Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday, a quilt show, and my new love--the Horizon 7700

Guess what? I can free-motion quilt! And not only can I do it, but I'm actually pretty good. Now this might sound like bragging, and it probably is, but. . . I've been really, really intimidated about trying to do this. And yet at the same time, I've been annoyed with myself for not trying outside of one REALLY BAD try on my current machine. I'm been feeling like my creativity has been limited. I have all these great ideas about quilting for my quilts, and I want to be the one to do it. Anyway, back to the point. . . 

Friday, my husband took the day off work and after taking care of some administrative things, the rest of the day was a Tammy day. After lunch at Ikea, we headed to Triangle Sewing Centre in Guelph and I tested out the Janome Horizon 7700. Wowzer, this machine is not only beautiful, but is very talented and intelligent too! Sorry honey, I think I'm in love.  :oP  Just check out these stitches!

I definitely put the machine through it's paces. I brought some difficult fabrics with me. One of which was a really gauzy and stretchy knit fabric and I didn't bring any stabilizer. On the first pass it wasn't too happy, but with a couple adjustments on settings and with a different foot (that comes standard with the machine) it totally did it (happily too) and with only two layers of fabric! I tried out a couple pieces of the four-way stretch fabric I made a couple infinity dresses out of this summer on auto tension and there was zero waving of the fabric. And to boot, the machine has a stitch for stretch fabrics that is very close to a straight stitch, but has the stretch and strength of a zig-zag. I knew I'd be happier sewing on a machine where I would have things like the ability to change the stitch width and length, needle down, a bigger harp, and the ability to use a walking foot. But WOW, WOW, WOW. It was hard walking out of the store without the machine, but alas I must complete my comparison shopping and save a bit more money first.

But that wasn't it for Friday. . . we just had enough time to pop over to the next city and see the Grand National Quilt Show 2011. The pictures on the site don't do the quilts justice. They were truly works of art. I wish I had of had more than 30 minutes to view them, but I am just happy I had a chance to go. Definitely I plan on returning to see next year's show. I really enjoyed seeing Anna Hergert's piece called Global Warming - Benefit or Peril. I loved how the quilt could be adjusted and have a totally different look.
Image belongs to Anna Hergert

Image belongs to Anna Hergert

Now it's time to talk about what I'm working on. I haven't accomplished a ton of sewing, but I did get some 3D pin wheels pieced. I'm making a pillow cover for my niece, now I just have to put the back on.

I started out with some more of the HSTs my Mom gave me and sewed them together to make the tradition square you'd start with for 3D pin wheels. 

I then needed to square them up, so I cheated and used my AccuQuilt Studio and a 3 1/2" strip die to square them.

They just look so much nicer after they get the nice clean "I've just been cut" edges.

From there, I cut out some charm squares in Kona Turquoise and pieced them together.

I've also started to piece a stacked coin quilt in red and white with some lovely fat quarters I got back in April. I had a few minutes this morning and managed to get all the strips cut before my daughter woke up. I love it when she sleeps in until 9am! I didn't get a chance to grab any photos though. Next week.

I'm also planning on finishing the Brown Bear quilt I started a while ago. It won't be long until that baby makes it's way into the world. I better get cracking. Now where did I put those letters I've already cut that need to be appliqued. Hmmmm....

Check out what everyone else is working on here:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Linz said...

As a Janome user, I say go with the Janome!! :)

Anyway, beautiful blocks!! I love the fabrics!! Well done!

Good luck with the sewing machine search!!

Live a Colorful Life said...

I have an Elna, which is like a twin to Janome I think. I'm really happy with it. Fun pinwheels!

Marg said...

The Janome sounds like a fabulous machine. Don't bother trying a Pfaff.
The pinwheels look amazing, really pretty.

Melinda said...

Jealous of your new machine! I sew on a Kenmore so everything's better than mine. Love your pinwheels!

Letterpress said...

Very cool quilt, and also very cool how you got your accuquilt to assist you in all the trimming (the worst part of the HSTs I think). A great new idea!

And how fun to be considering a new machine. I applaud your strength to walk out of the store without buying in order to complete your comparison shopping--good luck!

Elizabeth E.

felicity said...

I, too, detest the trimming stage in making HSTs - I *love* your idea. I may just have to buy myself a Go Baby because I can't seem to win one in the giveaways.

For what it's worth, I sew on a Bernina. I love how well-made it is, but my model (145) has a really small harp which is a pain when I want to FMQ anything much bigger than a lap quilt.

Leanne said...

Lovely work. I love the Horizon, but I know Bernina's are wonderful too.

Jane said...

Love the batik pinwheels! I've never sewn with batiks, but do have a pack of bali pops on the shelf. Don't think I could use them for pinwheels but you've given me something to think about.

Brigitte Heitland said...

It's great you took the plunge and do free motion quilting on your domestic machine! It is half as difficult as it seems to be, isn't it? And one become better and better by each quilt. Thanks for stopping by at my blog.