14. Sorry I can't help either Janet.
    I would love to hear what others say, as I may have that problem too one day...when I get to play with SS again!
    I love your feather border, did you use a stencil for that?
    Julia♥

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  15. Looks darling Janet! Your problem could be that your needle is too large? Or perhaps the scrim is turned the wrong way. The scrim is supposed to be on top..I think...otherwise, the batting pokes through from dull needles. You said you got a new one...is the entire package of needles new? Maybe you have a bad batch?? Good luck and keep us posted what works for you!

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  16. Love your little quilt! I really don't have a clue what to tell you on the quilting problems. :(
    Kristie

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  17. your little hexie is so cute~ and what a good cause.
    I have one going like yours but can't find it at the moment.
    I really love the snowball mini with snowman - so cute!!! the quilting looks great.

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  18. Way to go on the A word! Can't believe you put those hexie flowers together that fast. I have made ONE, and it took me HOURS to sew it together! Your feathers look wonderful. And I'm like a lot of the other commenters - interested to see if you can determine the cause of your issue. I just got a quilt back from an awesome longarmer and have that same issue - the backing is black, a lot of the thread is black, and there are white dots all over.

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  19. I really like your snowball mini, from the photo, it looks like the snowman is standing up. Your quilting is so nice, sorry you are having some pilling problems. I hope you can find out why you are having these problems. It does sound like others are having the same problem. Maybe it would help if you contacted the company that makes the longarm????

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  20. Love your Hexies! The A word isn't so bad after all huh?

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  21. Your mini is adorable! LOVE the hexies! And that snowman is so darned cute! I've used W&N once before, on a mini that I hand quilted, and it bearded so badly that I swore I'd never use it again! I think the ideas from the others with a new or smaller needle might help that fabric distortion issue. And yeah.....heat changes everything....especially my mood! LOL

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  22. Wow -- you've got some really darling pieces on the table (so to speak) here! Of course, we both know *you're* the prolific one! LOL! I can't help with the quilting issues, since I rarely machine quilt and have NO experience with a midarm. I *do* hope that y'all enjoy your camping trip!!! I love you hexie piece!! I love appliqueing hexies! Whoohoo!!! *grin* :)

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  23. One more comment for all to read in case they are having this problem...if you get boarding on the back, try scruffing the back with a soft toothbrush or even your fingernails or fist. Sometimes this will wiggle the fabric enough and pull some of that batting back inside. Good luck!

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  24. Nice pieces you have there. Snowman is adorable!! I'm sorry you are having issues. Summer hot weather always seems to mess up my creativity!

    Maybe Missie of Hallbrook Designs suggestion will help!!

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  25. So sorry that the sweet 16 is acting up on you! But I do so admire the work that you are accomplishing. But hexies? and applique? OMG! LOL!

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  26. Congratulations for jumping outside of your comfort zone and creating those cute little hexie flowers! What a cute little quilt! I wish I could help you with the FMQ problems, but I have no clue. It seems as though it has been forever since I quilted anything! I'm sure you will get lots of advice from other bloggers who are actually quilting :*D

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  27. I think "a blind man would be happy to see it"!! That's a saying that my quilty friend always tells me when I am worried about a quality issue, usually related to that darn 'A' word!
    I'm with you in the "not loving applique" camp...but hey, we're trying, right?!?!

    I think the 'hole' problem might be needle related. I think it's a balancing game between getting a large enough needle to be able to pierce the layers without thread breakage, and then getting the little holes to close up after. I wonder if a cold water soak would fluff up the fabric fibers to cover the holes?

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  28. Yes, I fell off my chair but don't worry. Plenty of padding to land on. I was on vacation for 10 days and am just now catching up on my blog reading. Now that you did some simple applique, time to challenge yourself for more!

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