I am totally amazed that I was able to finish all the quilting for the spiral galaxy so quickly. Now I loved quilting on Gibbs, my Bernina 830 LE, and it made it possible for me to make quilts I would have otherwise struggled with a great deal. But I am awestruck by the ease of free motion stitching/quilting on my new friend Fritz, my Bernina Q20 set up as a sit down longarm. It is fast, its stitches are very even when I am using the BSRs, it has no problems that I have encountered so far with tension, it sews smoothly, and I can see everything. I even found that using rulers (with foot #96) is just plain easy. I see a very happy future with Fritz.
Gibbs will still, of course, be a big player in my quilting life as will E.Claire, my little Bernina 350 I named after Edith Clair Head. I also have Betsy, my sweet old Bernina 1230, and she is a wonderful machine that I use occasionally for some special stitching, since I have a lot of unusual accessories for her, and when I have other stitchers here in my small studio.
I am feeling exceptionally blessed with my studio lately and have some fun things planned for the future. Next on the docket is my oldest son Ken’s quilt design he gave me for my birthday (see my blog An Extraordinary Present).
Sew now I am putting the many hot fix crystals of different sizes and colors that represent the stars on my spiral galaxy quilt. I am using a new notion to help me with this project. In the past, I have occasionally burned around a crystal when I was placing it on a deep space quilt. The veiling is nylon and the Angelina Fibers darken with too much heat.
I have been looking for something to help me get the crystals heat set without that and, thanks to a Facebook friend, I “discovered” rhinestone transfer tape. There are several brands that were originally created for placing hot fix rhinestone designs worked out in cutting machines and others. I am using it slightly unconventionally. I place a bunch of crystals on my quilt about where I want them, making sure they are right side up and then carefully lower down the tape and stick them all down.
The crystals stick to the tape and it holds them in place while I iron them on. I then use my little individual crystal placement wand and hot fix them in place (the tape is still there between the crystal and the wand), and count (tapping my foot…one, two, three…twelve (for little crystals)…15 (for medium crystals)…32 (for big crystals).
Once all the crystals on the film are heat set, the tape peals off, leaving them behind. You can tell from this if you have them all set, because if you missed one, it stays with the film, so you can set it back down and set that one. No burns, no color changes for my Angelina Fibers, no movement of the crystals, no flipping them off the quilt and having them fly through the air to the other side of the room (yes, I did that!). I caution not to keep the wand down too long, and to use the smallest wand end that works for the crystal size, though, because it is probably still possible to burn the quilt if you aren’t careful.
Sew happy everyone! I hope you have some time to create something wonderful. In these dark times it is particularly important that we make our homes and office spaces beautiful and warm and surround our families and friends with love and beauty.