Saturday, May 31, 2014

A week of treadling

     This week has been one of those limbo weeks.  I am going on vacation next week and this week was a short one due to the holiday, therefore I haven't been able to get into anything of any consequence.

I  did spend a couple of hours in one of our community buildings sandwiching a couple of quilts, using two 8 foot tables pushed together.  It sure is better than crawling around and around on the floor, especially for a larger quilt.  I haven't wanted to start the quilting because of being gone next week, so was looking around for something to sew on that wouldn't require much concentration and could be easily interrupted.
     I pulled out the Split Nine Patches and brought them upstairs to the Singer 127.  I knew my treadling skill could use some improvement, so decided to concentrate on getting more comfortable with that process.  Here's the things that needed improvement; my 1/4 inch seam was inconsistent, my seams weren't very straight, the treadle belt was slipping and I would frequently break the thread because I would start the treadle movement backwards.
     I set up my sewing space and started addressing these issues.  I had bought a 1/4 inch piecing foot that was supposed to fit the 127, but if I used it, the fabric wouldn't feed through right.  I tried adjusting the presser foot pressure, but it still wouldn't feed properly.  I put the original presser foot back on, but then my seam wasn't a consistent size.  After trying several ways of marking the throat plate, I ended up with masking tape plus a magnetic business card.  Whenever you change the bobbin, you open the bobbin cover and disrupt the magnetic card, thus the need for both.
     Next, I shortened the treadle belt by about a 1/4 inch.  That helped with starting the machine going in the right direction.  I am happy to report that I haven't broken the thread all week.
     Now to work on the straight seam issue.  I seem to need to pin a little more with the treadle.  Otherwise, when I take my right hand off the fabric to give the flywheel a push, I get a little zag in my seam, or maybe its a zig, anyway it zig-zags.  I also think practice will make perfect.  The more I do it, the more control I feel I have.  I don't seem to think about the treading as much as I did.
    I love these split nine-patches.  Everyone of them is unique.  I have 70 now, on my way to 196.  That will give me a quilt 84 X 84.  The blocks finish at 6 inches.  Here's some of them;

I love how the shades of color blend on each side of the diagonal line.  I do find it difficult to just pick up the units willy-nilly and sew them together.  I find myself planning the color arrangement of each block.  I don't think that is the intent of a scrappy quilt, but just can't help myself.
     I will try to post about vacation, but not sure I can do it with my phone or i-Pad while on the move.  If I can't figure it out, I will post when I get home.  Meanwhile,
keep on stitchin'.


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