Piece and Quilt Hop Along {week 4}: Giveaway!

It’s Week 4 of the Piece and Quilt Hop Along. My friends HollyAnneVicki, and I are quilting along in Christa Watson’s new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. It all started here, if you want to start at the beginning.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt

This quilt went together so fast! If you start with jellyrolls, you already have such a head start on putting this quilt together. I started with a jellyroll of the background, and cut strips from yardage, and it was still super quick.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Here’s a little secret–I love nothing more that sewing fabric together. This quilt is chain piecing at its finest. And because it is scrappy, I literally just picked up the scrap nearest to me and started sewing them together. I wondered if I would regret not having a plan when it came time to sew it all together, like would I get stuck with too many of the same fabrics lining up, etc. But it worked out just fine. There are a few places that that I had to let go of my perfectionism and let two patches of the same color touch. Which is what happens with random, right? But I like a little more “controlled random”.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Another new-to-me technique was pressing seams open. It was a great idea for this quilt because then you didn’t have to worry about which way to press your seams to have them nest. And since it was so random–I didn’t really know how the final layout would go. I have to say–the blocks lie so flat! This little tool really helped to get them opened up before pressing. I had to set my stitch length quite a bit smaller, as I noticed that the edges of blocks would start to come apart–so there was a bit of a learning curve. You definitely need pin to get those seams to line up. But I got pretty good at getting a pin right in the seam line and had good results with it. All in all, I love how it came out.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

The Quilting (Nightmare)

This is where our story takes a dark turn. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but this quilt is headed to Quilt Market to show off both Christa’s pattern and fabrics in the Benartex booth. So, of course, I wanted it to be perfect (sigh). I decided to quilt it pretty much the way Christa showed in the book. It looked perfect for the quilt and very doable.

My newly beloved Juki started breaking thread in a way it never had before. I did all the things. I re-threaded, I cleaned out the bobbin case, I changed the needle. It broke three needles in a row. I started wearing glasses every time I changed the needle, just in case, (I didn’t want to lose an eye over this). If it worked, it would start skipping stitches after a few minutes. This quilt has so many stops and starts in the quilting–something that of course, I was trying to minimize.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com
Skipped stitches, broken thread, stops and starts–every quilting problem you could have!

So, I drove 40 minutes to the Juki dealer. They showed me a place where I was threading it wrong (although it had worked fine the way I had it threaded all summer), and of course, it behaved itself at the dealer, so I took it back home. You know how this goes, right? It started acting up as soon as I got home. I spent hours trying to get it to work. Then I finally pulled the old Babylock out of the closet.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

It’s amazing how you get used to a new machine! The Bablylock felt so different and I had become so used to having all that extra harp space on the Juki. But, I pushed on. I was quickly reminded of why I wanted the Juki in the first place. The free motion tension on the Babylock is not great. And I wanted the quilting to be great! So I did all the things. Changed the needle. Opened it up to clean out the bobbin area, etc. Then I put it all back together and I couldn’t get the bobbin thread up. A tangled mess!  I got up and ran it to the dealer. Turns out the bobbin hook was broken. Nooooo! Am I cursed or what?!

At this point, I am up against a deadline and I start looking for Plan B. Luckily, my friend Vicki tells me that I can send it to her and she will finish it (God bless you Vicki!). This plan is looking pretty good about now. But, I get up early on Saturday morning and drive the 40 minutes back to the Juki dealer. They understand my plight at this point and the technician sits down with it then and there to figure it out. I won’t bore you with the details–but it had something to do with the needle threader, which resulted in the timing being off.  He fixed it right there. The threader will not be replaced for a couple of weeks–but in the meantime I have a working sewing machine!!

Free motion machine quilting kristinesser.com

I finished up the wavy line motif that I had been struggling with before (because of the machine–the motif is fun!) and then moved onto some simple zig-zags. It was then that I felt my love for machine quilting return. It felt so good to get back in the zone.

Crazy eight machine quilting kristinesser.com

After that nice warm-up, I got up the nerve to start on some crazy eights.  They are so fun and fast! Definitely not perfect, but they keep getting better and the they give the quilt a beautiful texture.

Free motion machine quilting kristinesser.com

The Giveaway!

Whew! If you made it this far, you deserve a giveaway! Martingale has generously provided each of the Blog Hoppers a copy of the book to giveaway, plus we are each throwing in some free Modern Marks fabric as well! So, make sure you also visit Vicki and HollyAnne.

