Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heartbreaker with Happy Ending

Lessons learned quilting this wall hanging:
  • Things happen that are a mystery.
  • Sometimes I am not in the mood for a mystery.
  • Keep those big girl panties close, you might need them.
I stared at my quilt sandwich and drew imaginary lines with my fingertips, this way and that, trying to decide how I might go about quilting this piece. 

Every time I quilt something, I feel like a beginner.  Maybe once I get 10,000 hours under my belt, that feeling will have dissipated.  Guess I better get crackin' then.

I decided on loops and hearts within the hearts.  I made up a practice pad with a fused heart on it because I suspected those fused areas might cause my machine to cough up a hairball or something (I could not remember the specific experience I'd had that made me suspect this, but I suspect there was one). 

The test swatch went fine.  Cleared for takeoff, all systems go.

On the real piece, all seemed to be going well.  As I finished quilting the last (wouldn't you know) of all the hearts, I flipped it over again to check the back.  That's when my real heart sank.  Eyelashes everywhere!  Everywhere I had gone after that first heart, that is; except, oddly enough, a few of the other quilted heart shapes remained intact.  In my dismay, I neglected to take a photo.  It wasn't pretty.

Thus began a disheartening hour or two of ripping out stitches, Googling for answers, inspecting my machine (everything seemed okay, threaded okay, tension good), and trying another test (again, fine). 

I decided to forge ahead and quilt all the non-fused areas, which went well.  Then I went back and attempted to quilt the fused hearts once more.  Again with the eyelashes.  If I went super slow, a stitch at a time, and did nothing fancy, just get in and get out, it was doable (albeit not much fun).  

But at least it's done.  And points for perseverance, because I considered shelving this until February 2014; then I found my big girl panties.

All in all, I'm happy with the finished wall hanging. Happy I got through it, happy it's presentable.
Make A Candy Heart
It's a bummer the fusible parts were so dicey, and a buzz-kill for any fusible applique in my future.  Has this sort of thing ever happened to you?  I used Heat 'N Bond Lite, which is supposed to be sewable.  My machine is a Juki TL98Q, and the thread (which I am admittedly not in love with but I used it anyway) was Isacord both on top and in the bobbin.  I did not change my needle, but it had been recently changed.

So that's the breakdown.  Time to enjoy it on the wall!

January Finishes


GardenOfDaisies said...

Well, it looks gorgeous to me! :-)

Elizabeth said...

I hate it when my machine won't play nicely. But serious points to you for perseverance! It turned out beautifully, even if it wasn't much fun. I love those colors and your scrappy fused hearts are fun.

I don't remember if I've ever actually quilted on fused applique or not. Heat 'n Bond Lite is my fusible of choice, but at the moment, the only quilt I can think of that I've used it on isn't quilted yet. It is on the five-year plan. This year's the year for quilting. I'll let you know how it goes.

Love your cute little conversation hearts. Beautiful finish! Yay you!

xo -E

P.S. I love that gray you used for the outer border and binding. I have some too. Come to think of it, I have it in pink and red too . . .

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

I'm glad you got it all sorted it out...it's adorable:)

Don't give up! Heat 'N Bond Lite has always given me trouble! The adhesive sticks to the needle and causes all sorts of problems. I am a Wonder Under girl! I've done a fair share of machine applique and swear by it. MistyFuse is good, too, but doesn't have the paper backing.

Cute candy hearts:)

Karen said...

Hmmm I use steam a seam for applique, lite....maybe that is why I avoid eyelash? Your quilt is so dang cute! Just heart it...hehe

Sarah Craig said...

How did you baste it? Did you use spray basting? If so, maybe the combination of the two was more than your machine could handle. All in all, though, it came out nicely!

Lori R. said...

I like Steam-a-Seam II Lite the best. Glad you found your panties because everything else you tried sounded like the right thing to do. Did you pet your machine and ask her "pretty please"?

Sara said...

You know you couldn't have wrote this post any better...than say ME!

I had this same problem yesterday. eyelashes are an ugly thing when speaking quilter talk;/ Our sewing machines just gotta throw a wrench in the mix sometimes don't they?! When I went slow it seemed to work better. In and out though too. I used Pellon fusible interfacing.

I also thought maybe it was my thread since I was trying a .kind called Royal that an embroiderer friend recommended. Not totally sold on that stuff either. lol

So to answer your question, I don't think it ever gets easier to quilt things for us quilters perhaps!

BendingPins.com said...

I am so in love with this piece and I adore how you've quilted it, you must be so happy with it! <3

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Heat and bond lite is a glue sheet where Wonder Under is a glue web. If I was quilting through the bonding I would want the web type because it isn't as dense or stiff.

Michelle said...

Eyelashes! While it's been awhile since I've quilted at all, it has always amazed me how they can just show up for no obvious reason. At least you got it narrowed to the fused hearts. Something different there. The glue stuff?

Anyway, the piece turned out wonderfully! :)


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