...And we're off to the races! Here you can see I've secured my hooped quilt into the embroidery module of my Bernina Artista 200/730 sewing machine. Notice the way I have the bulk of the quilt piled up around the sewing machine so the embroidery module can move freely without the weight of the quilt creating drag that would result in distortion or misalignment of the design. I've also checked and double-checked that no part of the quilt is stuck UNDER the embroidery hoop, which would be truly disastrous!
|40 wt YLI Variegated Machine Quilting Thread|
|Backing Side, 40 wt in Needle, 60 wt in Bobbin|
|Top Side, Sample Stitched with 75/11 Needle and 60 weight Cotton Thread|
|BACKING side, 75/11 Needle and 60 weight Cotton Embroidery Thread|
So, once I'd nailed down the needle/thread/tension particulars, I snapped a hoop onto one of the circles at the center of my quilt, trying to use the block seamlines to make sure the hoop was centered. This is actually a lot more difficult than you'd think, especially due to the size and thickness of the quilt. My first try wasn't centered as well as it could have been, but it's not noticeable from a distance so I decided not to rip it out, since that would leave needle holes in the batik fabric that might not close up completely when the quilt was washed. I'll try to do a better job of lining it up on the next one.
|First Decorative Quilting Motif Stitched Out|
|First Motif Stitched, Backing Side|
It only takes two minutes for my sewing machine to automatically stitch out this design, and unless the quilt gets caught on something during stitching the design comes out perfectly every time. Again, it would be nice if I could have enlarged my quilting design to 10" diameter to completely fill the big circles on my quilt, because then I wouldn't have to go back and add free motion quilting around every single motif. (The Jumbo Hoop, available for the Bernina 830LE machine, has an embroidery field of 10" x 15 3/4"). However, free motion quilting is a skill that I really want to master, because then I could quilt any design I wanted without having to first find or create a digitized embroidery file or wrestling to hoop an unwieldy quilt. That reminds me -- I really need to call that quilt shop in Concord and reschedule my free motion quilting class!