Finished: Parcheesie Quilt


Bending Pins: Parcheesie Quilt Complete

 

I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally sashed this quilt and it has a home with my Mom! This is one of my absolute favorite quilts and certainly most ambitious, each block consists of 72 pieces not including the pieced sashing but it’s so worth it!

Parcheesie-Bock

 

In fact I love it so much, I may actually make another setting the blocks on point.

 

 

 

Parcheesie-View1

 

Parcheesie-BackingPattern: Parcheesie by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns.
Size: 71″ x 71″ This is not the finished pattern size, I didn’t have enough fabric for the border and it is now somewhat rare to find.
Fabric: Flora by Laruen + Jessi Jung & Kona White
B
acking Fabric: Birds & Berries by Lauren + Jessi Jung
Binding:  Kona Maise

Because I love this pattern so much I didn’t want to distract from it by using a quilting pattern so I simply stitched in the ditch using Superioir Threads Kimono Silk. I used Sharon Schambers’ You Tube tutorial for binding.

Parcheesie-Full3

 

If  you’re looking for a challenge, I encourage you to try this pattern, satisfaction guaranteed! Purchase the pattern here: Prairie Grass Patterns.

I’m going to continue binding my Modern Mabel quilt today, happy Friday and have a great weekend and Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday!!

 

 

More y-seam stars

To enter my giveaway, visit this page.

I don’t know about you but I get a huge thrill when everything lines up perfectly or closer than you’ve ever been before. I wanted to show you my stars before I trued them up. I don’t think I’ve ever had blocks turn out like this before, less than 1/4″ fabric to trim. And you know, when you can achieve results you’re pleased with, you want to repeat them because they’re so gratifying! (Click any image to enlarge then click again to magnify.)

Sharon Schamber has really lit a fire under me, to strive for accuracy as best I can and I have to thank her for her YouTube tutorials! Some techniques I feel have really helped me are:

1) Starch, starch, starch! Starch your fabrics before you cut, starch them twice! It prevents your fabric from stretching and becoming distorted and makes a HUGE difference! Spray your starch on your fabric then turn it over and iron, this prevents those pesky white flakes from littering your fabric. It also helps after you stitch your seams, fabric behaves better and you don’t need more (starch) after your initial pressing.

2) Take your time and cut accurately! I wish I could go back in time and recreate some of my quilts, to improve upon them. Alas some of that fabric is no longer readily available (sob).

3) Lock your seams by a stitch or two. The traditional quilter’s rule is to not backstitch but I found my seams would come undone, I started backstitching awhile ago to prevent this and it really helps.

4) Last but not least, especially when you’re cutting triangles & diamonds, cut your fabric parallel to the bias it gives your pieces more stability.

6) Once finished your block, take the time to give it an overall press with a wet pressing cloth and, of course, more starch. 😀

Here is the video tutorial of Sharon Schamber’s y-seam 8-point stars if you’d like to give it a try. If you do try it, let me know what your results were!

Oh my stars!

Y-Seam inset stars

I’ve been watching a lot of Sharon Schamber on YouTube lately, she has a tutorial for y-seam 8-point inset stars, I thought I might use it to create my “Modern Mable” quilt. I have a few prints by Joanna Figueroa which I thought would be beautiful for this quilt, traditional but modern which is what I’m striving for. Sharon is very accurate, uses a lot of starch, a hard ironing surface and a dry iron. As you can see by my results, her methods work! My finished squares needed very little trimming and I think the more I make, the better I’ll get.

I know these stars aren’t what the “in crowd” are into at the moment but I’ve only been quilting for a year and feel that learning traditional techniques are invaluable.

What are you up to this week?

Linking up with Freshly PIeced and The Needle and Thread Network.

 

Gracie Arrived

Click to enlarge.

My new Gracie Queen quilt frame arrived Friday afternoon, it took hubby and I four hours to assemble, the instructions were clear and concise and all components were accounted for. Unfortunately when we put the carriage on the rails, it fell off where the crib and queen sizes met. We loosened the frame, adjusted and re-tightened to no avail despite using a square and level because the aluminum rails were off by meer millimeters. Our resolution was to remove a washer from two of the rear wheels on the carriage so when the frame expanded, the carriage, with the weight of the sewing machine, had enough play to stay on the tracks. The original 8 foot plastic tracks which you insert into the aluminum however, were damaged in shipping, they are made of a hard plastic and were crushed under the weight of the frame so that they kept popping out of the aluminium rails. Hubs replaced the portion of damaged track with the 3 foot crib pieces but it causes a problem when you move the crib over the joint. I’ve requested new tracks  be sent.

