Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quilting in the Mountains

In a previous post, I wrote about setting up my Gammill long arm machine in the unfinished basement of our mountains cabin.  I decided that I could not wait until it was finished to start quilting again.   I had some projects I needed to get finished.  So, I drove up by myself last Wednesday morning and started cleaning up the sawdust and dirt down there.  That pile of insulation, plywood, and metal screening just had to stay in their corner and be ignored.

My husband's shop vac was up there.  Now this is a truly awkward machine, undoubtedly designed by men for men.  You have to bend over to vacuum the floor, pulling that bulky barrel-like tank, and using a little slot-like nozzle to do a whole floor.  Not good, but I did not want to use my good vacuum cleaner down there.

After sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping the floor, I put some sheets under the machine to protect the parts of the quilts that might drag on the floor.

One of the biggest problems in the room is that there is no overhead light or even electricity.  I used a whole mess of extension cords and multi-outlet sockets for the machine, light, bobbin winder, and hydraulic lift.

I set up a card table for the bobbin winder and some supplies.

I spent some time cleaning and oiling the machine, and turned it on.  Voila!  It fired right up and worked just fine after months of neglect.

Here is the first quilt that I did in the new location.  It is a baby quilt to be given on Saturday to a family member.  I don't think they read this blog, so it is okay to show it off.

I had some squares left over from another baby quilt.  For the center squares, I put two of each fabric so that the quilt becomes a sort of matching game to look for the same fabric.

The quilting is free-motion, with lots of swirls and ocean motifs to go with the baby's nursery.

This quilt is now completely finished and wrapped in its gift box.

I also quilted a small quilt for a friend of mine from the Whacky Ladies who has waited about eight months for her quilt.  She know I like to do artistic quilting, and let me have free rein on how to quilt all the monsters and ghouls.

The creatures were fused to the background, making a stiff surface to quilt on, but the area was too large to be left unquilted.  I went inside each one with some defining quilting stitches, and did echo quilting around them.

In the washings and borders, I did a straight-line meander in all directions.  The backgrounds behind the faces are quilted mostly with loops, but sometimes their names.

The thread broke quite often due to the heavy going in the fused areas.  And then there was this pieced backing!  All those seam intersections also made for a lot of thread breakage.

Well, it is done and Carolyn liked it!  On to the next one.

I got both quilts done in two days, and was able to enjoy the long Labor Day weekend with lots of family and friends.  In our little cabin we had six adult guests, five children under five, and four dogs!

Here are a few pics of the fun we had.

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