Here are the details for my giveaway:  There will be two winners . One winner will receive one copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson. If the winner resides in the United States or Canada, they will have their choice of a physical or digital copy of the book. If they reside outside the US and Canada, the winner will receive a digital copy.

The second winner will receive a “jellyroll” of Modern Marks fabrics. This is one 2.5″ strip from each one of Christa’s (31) beautiful fabrics! (U.S. only due to shipping costs)

You can enter below anytime between October 9-20, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

43 thoughts on “Piece and Quilt Hop Along {week 4}: Giveaway!

  1. Kim Smith says:

    A true scrappy quilt is hard for me to do, also, When I see other scrappy quilts, I think they are beautiful and I need to let go of my fears. The book looks great!

  2. Janet T says:

    Machines can be like a two year old. So sweet when they want to be and such a PIA when you need them to behave. I think they sense deadlines!

  3. Cecilia says:

    I have a longarm and soon after I got it I was working on a quilt to be gifted to a friend. My thread kept breaking and the tension on the bottom was a mess! I finally had to rip out all of the quilting and start all over with a different thread. I still had problems, but I was finally able to fix the problem, which was tightening the bobbin case.

  4. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    I made a special quilt for my grandson & Paid a lot for Fabric so I had it “professionally” quilted. When I brought it home I hated the quilting so much that I ripped it all out & had someone else quilt it,

  5. Oh my! I might have shed a few tears. I can’t remember a sewing or quilting nightmare, but I did have a meltdown over a family cookbook. It was crunch time to add in the last few recipes and send the book to the printer to make copies before the reunion. Of course my computer crashed and I didn’t have a back up. After crying to my sister, I sat myself down and typed like a crazy person. The copies were hot off the press at 10:00 a.m. and the reunion started two hours later. We drove like we were on a mission from God and arrived on time. Years later I’m glad I did it. It’s not perfect (no time to proofread), yet we have a treasure of my grandma and her eleven sibling’s kitchen heritage.

  6. Brenda says:

    When I had my machine serviced last I asked for a total going over. I had discussed several issues on the phone with the shop. When I got it back, not only did it do weird things it had never done before, the tension was off, and the problems I had discussed weren’t fixed. When I asked about these, I was told “We don’t remember what you tell us over the phone. If you didn’t tell us when you brought it in, you’re out of luck.” And the tension issues were blamed on my use of Aurifil thread. And so forth and so on. Never again will I set foot in that shop.

  7. Patty says:

    Glad your machine finally cooperated. Tension issues that you can’t solve are always what gets to me. I’ll often walk away and start over which strangely helps me and the machine!

  8. Donna says:

    Frustrating when your beloved sewing machine hiccups and leaves loops every 6 or so stitches on the underside.
    Oh how I would enjoy having Christa’s book, she gives me confidence to try quilting my quilt tops. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Phoebe Ingraham says:

    Oh my goodness! You are so kind to describe your quilting difficulty. When it’s hard, and everyone else makes it seem soooooooo easy, it makes it difficult to continue to believe I can do this! I also had problems with thread breaking on a quilt. It was so frustrating. I believe after all was completed that it was the thread, possibly not liking my machine or a setting. I was sewing on my 45 year old Bernina, and it usually works perfectly, so there aren’t a lot of fancy things to change. I haven’t had the issue since, though I’ve avoided that brand of thread!

  10. Norma Harvey says:

    Learning to let go and it just stitch in a ditch has been nerve wracking. I know I should just practice on scraps and not the quilt I’m making but…. Let’s just say my Seam Ripper and I are never far apart! 😂 Glad your problems got resolved… in time!

  11. Laura says:

    Thanks for your story. I try not to see quilting issues as nightmares, but as learning experiences. That said, lots of learning experiences have I.

  12. Penny Ray says:

    I had a deadline and waiting until the last day to attach the binding. I was hand sewing the binding to the backside and was having a problem with the last corner so decided to clip a smidge off the point. In the process I cut into the binding. I had to take off half of the binding, piece it with the little bit of fabric I had left, reattached it to the quilt, and hand sew the binding down again.

  13. Rhonda Smith says:

    I miscut several important pieces of a quilt by a full inch! I had to change the sizes of the other pieces so the blocks would fit together. I learned measure twice, cut once, the hard way!

  14. Rhonda says:

    I miscut several important pieces of a quilt by a full inch! I had to change the sizes of the other pieces so the blocks would fit together. I learned measure twice, cut once, the hard way!

