Thursday, April 05, 2018

This quilt is driving me crazy

Do you ever have a project that just won't behave?

Prior to the beginning of this year, I really hadn't quilted much at all since 2014. But before that I was fairly prolific so it's not like I'm completely new to this. I get that it will take some time to get reacquainted and I'm not expecting perfection. but my granny square quilt is driving me absolutely insane.

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I was originally going to individually quilt the blocks and assemble them like I did my herringbone quilt. However after that experience i just wasn't ready to do that again so instead I stitched the blocks into 3 rows and am quilting them in 3 parts to be assembled after the quilting is mostly done.

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A post shared by Sara (@knottygnome) on

I made several practice pieces using fusible fleece and a solid fat quarter with no backing. I had no trouble at all maneuvering around with free motion quilting. so it was time to start.

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But the actual quilt just is not going well. I have broken like 10 needles so far and my aurifil 50wt mako thread kept shredding so much that i switched to superior so fine in a different color for the top thread in the middle of the quilt. i at first thought that my 80/12 needles i was using for the practice pieces weren't strong enough so i switched to 90/14 sharps. but those are breaking as well. any time i have to go over a thick seam, my machine just doesn't like it at all.

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I've been trying to quilt for about 1/2 hour every day but last night I only got in about 10 minutes before I broke 2 needles in a row, including my last one in the pack. so now i have 100/16 topstitching needles on their way to me to see if i have better luck with them.

I don't recall having this many issues with breaking needles before. i will say that i've tended to avoid quilting over thick seams in the past. my prior quilts often used stippling or loopy quilting that makes it fairly easy to avoid those spots. I think that I will definitely go back to pressing my seams open for future quilts and I will probably go back to my favorite Quilter's Dream Request batting, as it's the flattest I've used. (For the granny square quilt, I'm using Hobbs 80/20, which is a bit poofier).

I'm just incredibly frustrated right now. I want this quilt to be over and done with (off the machine?) so I can move onto other things. I'm nearly halfway done with the quilting, but I still have so much more to go. I really want to relax and enjoy this experience but it's just not working so far.

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