|Quilt Top is Complete!|
|Embroidering the Monogram Label with the Jumbo Hoop|
|Thread Loops (Circled) Due to Dull or Damaged Needle|
[Updated April 2013: Thread loops can also be caused by using a ballpoint needle rather than a sharp point needle on woven fabrics, or by using a needle that is too SMALL to allow thread to pass smoothly through the hole in the fabric while forming that satin stitch. Next time I do a design like this on quilting cotton fabric, I'm going to use a size 90/14 Organ Embroidery SHARP needle, a 90/14 Topstitching Needle, or a 90/14 Microtex needle. Using a thread net on slippery embroidery thread spools helps to eliminate the loops as well.]
However, what to do about those loops that were in the scrollwork? I did NOT want to start over again, because it took about an hour and a half to sew out the design. If I just trimmed the loops off with a scissor, the rest of the embroidery design would be compromised. So, after unhooping my fabric, I used a snag repair tool to pull the loops to the back side. It worked like magic.
After removing the tearaway stabilizer and trimming the polymesh to within about 1/2" of the embroidery design, I pressed my embroidered fabric and then cut it into a 13 1/2" square for my center block. I did not cut out the block prior to embroidery because the block was smaller than the size of the hoop. I sewed the blocks together with the sashing and posts yesterday afternoon, and finally added 3" borders to the quilt (I'm planning to use 2" wide satin binding on the edges, so only 1" of my border will show on the finished quilt. I have one more quick tip to share: You may already know this, but I had sewn on Berninas for years and it was still news to me when Kaye England told us in class how to get a perfect 1/4" patchwork seam on a Bernina machine.
|For a Perfect 1/4" Seam, Look at the Line on the Stitch Plate, NOT the Presser Foot|
|Borders Attached, Ready for Quilting|
After that, it's time for my least favorite part of the quilting process -- layering and basting. Since the Minky fabric I chose for my backing has stretch in one direction, it's especially important to do a good job of stabilizing it prior to quilting. My internet research indicates that most quilters who are successful with Minky use a temporary adhesive spray for basting, and some even spray-baste first and then add pins for additional security. Most quilters who spray baste seem to prefer 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Fabric Adhesive spray, which is what I use for embroidery so I already have a can of that upstairs. I may or may not already have a good thread for the actual quilting in my hoarde, but even if I have the basting spray and quilting thread I will still have to run out to JoAnn Fabrics at some point over the weekend to purchase satin binding for the quilt edges.
The boys have piano lessons this afternoon and they each have some homework that I'll need to supervise, but I'm optimistic that I will be able to wrap this project up by Monday at the latest. Wish me luck!