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Machine Quilting Mess

on Feb 12, 2013 in Blog, quilting | 2 comments

Oh goodness gracious. This was going so well… then it wasn’t. You ever have that happen???



I had the whole thing planned in my mind and again on paper. I wanted a modern quilt that represented and looked like rain. As it turns out, I had all the fabric on hand to make my small-ish vision come together. I stitched a few rows, I varied a few widths.




I sketched a quilting plan. Side note, just to save you the trouble of figuring this on your own- If you want to make a wavy line, with a tiny raindrop on the end, as your quliting design- it will look like –cough cough– the original swim team, if you know what I mean. Thankfully, I had that realization on paper BEFORE I had it quilted into the design.

I added the quilt to my quilt frame (Hinterberg Frame with a Juki Quilt machine head) in the horizontal way. I guess I always think of quilts as vertical rectangles and generally quilt them that way. Since I needed the “rain” design to go vertically, I had to add the quilt to the frame rotated 90 degrees. I think that through off my free motion quilting chi.


Sometimes, the quilting feels like a crazy steep learning curve. Other times, I’m thrilled. This is a learning curve time. My Juki machine has about 8″ of quilting throat space. I wanted to make rain drops at the bottom of my quilt- nice flat oval shaped drips, complete with ripple rings… Um… Well… What I ended up with was some chunky weird cinnamon rolls that look like they were delivered to a gas station heat-lamp by way of some 4-wheeler, dragging the cinnamon roll pan tethered to a rope behind. Specific much?? Maybe a bit, but really, the swirls look pretty beat up. I had to start and stop in the middle of each “ring” to advance and roll the quilt top. I have definitely NOT mastered that move.

I looked at my “work” for about a day then decided I need to make a couple changes.


I think my seam ripper is dull now. But I am so glad I ripped out the cinnamon rolls. I will now be adding the quilt back to the frame, rotated the proper 90 degrees, so that I can comfortably stitch smooth, smaller drips/ripples.

Ah, swim team, cinnamon rolls, seam ripper, and modern quilting. Just another day at the office. bwhahahahaha.

Stay tuned. I’ll show you how the new stitching turns out.



  1. I really like it! I have a few quilt tops made, and a small throw ready to quilt, but I haven’t done it yet. I like the “cinnamon rolls”. It reminds me of rain on pavement moving to lower ground. I’m glad you found out about the swim team before you quilted it, but it would have been a really funny surprise, I have to say 😉 Can’t wait to see it finished!

    Karrie Smith

    February 13, 2013

  2. have you thought about turning your quilt and remounting it to keep your perspective and make your quilting easier? I’m not sure how much throat space you have on your set up. To make puddle look, i would make long lines perpendicular to your rain drops and have them curve back. I wish i could draw it. make the lines about 1/4″ apart and just make small quick curves (like this parenthesis). You can kind of nest them. It is a cool look. I really like your quilt.

    Janice Kiser

    March 16, 2013

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