Monday, January 23, 2017

Pineapple Progress: Blocks 29 and 30 of 36 (or of 42)

Happy Monday, everyone!  So, the good news is that I've finished two more 17 3/4" blocks for my California King Pineapple Log Cabin quilt.  Ta da: 

Block 29


Block 30
According to my original plan of 36 blocks in a 6x6 layout, that would mean I'm almost finished making blocks for this quilt.  However, I checked my math, remeasured my bed, thought about shrinkage from quilting and washing, and I'm concerned that 106" wide is cutting it too close.  I don't want to have gone through so much time and effort and end up with a quilt that isn't wide enough to completely cover my mattress on both sides of the bed! 

I know I could add borders, but I think that would detract from the bold graphic impact I'm going for.  So I'm probably going to do a 6x7 layout requiring 42 blocks.  That means I have 12 more to make instead of 6 more.  I don't think I printed that many foundation patterns, so I'll have to take one of them back to the copy shop.

Hey, can you keep a secret?  I'm headed to an APQS dealer this morning to check out their long arm machines.  I'm still in the research phase, comparing models and manufacturers.  I've already looked at the Bernina Q24 and the Innovas, and I'm planning to investigate Handiquilter and Gammill before making a final decision as well.  Stay tuned...  I would love to be able to long arm quilt my monster pineapple quilt myself!  If any of you readers have experience with longarm machines and have any advice for choosing one, please feel free to share in the comments on this post. 

APQS Millenium Longarm Quilting Machine
Meanwhile, I have work to do for a new design client's project and music to learn for VOX chorus, which will limit the amount of time I spend in my sewing studio over the next few weeks.  But there are a couple of special babies who will be making their appearances in February and March, so I may need to set my pineapple blocks aside and "whip up" a couple of "quick" baby quilts.  Hahahahaha...  As if I was even CAPABLE of whipping up a quick ANYTHING!  :-)  A longarm machine would really help me get more UFOs across the finish line, don't you think?

Have a great day.  I'm linking up with:


·       Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times www.patchworktimes.com
·       Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts http://www.cookingupquilts.com/
·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/
·       Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag: http://emsscrapbag.blogspot.com.au/


21 comments:

Jayne said...

I love your blocks and marvel at all the work involved in each one. You wouldn't be the first to miscalculate...but yours will be worth it in the end!

Frog Quilter said...

I have a HQ 16 which is a great machine. Wishing for more throat space....

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

The blocks are looking great - good luck in finding a long arm you like and hope you love one

Cathy said...

Your blocks are so pretty!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I'm so impressed with your blocks and the size of them is amazing. They are beautiful! And I'm so excited for you - shopping for a longarm! Have fun with your research, I know you'll find the best machine for you!

Cherie in St Louis said...

Your blocks are stunning! My only advise on the longarm front is to make sure they offer and you take a maintenance and troubleshooting class. I don't own and Innova (I have a hand-me-down Nolting) but they are amazing at quilt shows and Vicki Welsh at: http://www.colorwaysbyvicki.com/blog has one. She blogged about it a while back so you could touch base with her.

Bonnie said...

I could spend hours on talking about my long arm. First thing -- buy the largest you can afford to... i.e. 16, 18, 20, 24" I have an 18" Nolting. I've done two King Size quilts on it and one I had to take off and turn around so I could do the end of it. You'll also need at least a 12' table. I have a Nolting and really like it. The company is very responsive and can help you over the phone. I've done all my own maintenance and repairs with their help. On the other hand I haven't had a lot of things go wrong. I have a friend who owns a Nolting but is now coveting an Innova. I believe she said they are digital and stop very quickly rather than taking a stitch or two before stopping. If you are going to be quilting for others you might want to consider getting a computer driven machine. I love the ease of that and I wasn't really great at free motion. Good luck with your machine.

Joy D. said...