  15. Cathy says:

    I bought a Hobby Quilter at an auction and it is still giving me fits getting it set up – breaking thread, loopy back, all kinds of tension issues. I’ve had it in the shop, had the service guy make a home visit, but still seem to just struggle every time I use it. I’m struggling to keep remembering that I bought this because of how much fun I thought a longarm was. So far mostly frustration!

  16. Mary D says:

    You persevered through some frustrating moments. Good for you to stick with it.

    I was having tension problems with one of my machines. I threaded, rethreaded, changed needles, changed threads, scratched my head, read the book, said a few colorful words and used my tiny scissors more than I cared too. I took my machine in to be adjusted, paid good money for that, got home and still had tension problems. I bought a new tension assembly and still was having issues. So I bought a new sewing machine and retired that one.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  17. Karen A says:

    I’ve been fortunate to have my machines work well for me. My nightmare comes with having thread that doesn’t like being stitched over. I don’t always have the right color on hand when I want to quilt, so I use whatever is nearby and my machine that I quilt with doesn’t like cheaper threads. I need to buy more Aurifil.

  18. Susan Spiers says:

    How you do persevere! I wouldn’t have the patience! My trouble also began with a Morse sewing machine that I bought at an antique mall, everything was there (including the original plastic bags the parts came in). It purred along as I tried it out before buying-what a bargain at $55! Got home plugged it in and blew my breaker-oh, no! Called the shop, no returns, but being persistent, the seller agreed to look at it if I brought it back to the shop. Three weeks later, the seller called, he had found a fault in the wiring of the light! Happy, happy & it purrs again!

  19. Janet Meeks says:

    Hate that you had so much trouble, but appreciate you sharing, so i know it isn’t just me that runs into these kinds of roadblocks! Beautiful job!

  20. Rita Scott says:

    I can relate to Quilting frustration. I love using the not so straight quilting lines and no one knows if it was intentional or not. Great quilt.

  21. Kristina says:

    Sorry about all the grief the Juki gave you! I bought a Juki for the same reason–to have that extra throat space for fmq. I’ve occasionally had thread breakage problems and it can be SO frustrating! Your quilt turned out so beautiful, though!!

  22. Gayle says:

    My old Viking was a nightmare. I finally discovered a thread cutter blade floating around in it after an earth shattering kaboom. At my first month checkup back in 1996 my non-working threadcutter was my only complaint. At pickup they said they put a new blade in it. I assumed it was because it was dull, not that it was missing and floating around inside! I didn’t find the source of my machine’s gremlin until 2013!

  23. Jan Marshall says:

    My worse nightmare with my sewing machine was when my machine wouldn’t let me adjust the tension when doing fmq I had a mess on the backside of my quilt and had to remove it all. The topside looked just fine.

  24. Laura says:

    I just got a new machine (a juki too) and its mostly smooth sailing, but threading it is not as ingrained in me yet. Not a nightmare exactly, bit a little headache for me right now.

  25. Rose says:

    My latest quilting nightmare was hanging to take two rows apart because I was paying attention to the layout. My trusty seam ripper got a full workout!

  26. Christi says:

    I’ve been quilting a long time so there is always some problem that pops up. Almost once a month it is tension on a machine. Best thing I have learned is try 3 times and then just walk away, have a cup of tea and start over. That said my quilting never looks as good as what I see in the book. I need help I think.

  27. Nancy Lewis says:

    I feel for you. I too had a deadline, and the toggle switch broke on my Juki. I have to plug it in and out, to get it to come on and off. A pain, but workable until I can get it to the shop.

  28. Lori Koltun says:

    While I was reading about your quilting nightmare, I kept nodding and thinking, “been there, done that” so many times. I’m a new quilter but have sewn for several years. My sewing machine is a fairly entry-level machine that wasn’t super expensive. While it’s usually pretty cooperative, I’ve definitely had my share of thread and tension issues, the most common being the bird’s nest on the underside of my projects. It has gotten so bad on more than one occasion that my machine has ground to a screeching halt due to the bird’s nest in the bobbin case itself. Needless to say, I keep my seam ripper close by when I sew, LOL! I asked my hubby if I could get a new sewing machine soon and he said yes. I can’t wait! Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway!

  29. Rachel R says:

    I just miss cut the same backing twice. Oh and my new Babylock Jazz is in the shop since I took it to Christa’s free motion class and just couldn’t get it to work. But I would love love love to win her fabric! Hope your machine doesn’t give you any more problems!

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