Machine musings

Janome 9400 back from the repair shop 27 March 2019
Janome 9400 QCP

I got my machine back on Tuesday afternoon (having taken it in on Monday morning) — great service. The bobbin timing had been knocked out, which isn’t surprising, and they had to replace the bobbin holder.

I thought that the crash had come out of the blue, but as I was stitching down the binding on the quilt last night I noted that the serpentine stitch in the border had a lot of stitches missing at the right hand edge of the design, so obviously there was a pre-existing timing problem that I hadn’t noticed. I had to unpick it all, of course, which took a couple of hours, and I’m not sure if it’s worth replacing, since the whole point of the serpentine stitch was to hold the border in place while I attached the binding, and the binding is now in place. (The border is only an inch wide — I only added it because I hate attaching a binding to an edge that has multiple seams.)

Pfaff Passport 2.0 attempting quilting 26 March 2019
Pfaff Passport 2.0

I found that while the Pfaff Passport 2.0 is great for piecing and appliqué (it did all the hearts at the weekend) it’s not so good at quilting. Even with the Integrated Dual Feed in place I was getting a lot of drag on the top layer of this quilt, so unpicking that is this evening’s task. I’m not fussed that it can’t do quilting, actually — it’s a small machine and it’s perfect for taking to sewing days and retreats so I’m still very happy that I bought it. Besides, I have several other machines I can turn to for quilting if the 9400 is out of commission, like the Janome Combi 10 which I used for the binding on the other quilt.

Janome Combi 10 27 March 2019
Janome Combi 10
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Healing Hearts for Christchurch

Helen Thomas at Angels in Gumboots is coordinating a drive for heart blocks to make quilts for the families affected by the shooting ten days ago. I grabbed a bunch of green fabrics and made up 15 appliqué blocks over the weekend. They’ll go into the post tomorrow or Wednesday. If you are interested in contributing, the info is here.

Heart blocks for Christchurch
Heart blocks for Christchurch

In other news, my Janome 9400 pitched a fit last night while I was quilting a border and has gone in for repairs. I don’t know exactly how it happened but the bobbin holder was pulled right out of its position and had a gouge out of one side (the needle, strangely enough, remained intact). I was doing a serpentine stitch at the time and none of my other Janomes has the same stitch which is annoying. The Pfaff has one that is similar but not identical, so I’ll use that and hope that the recipient doesn’t mind that one border isn’t quite the same.

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

Worldwide Quilting Day logo

I didn’t do any actual quilting today but I did do a fair amount of piecing, both by machine and by hand. The machine work was for an Aussie Hero quilt so no pictures. The hand work was finishing tier 3 on my second Penrose tiling quilt, Flame Rose.

I finished tier 2 on 30 October last year. This is the central portion of the quilt.

Fiamma Tier 2 rose
Flame Rose centre, 2018-10-30

Today I finished tier 3. The picture below shows only one “petal” — there are five altogether, arranged around the centre portion. It looks a lot darker than the centre because it’s photographed at night and on cream, whereas the centre was shot in the day and on white.

Flame Rose Tier 3 2019-03-16
Flame Rose Tier 3 2019-03-16

I’m actually impressed that I managed to get so much done in only four and a half months. I have to admit, though, that my wrists are not happy so I’m going to try and take it a little more slowly for the next section. There’s no more yellow/orange/red in the top, the next part is green, and then there will be some browns in the corners. I’m not sure how much I’ll get done before it’s time to switch to actual quilting once the weather cools down, but it doesn’t really matter anyway — this is a personal project with no deadline so it will take as long as it takes.

February Achievements and March Goals

I had three goals for February:

Homeless 3 web

AHQ: Finish and bind three AHQ quilts. These were used for demonstrations in the HandiQuilter booth at the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair last year, so were partially quilted. When I saw them at Jan-Maree’s place a couple of months ago I offered to finish the quilting and bind them, so that they can be given to a charity for the homeless. I finished two and gave them to JM when I saw her earlier in the month, but forgot to take any pictures. This is the third. There is actually a fourth one as well but it’s a bit different and more difficult so I’ll talk about that another time.

Personal: Cut black sashing for oriental stained glass quilt; put borders on another quilt. Not done. There was no deadline for these items and I was busy with other stuff so no regrets — they’ll keep.

Ruler foot problems 1
Ruler foot problems 2

FAL: Ruler work on the tumbling blocks mini. Not done. I’m having trouble getting the ruler foot to work properly on the Janome 9400 — the presser foot doesn’t lift at all while in ruler mode (I knew it wouldn’t move as much as the normal FMQ foot but I expected it to move a little bit), so I’m having great difficulty moving the quilt underneath and the fabric just bunches up. I’ve adjusted the pressor foot height to its highest point and the pressure to its lowest, so I don’t know what else I can do to get it to work. I think I’ll have to take it back into the shop, which is really inconvenient as I have more work to do this month (see below).

Additional work:

I finished my personal January goal (bind two minis) a little late and posted the quilts here.

I also completed another AHQ quilt (the landscape for which I was making the string blocks). The original due date was 11 March, so I was going to make this my AHQ goal for next month. However, I finished the quilt very early and I’m just finishing off the laundry bag now so it’ll be posted on Monday. Meanwhile, the AHQ request list grew rather large so I picked up two requests on 25 February that have a due date of 01 April, and they will be my March goals instead.

Here are some of the string blocks in the quilt (I can’t show the whole thing, sorry).

Strip blocks in AHQ quilt

As always, I worked on the Flame Rose quilt most evenings. I’m still on track for finishing the tier 3 rose in April.

March goals
AHQ: Make two quilts (one Navy, one Army)
Personal: I’m not setting one this month as I have two military quilts to do.
FAL: Bind the tumbling blocks mini (even if I have to finish the quilting with a walking foot).