I finally got the quilt loaded and the machine threaded and decided to just do a meander/stipple on the body and then do a little something (yet to be determined) on the borders and four cornerstones. First problem I had was with the top thread breaking (this I anticipated as my Janome can be a bit finicky) so I changed it out to a different thread and fiddled with the tension and that seemed to work. Overall, it was not too frustrating and I have completed the meander. I have to say that my meander/stipple is pretty good. I think it is more a stipple as the quilting is pretty compact. I'll have to post a picture so you can see it. I think of a meander as more open. The stitches are pretty uniform, there are no crossovers, well maybe a couple, and no crazy angles. I want to use a panto for the borders and blocks. Not sure if I should have done this first or last!! I've never used a panto, well I have but not with the laser attachment for the machine which I got for Christmas and have yet to take out of the box and I'd like to give that a go this time around.
I have promised myself that once this quilt is done I will immediately load another so that I can get better at this and more comfortable. I do have another quilt with backing and batting all set to go!
So I thought that I would post a few questions to see if any of the more experienced machine/long arm/midarm quilters out there might have some advice or tips to share.
Here are just a few thoughts/questions.. but feel free to lay your wisdom and experience on me!
1. THREAD - Do you have a favorite?? I have some Superior which I have used but it's not as fine as I would like it to be. On this quilt, I used Metzler, since I had it and I was happy with it once the tension issue was ironed out.
2. Should I do the borders or the body first?? Do you start from the center and work out or go edge to edge?? I did edge to edge which seemed to work fine. Should I be basting my quilt first? The few times I have done it I haven't basted
3. Since my Janome only has a 9 inch (?) opening I am limited in the area I can quilt, I am planning on doing the top and bottom border and the corner stones then taking the quilt off and reloading so I can go the length of the side borders. Does that make sense? I'm not sure since I've never done it. My plan is to get more quilting under my belt and then decide on a possible upgrade on a machine, maybe a midarm with a larger opening like an HQ Sixteen.
4. PANTOS - any suggestions such as some easy ones out there for purchase. are straight lined easier than loopy??
I have to say I enjoyed doing the quilting on the frame and would like to become semi proficient at it. I certainly don't think I'd ever take in someone else's quilts since I have many tops that need to be quilted and would like to do them myself. I know that a big part of it is PRACTICE!
But any advice would be sewww appreciated.