Since I started machine quilting Tumblers and before that I did the small Christmas Tree wall hanging by machine also I have received some e mails from hand quilters wondering if I have turned to the “dark side” and wondering if I’m leaving the hand quilting world LOL — NO I’M NOT!! I will never give up hand quilting – it is the method I love and the look I love.
This winter I have been having some arthritis in my right hand in the fingers – I have done so much hand quilting in the past year I feel that it has contributed to the problem but not completely caused it. I have had joint/muscle problems for years and the osteoarthritis is becoming more of a problem. I most likely will not be able to spend the hours that I have done hand quilting and go more to 30 minutes at a time and then break time. Hand Piecing doesn’t seem to bother me in the least and I have no pain with it so I will very much continue my love of hand piecing.
I feel that I need to learn how to machine quilt straight lines well on smaller quilts and leave my hand quilting to the quilts I consider more “heirloom” quality or too difficult in the piecing to machine quilt how I would like it.
For me – this is my own opinion and doesn’t mean in the least that I don’t like quilts that use this – I do not like the all over pantograph – swirly machine quilting – to me it doesn’t accent the quilt pattern. For me if I am going to do any machine quilting then it must be straight lines going with the pattern of the quilt or simple curvy lines.
If I try to do quilting both ways – hand and machine- maybe my hand problem will not get worse and I hope as spring comes and the warmth comes back (like it has been so cold here ) maybe my fingers will loose the stiffness that is in it right now. I have ordered a small hand exercise ball to squeeze off and on throughout the day as I have heard that that type of exercise for the hand can help – we will see.
Thank you to all of you machine quilters who have been helping me out trying to figure out what is causing these skipped stitches in the Tumbler quilt. I will continue to work on it today and see how it goes. I have put in a #16 needle, took the walking foot off but I will try it again now with the number 16 needle and see what happens – if the walking foot still doesn’t seem to be working properly I will take it back off and finish this quilt off with a regular foot. I have cleaned out the bobbin case and dusted everything off. No lint appears to be stuck anywhere. I always thought one was supposed to use the same thread in both the top and bobbin but some of you say to use a thinner thread in the bobbin casing – the bottom line thread from superior is polyester – that seems so wrong to me that it is not cotton to match what I am using on top! is this what you all use?
I will continue to make a quilt from start to finish until the time it becomes necessary to have someone else do the quilting. I really enjoy the whole process. I might just have to make less and slow down – although I think I probably have a good lot of quilting years left in me!