February 23, 2010

Easy Free Motion Quilting

I'm working on another fun baby quilt and decided this time to try a new free motion quilting technique. I do a lot of meandering stitches on my quilts but sometimes that can be a little hard on my arms and wrists. So this time, I decided to try flowers and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. As you can see in the above photo, I basted the quilt as I normally would. If you are new to basting, make sure you use the small safety pins because they don't slide around.

I purchased some wonderful thread at the last quilt show I attended and I think I'm going to have to invest in a large supply of it. It's YLI soft touch 100% long staple cotton 60/2 ply. There are 1000 yards on this small spool! It's such a high quality thread, it feels wonderful and is very strong. It is usually used for piecing and applique but I love using it for machine quilting.

Below is a photo of the flower design I am using for this quilt. I am quilting each square on its own and then cutting the thread and moving to the next square. Using a darning foot on my Viking Emerald 118, the flower is a very simple design to make. It looks so cute on this baby quilt, I will surely use this a lot more in future quilts. Simply start in the center of your square and make loops for the flower petals. Each flower turns out a little bit different which adds to the charm. :) Click on the photo to get a closer look at the design.

February 6, 2010

Learning to use the Brother LB-6770 Embroidery and Sewing Machine

I received a Brother LB-6770 Embroidery and Sewing machine for Christmas and it took over a month for me to finally plug it in and start learning how to use it! As you can see from the above photo, it comes with lots of accessories and supplies including 6 presser feet and 1 embroidery foot. My family ordered this one from Costco and it came with 12 spools of colored embroidery threat and 1 spool of bobbin embroidery thread. The reason my mom and I wanted this machine was so we could use the fancier stitches in the quilts that we make and also embroider fun designs onto the quilting fabric that we use.

Here is a closer view of the machine and all the stitch selections that are offered. There are 67 built in stitches and 70 built in embroidery designs. You can expand the variety of embroidery designs by purchasing cards that contain different themes and fonts.

I must admit that looking at the pile of manuals that came with the machine was a little daunting. But once I got started, I found the machine to be very user-friendly and intuitive.

A close-up of the needle machinery

The LCD touch screen is very clear and easy to use.

This model comes with automatic thread cutting which is a wonderful feature! The speed control has a huge range from very slow to extremely fast.

I sampled a few of the stitches that are available and was impressed with how precise they looked. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more about the machine and getting into the embroidery aspect as well. So far I am very happy with it! I will continue to post reviews as I use the machine and learn more about it.

February 1, 2010

I'm itching to sew!

This is a pic of some of the beautiful fabrics and YLI thread that I picked up at the "Road to California" Quilters Expo and Showcase a few weeks ago. I can't wait to start creating fun things with it! This weekend was very busy and I didn't have a moment to sew, so I decided to share with you the items that are staring at me, waiting to be made into a quilt. :)