6/17/13

Quilting the Cats

Today I made the quilt sandwich for the Love Me, Love My Cat quilt.


This quilt will finish up at 37.5 x 47 inches.  I'm trying something new this time by using Bottom Line thread in my bobbin.  So many folks have raved about this thread that I bought a black cone, a white cone, and several colored spools a couple of years back.  When I tried it with my old machine, I didn't like it at all and bonked myself on the head for wasting my money on it.  Then recently I had a conversation with someone (can't remember who) and she suggested something (can't remember what).  In any case, I decided to give it another try with my new machine, and it's working great so far.  I don't even remember what I didn't like about it.  It could be that I was shot with some sort of cosmic ray gun that erased all my good sense (ha!) and my memory at some point in time.  Whatever possessed me has apparently left my sewing room.  I just wound one bobbin in case it decided to act up, or the spirits returned.  For now, it's working great.

My new sewing machine has some quirks, as all machines do I guess.  When I'm sampling the stitches, I'm always wishing it could sew a better straight stitch, but then I don't notice it when I'm doing actual sewing.  It could be that scrutinizing the stitches too closely is a bad idea.  Nevertheless, I'm happy with it for the most part.  But I have to say that I totally love the way the BSR works on this machine.  I had the BSR with my old machine too, but it just seems to work better with this larger machine.  It makes quilting so much less anxiety provoking, for me at least.  


I'm attempting to do the design that Leah Day calls Hearts & Spirals.  I say I'm "attempting to do" it because I can never make my designs looks just like hers.  That's the best part of free motion quilting.  I've said this before, and I'll say it again:  Free motion quilting is very forgiving.  It makes sense that my design would look different from hers too.  She's working with a small square of fabric and filling the whole square.  I'm trying to fit my design around a lot of embroidery, and so I'm going to need to be a little more flexible with it.


I don't want my hearts all facing in the same direction, and so sometimes my spiral comes off the bottom of the heart, and sometimes it comes from the cleft at the top.  I'm trying to stick with her advice to do one heart, and then one spiral, but sometimes I add an extra of one or the other just because it fits in among the embroidery stitches better.


It's still a challenge for me not to hunch my shoulders up around my ears...which is very hard on my neck.  Today I stopped after having completed these two squares.


There are still six embroidered blocks and four star blocks.  I have no idea what I'm going to do in the star blocks.  I might have to poke around and see how other folks have done them.  I'm kind of liking the heart theme for this "Love Me, Love My Cat" pattern, and so maybe I'll try to stick with something heart-related inside the stars too.  For the sashings and borders I'm considering using one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.  We'll see.  I always feel as if I'm off to a good start just by getting started.  It's easy to think too much and become paralyzed trying to make up my mind what to do.  I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to over think things and make myself crazy...uh, crazier.  I'm much better off when I just wing it.

And since it's mid month, I'm going to link this post up to the mid-month check-in at:



22 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This is just a sweet little quilt and the hearts do fit it.

Sheila said...

What a beautiful quilt Barbara. Can't wait to it hanging on the wall :)

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Just looked at the close up of your quilting and it's so nice and smooth. Love the quilt as well. It's just too cute.

Teresa in Music City said...

Love that design with this quilt! Hearts and cats just go together, right?

Teresa aka MarieSews said...

This is a terrific quilt. I've drooled over the pattern many times but have not yet succumbed. After seeing your quilt, I might just have to breakdown and get the pattern.

WoolenSails said...

It looks wonderful to me, love the design, really beautiful and fun.

Debbie

Becky said...

Looks wonderful. Remember that Bottom Line is thinner than say Masterpiece, so you may need to tweak your tension, either more on the bobbin, or less on the top. I love it on the long-arm.

gpc said...

Adorable - and your quilting is really beautiful!

LynCC said...

Yeah, this quilt's super sweet. :) You know - I had been FMQ'ing for a good 5 or 6 months before my body finally said "oooooh!! I GET it!" and my shoulders suddenly just melted into relaxing while I worked. It was a trippy moment.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

This is just too cute... I must stitch those kitties one day!!

Kathy H said...

I love this quilt and I think your quilting is turning out beautifully. I have used the bottom line in quilting or embroidering and also machine applique. I really like using it.Occasionally the bottom thread will come to the top with it but it is mostly at the start of the quilting or embroidery.

ANudge said...

So cute and love your free motion quilting!

Diane Wild said...

Oh yes, relax those shoulders or you'll end up in therapy like me. Take numerous breaks. Your quilting is perfect for your cats. Love it.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Barb, your quilt is beautiful!!

Junebug613 said...

I think it looks terrific! Besides, if we all quilted exactly the same, it would be boring! I'm always so impressed with your work. I'm also in the "over-thinkers" club. LOL I just drew out my quilt blocks for a Bee I'm in to get my groups approval before I cut anything! LOL

Nita said...

I am just discovering how much I like redwork. Is there a special wall waiting to hang this lovely quilt on?

treadlemusic said...

The hearts/spirals is so perfect for this and you are doing it well. When doing spirals with a specific shape (heart, leaf, etc) there are many instances when an extra spiral, or two, balances the stitch pattern better than alternating. It just becomes more "fluid" and less regimented and that's what the FMQ is all about (I feel). It has the "human touch" as opposed to those patterns that follow a panto or computer program. You are doing a lovely job!!! Hugs, Doreen

Dar said...

Your waLlhanging looks so cute with the hearts and swirls quilting. Good choice.

quiltzyx said...

Yep, hearts & spirals are just the right touch for the kitties. Now to practice the 'shoulders down' method, right? Oh, and don't forget to breathe too!

Lyndsey said...

The hearts and spirals really suits the quilt. I know what you mean about hunching your shoulders when quilting, I end up with neck ache. I start off nice and relaxed but as time goes on I hunch my shoulder. I think maybe I end up working on the quilt for too long.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I just love the button fabric you used. I can just see Smitty playing with a ton of buttons. Hmm...I wonder if they make catnip flavored, edible buttons???? Boy, wouldn't you be in trouble then? He'd expect every button to be catnip.

Kate said...

The quilting looks great.