Friday, May 3, 2013

Change of Plans -Ribbon Embroidery

A few posts ago I showed some of my latest ribbon embroideries.
This one is on a 4 x 4 background though I showed it in a 3 x 5 mat.   When I was auditioning a fabric for the back it looked so good against the purple that I decided to turn it into a little wall hanging instead.  I started by turning it upside down so the leaf design on the background showed up better.
This purple leafy fabric is too nice to be on the back of a framed piece

 Then I machine stitched tiny leaves around the green to anchor it to the purple.  I was surprised and pleased that my machine obeyed and the stitching worked out - with only a few glitches.
Leaf stitch around the green background

Close up of leaf design
However the free motion quilting was another story.   I added batting and backed it with another piece of purple.   Then I spent 2 frustrating hours this afternoon trying to machine quilt.   No matter what I did, my threads did terrible things on the back, the machine seized up, the air was blue!!!   I followed instructions in quilting books to the letter (and tried all the suggestions given to me by my machine quilting friends).  I threaded and re threaded.  I changed tensions.   I changed needles.  I lay the thread horizonally.  I stood it up vertically.....By the end I was getting pretty fed up with all the 'happy talk' in the quilting books:(  One piece of advice I did finally take - stop and have a cup of tea - which I did).  I think I needed something stronger than tea though!  

And I have a confession to make.   Though I am determined to learn how to machine quilt after years of hand quilting,  I have to confess I don't love my machine!!   After a few tries which end up with clunking, broken threads, nests on the back and the machine finally seizing up I am ready to pull out a canvas and paint.   I'm beginning to think that machines are like animals.  They can sense my fear.   After years of being soothed and satisfied by hand stitching,  I know that is my thing.  It's what I love to do.   I am going outside now to sit  in the sun and I am going to hand quilt this piece.   Maybe I'll try again another day.....

1 comment:

  1. Did you clean out the bobbin case and area? Could be you have a thread caught somewhere that is catching on something. Bird's nest usually indicate bobbin area is the problem. I noted you were working on batiks....was the needle making a popping type sound as it entered the fabric? Sometimes I go to a size 16 working on tight woven batiks.
    so sorry you are frustrated, but the piece is lovely and the purple is so beautiful. And a cup of tea always improves the spirit!


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