Meet the new addition to my craft room... It is a sit down quilting machine, a Baby Lock Tiara which is basically the same thing as the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. I purchased it on Monday and have had so much fun playing with it for the last few days.
For a long time I wanted to get a Bernina with a BSR. However, when my friend Kathy of Kayak Quilting mentioned her sit down HQ 16, the wheels started turning in my head. I realized that for what I really wanted to do the quilting machine would be so much better for me. :) So I test drove this machine on President's Day. I totally loved it!
I actually bought the floor model I test drove at my dealer (also one of my favorite local quilt shops), and I am so glad I did. I went in the morning and purchased the machine. Then they serviced it and got it all ready for me. I went back in the afternoon and they taught me what I needed to know to get quilting. It was so nice bringing home my machine already threaded with great tension. After finishing the last three seams on my twister quilt (my mini-tutorial on how I pieced the blocks is here), I got my craft room set up and started playing with my new toy. Sewing all the blocks of my twister together was a great way to keep busy before I could go pick up the Tiara.
This set-up does block part of my design wall, but when I need to use the whole thing (which is often) I can wheel my cabinet to the middle of the room or in front of the closets. This little inconvenience is. so. worth. it.
First, I finished the little sample the dealer sent home with me. [Fabric added to stash .5 yards.] Cheetah thought that it was so cool, that he said I should finish it. So I did. Here is my Modern Whole Cloth quilt.
It was my first time ever quilting pebbles and paisleys. I love that I will have this sample of the first thing I ever quilted after purchasing my Tiara. :) It will be great for comparisons later.
Mini Quilt Stats:
Name: Modern Whole Cloth Quilt
Fabric: Various solids
Stash Used: .75 yards
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Size: About 18 x 21 inches
What I learned:
- My Tiara is totally awesome!
- I like the stitch regulator, too.
Then I got playing with other fabric. [Stash used 1 yard.] Practicing quilting is a great way to use up fabric I don't want to use in a quilt. This example is what was left from my red strings coin quilts. I didn't want to use it in a quilt because of how much it absorbed the dye. I also used some other ugly fabric.
After some practice quilting, I wanted to quilt a bunch more. But I was not ready to quilt on something I pieced as I am still learning the ins and outs of my machine. So, I went through my stash and pulled fabric for six whole cloth quilts. The fun thing about these six quilts is that every single one has batting which has been stitched together. It used up all my large scraps of batting and emptied one cube of my Ikea Expedit. I felt so thrifty. :o) It also made a dent in my floral fabrics and used some of my pinks (my March goal).
Making whole cloth quilts is something I reccomend to people who are learning FMQ. And this proves that I follow my own advice! The six quilts range in size from 36 x 42 to 42 x 54. I plan on donating them locally. I hope my practice can do some good for someone else.
Here you can see the machine in action with the sixth whole cloth quilt. Well, if I was actually sitting in the chair. LOL.
It is wonderful having the extra room with that sixteen inch arm, but what I am enjoying the very most is the view. I can see all around the needle without having to hunch over and look behind the machine. Because I was used to quilting with the wall behind my machine, I am used to the quilt just pushing against something like back of the machine. So on these baby and lap quilts my space feels unlimited on the right and left. It seems like I gained a lot more than just the sixteen inches.
Here it is from a different view. You can see that I have added tables (or an ironing board) to the right and left of my sewing chair. It is helping me hold the weight of the quilt and I am not fighting gravity at all. The sewing cabinet to the right is also very handy for my scissors and thread catcher.
The black knob that you see to the right of my needle is the stitch regulator. I am getting used to moving it around every time I adjust my hands. It is working great! Can you tell that I am
Here is a close-up of the quilt you see on the on the table now.
So after I finish this quilt and machine bind the other whole cloth quilts, I will be quilting my twister quilt. Most likely with pointy spirals. I will also do a post with close-ups of all the whole cloth quilts once they are all bound.
Thanks for sharing my excitement with me!
Update January 27, 2015:
I have now been quilting with my Tiara for nearly a year, and I totally love it! Check out this post for what it was like quilting a queen/king size quilt.
|Quilting my Modern Farmer's Wife Quilt with my Baby Lock Tiara ~ January 2015.|
P.S. I am linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. (I am totally
doing a happy dance, in case you couldn't tell.)
P.P.S. I am thinking about naming my Tiara something cheesy like "Princess" what do you think? I have never named one of my machines before. I just call them my Janome or my Pfaff.