Custom Quilting. iQ Project
7. Stitching the first row of block patterns and vertical sashing.
In this installment, I use distort and shape shift to modify the patterns so they fit in the blocks on my real quilt.
You’ll see that I have a serious tension issue at the start that cured itself. I have found that with the change of seasons, and thus temperature and humidity, my elderly machine does this. I had stitched a bit before making this video and thought the machine was warmed up enough, but surprisingly that was not the case. I chose to ignore the bad tension. You might also notice that my machine’s speed changes - that’s because I accidently brushed against the speed dial when I was working on modifying the patterns. I did not check the dial’s position before starting to stitch. The lesson here is to always glance at your speed setting when iQ prompts you to do so before touching that start button on the sew quilt screen. I changed the speed slightly whilst iQ was stitching.
Now onto the instructions.
Retrieve your complete quilt map and align it away from your real quilt, just we did last week. This time I aligned it off to the right hand side.
I marked the centers of the next row sashing corner stones, then did these steps :
Add/edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt.
I marked points around the block as many times as necessary to show the true block on the screen. This is important.
(My remote clicker has a small usb receiver plugged into one of the ports on the top of my tablet.)
When I got to the end of marking my block, instead of taking the needle back to the start, I simply touched close block.
Finished > add/edit pattern > copy pattern. I copied 2 vertical sashing patterns. It didn’t matter which two I copied as they are all the same. I zoomed as necessary.
I moved the copies into position in the sashing block. I snapped the start point of the pattern to the top reference point of the black, then touched stretch. I anchored that start point, and then moved the end point until it snapped to the bottom reference point of the block.
I used true size zoom to inspect the pattern and saw that it needed some modifications.
I touched the double arrows to find shape shift.
Look at the size button – I changed that to 3” before the video started because I had been working on the other sashing patterns. After checking the preferences, as I do in the video, change your effect circle size to 3 inches. Modify your pattern – if you don’t like your modifications, touch undo. Change the size of the circle and try again. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get the result you want – try working with a large effect circle and a smaller effect circle to see which modifies the pattern to your liking. You can undo up to 10 steps so don’t worry if your pattern starts to look really bad. If it gets completely out of shape, you can always delete it then copy the patterns from the quilt map and start again.
If your shape shifted patterns looks very strange, check that you have smooth on. If it’s off, touch the button then touch the plus or minus sign to change it to on.
Note: when you get to the next sashing, copy the patterns from the quilt map, not from this sashing which has been altered and thus will be more difficult to modify for the new block. Always start with an unmodified pattern for the best results.
As you watch my machine stitching, this is where you’ll see that terrible tension. It didn’t happen again. You’ll also see that that first double stitched line wasn’t right on top of the previous stitching. This shows how my quilt had moved because I had my hand on the surface. Lesson number 2 – do not touch the quilt until you are absolutely sure you need to!
Don’t worry about making mistakes like this – we learn so much from our mistakes (and I’m obviously still learning!)
Having completed the first vertical sashing, go on to the next. Mark the sashing block, copy the patterns from the quilt map, move them into place and modify them as necessary. Stitch them. Move on to the next sashing, then the final sashing. Always work on one block at a time – mark the block, place the patterns and sew them immediately.
After completing all the sashings, delete the sahing patterns and the sashing blocks, and then move on to the 10” blocks.
I started with the block at the right hand side. I marked on quilt the block, and then added a diagonal line to help me position the heart patterns. I copied the two heart patterns for that block and moved them into place.
I studied how the patterns related to the diagonal line and found I only needed to rotate the patterns. If your patterns need more modification, use distort and/or shape shift. Just play around – if you make horrible mistakes, simply delete the patterns and copy them again.
Before stitching, I needed to check that my preferences, or local configurations, were set for backstitching because there are some jump stitches built into this pattern.
I sequenced one pattern then touched sew quilt to get to the page where I can alter those settings.
I set my back stitching length quite long so you can see the machine doing them. Personally, I don’t like that double backstitching, especially with this high contrast thread. If this were a piece I needed to look really good, I would have modified the pattern and eliminated the backstitching. I’ll show how to do that in an additional video.
After setting my preferences, I backed out of the sew quilt page so that I could sequence all the block patterns I wanted to sew.
I choose jump stitch as the transition between the two patterns.
I moved onto the center block next, marking the block and copying the center pattern.
This time I used distort. I always go to true size when modifying patterns with distort and use the little reference points of the distort box as guides. This gives me consistent spacing from pattern to pattern.
After using distort, I panned around and used shape shift to alter one side of the pattern where it came too close to the seam (edge of the block).
The image on the video is zoomed in at this point so you can clearly see what happens to the pattern. What you can’t see is that I chose shape shift, and then altered the size of the effect circle (you can just see me altering it by using the keypad).
This allowed me to move that part of the pattern away from the block.
On the stitching sequence page, I swapped the start/end points so that the pattern would stitch the outside first before going to the wreath.
Note: Look at the close up of the pattern at the end – the tiny circle in the center should have touched the petals. Mine doesn’t probably because I was going too fast. I think slowing down iQ would have improved this stitch out considerably, so that’s lesson number 3 for this installment.
Let’s see if I remember those lessons in the next installment.