At a recent quilt show, I was able to test out all of the brands you mentioned back to back. What I noticed most, was the difference in the tracking as it moves across the table. My Mom has a Nolting, and it now seems clunky compared to some of the others that are much smoother. I agree with Bonnie, in that you should get the largest Throat and table you can afford. If you are going computerized, make sure it is something that is intuitive for you. Each program is a little different, but so are our brains. Be sure you get the best one for you! Good luck!

Chris said...

I have a Handi-Quilter that I've owned for probably 12 years. It's got a smaller throat space but that's okay. It's not computerized, but that's okay, too. I just guide it and I've never had a bit of trouble with it. I just wanted to be able to do every last bit of any quilt I made and this allows me to do that. My daughter also uses it and we even taught her 9-year-old niece to use it! Good luck deciding!

Carole~Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus said...

How exciting, a long arm quilting machine. Sorry I can't offer any help but wishing you all the best on the decision making.

Preeti Harris said...

Since you asked how I REALLY feel, here goes - Why must you pick the most complicated of all projects and then do it so well as to put so many of us to shame? I am in awe of the neatness (the perfect points)in every pineapple block. I bet your studio must be a huge mess right now, but the blocks are just the opposite - droolworthy!!!
Hugs,
Preeti.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Your pineapple is just going to be awesome! I love those colors. I have spent time on the sit down Q20 BERNINA and I love it! I would have one if I had the room. The learning curve on it is zero since you already own a BERNINA. But buying a machine is a very personal choice-good luck and lucky you!

em's scrapbag said...

I"m in love with your pineapple blocks! Have fun researching and getting a long arm. You'll for sure get more ufos done with it.

AnnieO said...

Your blocks are beautiful and I agree it would be disappointing if the quilt ended up not fitting the bed. I'd love to have the space for a long arm. I have heard Tin Lizzie is a good option but can't speak from experience! Our guild president has one.

Leeann said...

I have been quilting with the Bernina Q24 and love it. It is at the quilt shop I work at. My boss had another brand long arm sorry I can't remember the name and she says the bernina is so much better. I have found it very easy to learn to use. I agree with the others get the biggest you can afford and which ever brand it is make sure they have good after sale care, with someone close to you. I would not get a sit down long arm that you have to move the quilt like you do with a domestic, as your shoulders will still get sore.
When you get a longarm practice with some quilt tops that are old and you are not too emotionally attached to. Save you pineapple quilt till you are comfortable with your longarm (it won't take long)

katie z. said...

Ooh, la la! What an amazing project AND exciting research-for-purchase! Vicki Welsh, as someone else mentioned, loves her Innova. Judy Laquidara, at Patchworktimes.com, is an APQS dealer. I've used a friend's 20+ year old machine, and the main thing I learned has that the machine I used didn't do well on curves. So test drive, test drive, test drive. That's all I know!

Jennie in GA said...

Your pineapple blocks are amazing!!! Good luck on your machine search. My advice would be to find one with a rep close by for assistance.

Katie said...

Amazing blocks - it's going to be a stunning quilt! I have an Innova and love it. Try them all. See what feels right...mine is very heavy compared to a friend's HQ, but that's okay with me. Look at what options are available for upgrade (Innova has a fancier stitch regulator, tension assembly, etc) and whether you can easily add them after you purchase. It's a steep learning curve to start (at least it was for me and no one even hinted at that fact, making it all that much harder!), but worth the effort! Good luck!

Angie in SoCal said...

What beautiful pineapple blocks!

Kare Ybarra said...

I love your blocks, they're gorgeous! I have an HQ16 on a studio frame and I love it!

Elaine said...

The learning curve is VERY steep for the big machine/frame combos. Friends who have the 16" throat sit-down midarm types (Viking/ HandiQuilter) are turning out some amazing work after the learning period. They say get one with a good tension system and consider if you want a stitch regulator. My friend who has a big frame is struggling a bit more. Space is an issue.
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