Once we got the carriage problem worked out, I used old poly/cotton sheets from the cottage for practice as well as a flannelette sheet for mock batting. When I first put the backing sheet on the rails, there was no tension, when I tightened the takeup rail, the backing rail would simply follow so I’d have too much fabric hanging between the rails. It wasn’t until I added the batting and top that everything tightened up — almost too much now. When I want to advance the quilt, I have to first loosen the top then the backing and make sure to lift the batting up for slack.

I hated pinning the quilt to the leaders. A little while ago I found a video on YouTube by Sharon Schamber about velcro leaders, makes life so much easier. I posted this on Kathy Quilts’ forum but the moderator argued against it repeatedly. I’m going to make velcro leaders as soon as I possibly can because if I have to waste time doing that again, I’ll scream. Also, I had mentioned the side leaders which makes a heck of a lot of sense. Not only does it eliminate the problem of running into the side clamps, it also gives the sides even tension. Again, the moderator argued against it saying that the new Grace Company side clams were better. I beg to differ, strongly.

Finally, at long last, I got to sew! The Juki TL-2000 Qi is awesome, I really love it, you have to treat her right though. Check your bobbin tension often, she HATES Gutermann thread, shreds it and creates ugly nests. I had to switch to a finer thread. I loaded the bobbin with Superior Threads’ Kimono Silk because I know one bobbin will last and last and last and swapped out the Gutermann with some left over Aurifil in dark grey. She was happy as a lark, humming and sewing beautifully.

In addition to the Gracie Frame, I also purchased the SureStitch Stitch Regulator which, IMHO, is grossly over priced — $559.95 from The Grace Company. The plastic feels über cheap but regardless, it works – so far. You attach sensors to one of the wheels on each of your upper and lower carriages so it speeds up and slows down depending on your movements. The stitch regulator on my Bernina is much more sophisticated but I don’t know how other stitch regulators work on longarm machines so I really have nothing to compare it to.

Free Motion Quilting using a Juki TL-2000 Qi on a Gracie Queen quilt frame IS better than wrestling a quilt over your shoulder/lap/sewing machine throat.! MUCH easier!! This set-up isn’t perfect but it is better than nothing. The carriage moves relatively smoothly but when I attempt to create swirls and circles, the carriage wants to make squares or something between a circle and square. However, the more I practiced, the better I got. You really do need to learn free motion quilting all over again. The machine moves so easily and is more challenging to control and if you go too fast, the frame starts to rattle, vibrate and shake. With this particular set-up, I find it easier to quilt straight lines, boxes, stone walls, etc… Although I’m going to continue practicing curves and swirls, I will change and hone my style to work with this carriage. I may look into other carriages further down the road.

One thing you never read about with longarm or shortarm set-ups is the mess behind the machine. Each component you add to your kit requires electricity; 1. sewing machine; 2. lamp; 3. stitch regulator. And the cords must be long enough to reach from one end of the machine to the other. Something to think about if you choose to go this route.

For my preliminary summary, I would say that the Gracie Queen quilt frame set-up is no walk in the park and certainly not a picnic to get up and running. It’s not a simple matter of putting it together and sewing straight away, you have to make adjustments, tweaks and realize the possibility that something might get damaged in shipping. After all, aluminium is pretty flimsy and easy to bend, unlike steel. The wood on this frame is not finished, there is no wax or lacquer. My first choice was the Grace Start-Right frame which is all steel but The Grace Company would not ship it to Canada “because of costs” but they would ship from Utah to Main. Go figure, this makes no sense to me, especially when I’m paying the shipping/duties/taxes!! I was told that the wood would not be affected by conditions in a basement but I have my doubts. Only time will tell.

Kathy Quilts included a goose neck lamp, 30 bobbins and 50 universal needles to my purchase for which I am grateful though I don’t think I’ll be using the universal needles opting for Superior Threads’ Topstitch needles which have a larger eye.

This review is an account of my personal experiences, thoughts and opinions.