Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quilting & Quilting & Quilting

Here's the story. The last time I was in Kissimmee teaching I was asked by the manager of the Queen Anne Lace Quilt Shop (they sell Berninas) to enter a quilt for their shop in the Bernina University Show that will be held in Orlando this summer. Of course I said... sure. The catch.... it had to be done completely on a Bernina. Do I sew on a Bernina.... No.... I sew on a Janome.That is what I have been doing for the last three days. It was like going to a JOB. Starting on Monday morning, I got up, got dressed, had breakfast and then drove 40 miles to Kissimmee to sit down and quilt using a new Bernia 730 sewing machine with more bells and whistles than I would every want or dream of using. The stitch regulator was not installed. I controlled the stitch and speed with my own hands and my right foot. It took me a while to get used to the sound of the machine. I determined through trail and error that the machine did not like Robison Anton Rayon thread, (my Janome loves it) that 730 likes Isacord and a #14 embroidery needle. On Tuesday I was feeling disheartened that the back of my quilt was not worthy of being included in a judged competition, which was the purpose of me driving there to quilt.Of course the sky opening up and pouring on me most of the way home didn't help my mood, so it was early to bed for me on Tuesday. But today, I was back up ready to meet the challenge and off I went to Kissimmee again. Today, the stitching and the tension was much, much better. I was more comfortably with adjusting the tension by today, of course I kept hitting the wrong buttons but learned the best way to get out of a program or stitch I engaged in error was to turn the machine off and restart it again. Of course the starting again is like using a dial-up Internet connection instead of high-speed cable. At the end of today I determined that I and the machine work best together if I use only Isacord for the top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. So with that discover I decided to start over from scratch. So for the next four days I will work at home to complete another composition by painting with thicken dyes or with watercolor pigments and soy milk then I will return to Kissimmee on Monday with hopes of finishing the piece by Friday or Saturday.

Yes, before you ask... I do plan to finish the piece pictured. Just not for a judged quilt show.



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Susan Turney said...

I feel kind of disappointed that you had trouble with the tension and all so you won't be entering it you get to keep it and it's fabulous!!!!!! I'm sure the ladies at the shop were just amazed.
I love the new seem to have dropped many years!!!! :)
BTW, I closed on my new house in Las Vegas yesterday (!) so once I get settled I'll be able to dye to my heart's content like you taught damn weather to worry about and my own studio!!!!!

Karen S said...

The front is beautiful, but I see what you mean about the back -- what a shame to put all that work into it and not be pleased with the backside.

On the bright side -- you will be able to hang it somewhere where no one will judge the side-you're-not-supposed-to-look-at and its beauty will be appreciated. And it sounds like it was a good learning experience!

Laura said...

Your red flower is beautiful--how big is the entire piece? It's hard to get a sense of the scale from your pictures. Also, do you ever come to NC to teach?

Carol said...

Juanita, you did it again. That flower is just luscious. It looks so real. Thanks for sharing.

Karoda said...

what are you using to get those reds!?! i came home with a red hand-dye by nancy...i just don't get the vibrancy with red but i think its because i need to over-dye them.