Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Curse of the Clover Continues, or, A Friend, a Finish, and Flavia

Hi Everyone,

Have any of you ever seen a Western Melodrama?  In my hometown back when I was in high school, they had a drama society which would stage them each year.  They all have charming names, such as "Pelican Pete's Amazing Feat" and then a subtitle, such as I have used for this blog post.  Melodramas have a heroine and as she appears, the audience sighs, "awwww," and when the hero is on stage, everyone cheers.  The villain is always fun as he is booed and hissed at and the audience also throws peanuts at him.  The are great fun to watch!

I thought I would name this blog post as if it was a melodrama because, as you know, I've already had some melodrama with making my Clover Schnibble, and it continued.  However, the "heroine" (the quilt) was saved by the "hero" (my new friend) and the "villain" (the curse) was vanquished!

About my friend...  I first need to share a bit of background.  I love, love, love my Bernina and the way it sews and "feels." It is a 1080 and there is a bit of a cult following for the 1080/1090 by their owners.  Bonnie Hunter had one that she plum wore out a couple years ago and she was broken-hearted about it.  When it happened, I remember thinking "what am I going to do if I lose my baby?"  About that time, I decided I wanted a smaller machine to take to bees, etc. and also to have so I could still sew when my Bernina was in the shop.  I got a Janome Jem, and it is "okay" but doesn't feel like my Bernina.  It feels a bit stiff and slow in comparison.

Last summer, a shop down in Virginia Beach began carrying Jukis.  I have read about Jukis in the blog world, and so I wanted to check them out.  A few months ago, I sat down to one and fell in love!  The power!  The speed!  The way it sews!  I was truly smitten.  I wanted one!  But, I had a little chat with myself with the gist of it being that I already have 2 great machines and I really don't need another.  I managed to walk out of the shop without one.

Several weeks later, the topic came up at our Bee.  One of the other ladies mentioned that she had a Juki that she bought and never took out of the box and if I was interested, she would sell it to me.  Again I was tempted, but again I said no.  And then my Bernina went away for its adjustment (for 2 whole weeks!)  I caved.  I emailed her and she named the price and I accepted.  It was a very good deal:  I got a new machine for a "used" price.

I brought it home Wednesday evening, but was unable to try it until Friday morning.  I wanted to read the manual first and I had some busy days, but when I tried it on Friday, I was so thrilled with it!

It is a Juki TL-98Q
I spent Friday morning oiling it (the directions say to oil it everyday!) and then learning and practicing.  I will use this mostly for machine quilting.  I practiced free-motioning for a while until I was confident I could control the speed.  Then I picked up Clover so I could finish it.
Remember that I had begun to quilt it with my Bernina.  Plan A was to quilt it with a serpentine stitch along all the diagonal seams.  I did two complete ones and then looked at the back and it had pleated the backing!  So ripped all of that out.  Next I fell back on just doing a free motion meander over the whole thing, but that was when the Bernina started skipping stitches, so I ripped quite a bit of that out.  Now I was finally going to finish it on the Juki!  I put it under the machine and quilted away.  When I had gotten a nice chunk done, I stopped to rearrange it and smooth it out, as I periodically do while FMQing.  Only the left edge wouldn't straighten out!  What on earth?  I looked underneath and couldn't believe it!  I had quilted it in half!  Instead of quilting through 3 layers, I did 6!  Because the Juki is so powerful, and I still don't know the "feel" of it, I hadn't even noticed!  That is how powerful this machine is!  So I had to rip all of that quilting out.  I got going again and it was all going great and then I noticed that the backing along one side had gotten turned under and I quilted over it, so I needed more ripping.  I have never ripped out so much machine quilting ever!  I'm just about convinced that naming this project after a seam ripper has "borrowed trouble" so to speak, and created a curse!  Finally, though, I finished the quilting, and got the binding on and it is finished.  Whew!!

I had told myself that I couldn't begin on the new Schnibble until this one was complete.  When I saw the selected pattern for next time, I immediately got a great idea and I couldn't wait to get started on it, and indeed, once this was finished on Saturday I plunged right in on the new one. 

As many of you know, while quilting I like to listen to audiobooks.  I have a new favorite!  Do any of you "know" Flavia DeLuce?  She is the 11 year old protagonist in a series of books by Alan Bradley which begin with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  

The books are set in England in 1950 and are mysteries.  The character development is wonderful.  My favorite part?  The writer knows a lot of facts and the reader/listener can learn many tidbits about music, literature, and chemistry (in particular--poisons!) in a fun way.  I'm nearly finished with the second one and plan to stop at the library today to see if the next one is "in."

