Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Project 13 - Harriet's Irish Chain Variation - Finished

Sometimes I don't know where my head is at - this is Project 13, not 10!  I suppose I've jumped around a bit and got myself confused (easy to do).

Anyway, the Irish Chain is done & dusted and currently drying on my dining table.


I had some fun with this one - some problems too, but that's par for the course when learning.  The quilting went okay, with the usual struggling with the presser foot lifter on the Pfaff (and the appropriate words which go with those kind of frustrations).

I really liked the look of the quilt once it was all marked out and got stuck into it right away.

The top done, I was ready to mark and quilt the borders when I got the call on Friday - the Bernina is ready!!  I got it home late in the afternoon and set it up in the cabinet.  As a bonus, they also had the correct insert for the Horn cabinet - whoo hoo!  It seems it was ordered years ago, never picked up and has been sitting around in the store room collecting dust.  Lucky me :)

It's sitting up slightly in the cabinet - John will adjust this when he gets the time

Anyway, I did what I've been told never to do, and switched machines during a project.  After playing around with it for a bit, I decided to use it for quilting the borders.

The verdict?  Well I must admit I didn't bond immediately.  I had to learn it's quirks, which are of course different to the quirks my Pfaff has.  I also had to find the 'sweet spot' with my foot, so the machine speed and my hand speed matched.  This took a while... erm, I should say, is taking a while (we are not there yet).

As you can see, the stitch length on the top quilting, which was done on the Pfaff 2048  is more regular than the border stitching, which was done on the Bernina Record 830.  Though by the time I got to the 2nd border, it was less erratic.  Now I'm not saying the Bernina is better than the Pfaff, nor that the Pfaff is better than the Bernina, but they are different.  I've been using the Pfaff for a while now and am used to it's little ways - we understand each other.  The Bernina and I are still circling each other, trying to get comfortable in each other's company.  Oddly enough, I don't miss the needle/down as much as I thought I would, but do miss the low bobbin indicator.

So here are the results - top with the Pfaff, borders with the Bernina

All done and ready for binding

Oh, I had a little opps along the way.  I managed to get the excess batting and backing flipped under the border I was quilting (as you do) - anyway, while cutting away the batting so I could unpick the stitches, I nicked the top and - yes - a hole!  A little seam tape fixed the problem - and guess where I stitched the label?

I used the Pfaff to sew the binding, because for some reason, the tension on the Bernina has gone awry.  Before doing free motion, the tension was perfect, but when I re-set it for straight sewing, the tension is way tight and the stitching is no longer neat, but crooked.  I assume this to be operator error and when I get time I'll try to sort out the problem.  It's annoying though, I was under the impression it was difficult for an old Bernina to make anything but a perfect stitch.  Silly me!


  1. It's a gorgeous quilt and your quilting is wonderful!

  2. You've done a Great Job on the Quilting..your Quilt looks Lovely.

  3. Well Done Leslie, it is harder to learn to quilt and learn a machine at the same time, as you've figured out. Your quilting is coming along nicely isn't it? You must be feeling pleased not only to have finished a quilt, but have your machine, and a bonus insert, all in one week!!