Saturday, January 05, 2013

Scrap Assassin: first project loaded up

Now that the holidays are over and all of the people who were staying here have returned to their homes, I can return to quilting.  I mean the QUILTING part of quilting, not the piecing part!

Allow me to digress for a small moment .... many years ago, I made myself a list (on the computer, for easy maintenance) of all the projects I had.  Finished tops to be quilted.  WIPs.  Self-kitted projects.  Fabrics bundled together but no specific project.  Fantastic ideas but no specific fabrics.  The category that I wanted to focus on was the tops that needed to be quilted.  Over the years, I *have* worked on it and whittled it down, but I've also pieced many more tops, so there have been additions.

The current status of that category is seventeen, yes, count 'em,  *17* tops to be quilted.  Oy vey!  What's even worse, I know I have two king sized tops in there, maybe three.  That's a LOT of real estate to quilt.  BUT ... I need to get those tops quilted!  So ... that's where I am right now. 

Back in  2004, I started a layout called "Scrap Assassin" as part of a quilting demonstration.  When the demo was over, I packed the blocks away.  It wasn't until summer of 2012 that I finished all the blocks and assembled them into a top (roughly 60"x90").

So, to resume my quilting, I've pulled the Scrap Assassin top, purchased the batting and cut the backing from 108" muslin (currently my favorite fabric for backing).  Just tonight, I loaded it onto Lizzie.  I'm always SO PLEASED when I see the horizonal seamlines running nice and parallel to the rails!  That means I've loaded the top straight and level!  Such simple things make me happy. :-)

Because this top is just SO. VERY. BUSY ... I decided that I'd do a pantograph.  I chose "Espalier" by Hermoine Age.

I'm using Glide thread by Fil-Tec.  This color is called "Khaki" but it really looks like an "old gold" shade.  Lovely, lovely stuff.

The panto is looking good and I just LOVE the way Glide thread stitches!

The only annoyance (for me) is that I don't particularly care for doing pantos.  I don't like not being able to see what I'm stitching.  This is ESPECIALLY annoying when the bobbin thread runs out and I don't notice it until much later.  This particular top has a LOT of intersections.  Unfortunately, I made an unwise choice in the black fabric ... it's especially thick for some reason.  Lizzie doesn't exactly "balk" at the intersections but she does protest a little by doing a little dance around the thick areas.  I can feel it when I'm guiding the machine head and I'm not always certain if it's a thick intersection or if something is really going wrong with Lizzie.  Thankfully, it's always been a thick intersection (so far!).   Since I can't see where I'm stitching, I can't compensate the quilting design in those areas, so they look a little weird.

I've loaded the quilt lengthwise.  I did it in this case to reduce the number of passes I'll need for the quilting.  There is no "top" or direction to this layout, so loading it lengthwise or crosswise doesn't make any difference.  This top is about 60" wide.  The panto is about 11" wide ... so it'll take me about 6 passes to fully quilt it.  I've already done two passes tonight .. and it's looking very nice indeed!   :-)

So, why am I doing a panto when I don't really care to do them?  Well, basically, just to keep my skills current.  Being able to quilt with a pantograph is useful and I don't want to forget the specifics.  It'll never be my favorite style of quilting but some quilts don't need custom, semi-custom, or even specific quilting in different areas.  For some quilts, pantographs are just the best way to go and I want to be able to do it.

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