Monday, February 18, 2013

Class 160: Sampler 9 Patches

I've decided to move along with the next class rather than dwell on the fact that my pieces in the last project didn't turn out as well as I hoped.

I did, however, make some decisions:
  1. I have ordered a straight stitch throat plate for my Pfaff 2040.  I'm hoping this will help in accuracy, as it is highly recommended. Of course, then I can't have my needle moved over +1 which will definitely cause me to readjust all my "lines".
  2. I have put a piece of tape along the front of my walking foot as a guide, to help steer the fabric along in a straight path. I already don't like it, because now I can't get into my bobbin box unless I peel back the tape.
  3. I am seriously considering switching to the 60/3 cotton thread recommended, at least to try it out and see how it compares to my Signature 50/3. I do have a terrible time with fuzz all over in my bobbin case from my current thread choice. The 60/3 is supposed to be thinner and lends to a more accurate seam allowance without having to move my needle over, and less fuzz?
  4. I have purchased Harriet's Machine Quilting Book and am working my way through the front information part, in anticipation of starting to practice some quilting before the end of the next class! I've only got this class and one more before the class where I start putting the borders on the current projects and start quilting! 
I purchased this book from Amazon.  Do you see the problem? This is the 4th Ed. My 3rd Edition was spiral bound, mostly black and white. This one is paperback!  The pictures next to the item were spiral. I got this and went to the quilt store and checked it out. Theirs is spiral bound.  How come the Amazon edition is paperback??  This 4th Ed. is a huge improvement in progression, tips, organization and implementation.  I think they attempted to model it after the Quilter's Academy even though it doesn't actually have lessons.  I'm going to attempt to get a jump start on my quilting lessons before I get to the final class in my current year, because the class doesn't actually give that much detail. It refers to this book! I'm just disappointed that I got a paperback. 

And, I did do the current assignment.
Lesson 1 and 2 are all about fabric.  A couple weeks ago, while waiting for fabric to arrive, I read these lessons at least 3 times.
Lesson 3 is constructing small 9 patches for our sampler.
Here are my 12 blocks, attempting to lay flat against my upright wall board.  They actually are all square and perfectly measured!  I pressed in a different technique than last assignment.  This time, I pressed along the seam line while attempting to keep the seams in the back going in the same direction that I had fanned the seams, so I wouldn't have to attempt to iron with my point each individual square. I think it worked better.

My challenge was again with pressing though!  This time, my Faultless Heavy Starch scorched all over, and it left flakes everywhere.  I didn't change the settings from any of the other times.... It's the weirdest thing! I've noticed it does this a little on my previous assignments, but this time it was heavy.  Can you see it if you click on the picture for the full size?  It's everywhere!


  1. I think you will find the straight stitch plate will help quite a bit. I got one about 9 months ago.
    I found a some seamline marking sticky things somewhere last summer they come in a pack and the piece of paper is about2 inches by 3 inches. The idea being to lay it on the bed of your machine and you have a line to guide you along. I cut it out so i just had a piece on the bobbin cover so that way i can still take it off to change bobbins. I also have recently put a thick guide on the machine as well . its out towards the front ( towards the person sewing ) and both of those work well for me. I got them both either in quilt shop or general sewing store in their notions department. I will check later and see if i still have packaging to give you a name.
    Your blocks are looking great!
    I got a copy of Harriets Machine quilting book as well last summer , it is a wealth of info!
    I have never seen the 60/3 thread anywhere , not even sure if i have seen it on the internet either.
    I recently got a large cone of Superior Threads Masterpiece thread it is a cotten 50/3 thread and i quite like it.

    that is weird about your starch, I have never seen that brand here where i live in Canada.
    I have been using Mary Ellens brand and it is working good for me, and is readily available.

    I've been working on Inlaid tiles , just have one piece to sew on the blocks and then i can lay them out and start sewing together. Going out tonight though so probably no sewing happening here.

    1. Vicki,
      Faultless starch is very popular here, and is the one Harriet recommended. I ran out of my old "cheap" variety and bought this one, but I think I'll go back to my old :) I've never heard of Mary Ellens..

      Was your 4th Ed. Machine Quilting book spiral? I'm still just amazed that this book came as a paperback! I really like the spiral so it can lay flat on my cutting table.

      The 60/3 thread is something I haven't found anywhere but at Harriet's website. It's not quite the same price as I pay otherwise, but isn't out of line, just not convenient. It's funny that she doesn't even mention it in the new quilting book, just QA.

      I'd love to hear about the product you're using for seam guides. I can check it out. My presser foot is a 1/4", but I have to run the fabric under it exactly at the outside edge of the tiny foot and it is hard to see. I'm wondering HOW I'm going to compensate when I move my needle over to the left? My fabric wont even get to run under the foot :(
      Then, I'll really need a seam guide on my machine front.

  2. It is so funny how this Vol 1 book leads a lot of people into the same issues. I experienced all the things ou mentioned. The straight stitch plate helped me. I use different things for a seam guide. Several layers of 1/4" tape works well. Those blue plasticky restickable things work well. What I like best is a metal screw on thingie but I think it only works on Bernina. I like the 60/3 Prescensia thread and order it from Harriet's store. I get the large cones and it lasts a long time, using a neutral thread for almost everything. I have the Machine Quilting book and mine is spiral. The printer must have changed the format or something. I have taken some books to the printer (like Kinko or Office Max) and they will put a spiral binding in for you. I love Faultless starch. Yes, I can see your flakes. :) I have had that problem sometimes. Resolved by spraying lightly and letting it soak in before I put the iron to it. I like Best Press too,it is available on Amazon. But I really like the starch best. Your progress seems great to me.

    1. Sandra! It IS interesting that our focus on precision is leading us toward following the book more closely as we go along.. hehe. If I had taken ALL the advice from the beginning, I'd probably have spared myself grief. However, it is just about impossible to BUY everything at the start. Especially when I already have thread on a cone that I don't want to just give away, or tables that worked until I put it to the test of use ;) and rulers that I bought on sale that are ALL different and starch, 1/4" lines, etc. that I'm already used to that now have to change and I start all over!! I've found that if I turn down my iron to low, and wait a moment for the starch to soak in, I am having better results. Eeek...such a learning curve!

      I actually have a binding machine I used when we homeschooled that I could use if I took the book into Kinkos and had them cut off the existing binding. Thanks for reminding me of that option!

      Ok... "blue plasticky restickable things"? More description please.. store you bought them at, department, what am I looking for? tape? Amazon link? Would love to find a better solution. I definately don't have a place to screw in anything.
      Thank you for your comments and help!

  3. Q Tools Sewing Edge

    1. That looks excellent, thank you :)