Starts & Stops and Cat Proofing my HQ

In my June 30th post, I talked about starting and stopping in quilting, and cutting the bobbin thread from the top side of the quilt. But sometimes you don’t want to do all that. Like this cone flower in one of my recent quilts. When you do raw edge applique, there might be a lot of starts and stops in one area.

I added arrows so you could see my path. (Click on image for larger view.) In this case, it’s faster to take the tiny stitches at the beginning and end, but then clip all the threads at one time, both on the back and on the front. I did this on my Handi Quilter Fusion, but it works the same on your regular sewing machine.  (Coneflower Garden A11654)

Here’s a new gadget we got that can be a real help when you want to test your tension at the longarm. It’s easy to clamp a sample sandwich that you can easily flip over to be sure tension’s good on the back. (Grip-Lite Longarm/Midarm Side Clamps A13009)

Speaking of my Fusion… Anyone with both a cat (or three) and a longarm quilting machine knows that the longarm can be a magnet to those felines! For instance, here’s the photo of Kassi when she stretched out my black batting!

Since I can’t be quilting every minute of the day and night (when Kassi prowls), I have to protect any quilting I have in progress. Kassi would be on the natural cat hammock that is made as the quilt flows between the poles as soon as I leave the room. There’s no way to keep them out of this room, but I finally figured out how I could breathe easily when I’m taking a break, or at the shop, or sleeping. I serged a piece of fabric that I clip over the machine in several places so she can’t get to the thread (which is really important as thread can be fatal to cats!).

We cut up the box that came with our treadmill. I put string handles on two big pieces and I can use two for a bigger quilt, and one for a smaller one.

Of course that doesn’t help during construction or on the ironing board. (Star Crossed Love Quilt 59697)

‘Til next time, happy quilting!

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