I have a really busy week!  There is something going on every day.  I won't be posting tomorrow--it is election day and I'm working.  It will be an early morning!  I have to be there at 4:45 AM. 

Have a great day!


  1. I would like to get a light weight machine to take to sewing events. I have 25 year old Vicking. I love using it, but it is a bit heavy....And I need to carry it downstairs! Would you recommend a Juki? So glad it worked out and you were able to finish your Schnibble!

  2. That is quite a story but glad to see that you came out the heroin of this melodrama. I would like a new machine to replace my 1997 Bernina, but like you, hard to justify since I have an 830 Bernina and a Featherweight. Would be nice to have a deep throat machine for easier FMQ.

  3. I have a Viking that I won at a quilt show raffle that has never left the box. Perhaps I should find another home for it and use the $$ towards a Juki ... BabyLocks are "big" in this area (as are our beloved Berninas) and I have a couple of Featherweights and a Janome Jem (which, like you, feels too weak compared to the Bernina). Re-reading this makes me think I need to thin the herd on my sewing machines! LOL Linda

  4. I love this post! Just keeping it real... They say there is a story behind every quilt and this is a great one! For me the work was all in the cutting, and squeezing out that last piece of background...It was touch and go for a bit, like you I persevered and just look at the results! Your parents will love this one! Well done! Sewing machines? Well that is a big subject to a quilter (I jokingly refer to myself as a sewing machine snob), and there really is no ONE machine that excels in every department, so I/you choose your battles but I'm glad you found one you love.

  5. I love your little quilt! So pretty!! Great job!

  6. Beautiful results and glad you perservered. I would have probably given up for a bit, moved on to something else, and then never returned to finish it this year. Love the large bed plate on that Juki. I'll have to investigate further!

  7. Yes, I have seen melodramas--but you have lived one! Or a soap opera, I'm not sure which! My goodness, I think I would have been ripping out my hair instead of my stitches long before the quilt was finished!! Good for you, to stick with it and "getterdun".
    Sounds like you got a great deal on the machine and that it will serve you well.

  8. I had a Bernina for many years and I believe I wore that out. I loved it and didn't think I would ever love another machine more. But then I got my Janome 6600. Now - this is TRUE love!! LOL. I really do like it. It is a hard worker, has beautiful stitches and my dealer gives awesome service. Good luck with your new machine and your quilting endeavors!

  9. Your quilt turned out beautiful! I have a Symphony by Baby Lock and I love it! I of course don't have the desire to "quilt as desired" that's why my LAQ get's all my quilts!!! :)

  10. Even though you didn't manage to get it quilted in October, congratulations on finishing now! Especially after all that ripping. It sounds rather frustrating, but it's a beautiful quilt. I hope you get your Bernina back soon and she behaves well!

  11. Wow, you are the free motion quilter that COULD!!! Way to hang in there and not give up. Great job...good luck with your new machine :)

  12. UGH, I would've quit LONG ago!! You do have stick to it, will do power!! But it looks BEAUTIFUL! UGH! 4:45?!! Seems really early for a poll worker but I know there's much to do before opening. Hope you have a GREAT turnout.

  13. Oh I am truly envious of your Juki! I hear such wonderful things about how reliable those machines are...I do not have any high end machines (other than my long arm lol) - I piece on a Brother SQ1050, a Singer 221 and a Simplicity Quilter's Classic! Though - one of these days I would like to invest in a Juki...please keep us updated on how you like it and how it functions. I did not know you had to oil them everyday...but it is reassuring at the same time, as that would have me guess the insides are all metal. Your schnibble is lovely and my oh my, get some rest this week! :)

  14. OMG, that story about the Juki was priceless! I have a few friends that have Juki's and love them. I'd like to give one a spin but I haven't found anyplace nearby that has them.
    Glad you like yours and gave it a good review.

    I love your Schnibbles. I should really do one...I have a few patterns!

    No sewing for me either today...


  15. Oh my goodness!! In spite of it all, Clover has turned out gorgeous!!! Well done!! A great story.... this will make a great label on the back! I hope you continue to enjoy your new machine, Jukis seem to have not long come to NZ, I saw one at a quilt show the other day.

  16. I loved reading your post today. I just sighed out loud with all of the ripping you had to do. But you persevered and your quilt is awesome.

  17. Can't wait to see your next Schnibble! Enjoy your busy week!

  18. I was booing and hissing but alas have no peanuts to throw! Three cheers for the persevering heroine-you!

  19. I'm so happy you are loving your Juki! I love mine, too! I truly think it's the best dang machine out there! LOL And congrats on your finish! It's gorgeous! Well done!