We went on vacation this last week and I completely checked out on technology. It was wonderful, but I am happy to be back!
I missed WIP Week for this month, but I did spend some time working on an unfinished project. I hope you did too! See my last post for more about my WIP Project. It was an English Paper Pieced quilt designed by Mickey Depre (Her patterns are fabulous!).
We flew back home late Friday night and yesterday (Saturday) I spent on a date with Millie. If you remember, we had a few boxes delivered the week before I left town. Those boxes turned into an amazing, APQS longarm machine. I AM IN LOVE! Sorry My Love, you might have a little competition.
Back to Millie- Her full name has turned into Millennium Falcon thanks to one of my awesome Brother-in-Law’s suggestions. For short, we will still call her Millie. The week before we left I was able to get her all assembled, we plugged her in, saw lights turn on, then I had to leave and drive back to my house. This was so tough! It was just before midnight when we saw her lights turn on, so we were not able to actually hear her hum.
The week was crazy and I wasn’t able to get back to her before leaving town. Thankfully, I had a great distraction-Disney World. Though I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about sewing with her every day.
Back to yesterday. Yesterday I finally got to not only turn her on and hear her hum!
At first, I loaded on a couple fat quarters to check tension and play with settings on QuiltPath, the computer program she is able to work with and we have conveniently named “Millie’s Brain”. Here is what we came up with.
After this was finished, I decided to work with a larger area and loaded a little over a yard top and a backing then played more. This time I didn’t have a plan and just wanted to try different things.
I wasn’t looking up tutorials or spending too much time fighting through settings because I am taking a two-day class next weekend. This was just a time to get my hands dirty.
The first row I was hoping to alternate a teddy bear and crosshatching. Everything went well for the teddy bear, then it moved to do the crosshatching, but instead of making a jump, it sewed the transition line. “It is just a test piece,” I reminded myself, though I was already looking for a seam ripper to mend this mistake. On the next jump from crosshatch to teddy bear I thought I could trick it and stop her right after finishing the crosshatch then move it to the start of teddy bear and search for closest stitch. In theory it sounded like a fabulous idea, but in action it just didn’t work. I moved along to a new row.
Another issue I came across was that sometimes after starting a block, setting the safe areas and where the block should sew, Millie would move through the pattern, but wasn’t stitching. I was able to jump in the middle of it and get her to start stitching again, but I couldn’t figure out how to back up and get her to fix what she missed. I’m hoping to clear this up with a YouTube video or in class next weekend.
I’m very happy with how everything is going so far even with this learning curve. I’m glad I was able to start playing and come across these issues ahead of time.
After coming across a few issues I decided to take a stab at freehand quilting. I turned QuiltPath off and unlatched her from the belts to give me full control. Once ready, my mind went blank and I had no idea what to quilt. I started with a simple “hello!” and I forgot halfway through how to write cursive- brain fart!
Next up I played with writing “Quilter’s Hideaway.” Remember that surprise I hinted at a few posts back? Here is another part of it. I’m going to let you slowly put pieces together as I share hints and clues.
With that, I moved on to some meandering, straight lines, and a box. I also tried pebbles in a smaller box, but my goodness, this will need some work.
I hope you enjoy this journey with Millie. I cannot wait to continue learning and sharing along the way. I already realize I will need to come up with a better option for getting pictures of the quilting. Often it was hard to get the stitches to show up.
See you at the machine,