So last week I FINALLY was able to set up my baby lock Coronet in my sewing room.
Actually my husband helped me and we set it up on Thanksgiving Day.
(Happy Thanksgiving to me!)
The entire process took us less than 2 hours. We put it together in between my family’s annual Thanksgiving morning race and dinner….although…admittedly…I was sorely tempted to skip the turkey and feast on fabric instead…but….in the end I opted for turkey and the Coronet would have to until the next morning.
My first project on the Coronet was a Christmas lap quilt that I made to go with our family tree this year at The Festival of Trees.
(Every year my family puts together a tree for the festival. I had a baby brother pass away at Primary Children’s Hospital and all the proceeds from the festival go to Primary Children’s…so for 30 some odd years now Christmas begins the Monday after Thanksgiving when we decorate the tree that will be auctioned off the next evening.)
Here is a picture of me with my parents, brother, sister and brother in law at The Festival of Trees this year:
Sure we are blocking the tree that we made and the quilt and the dress…but you get the idea.
ANYWAY…like I said…we put together the Coronet on Thanksgiving Thursday and festival set up is Monday…and as always I was finishing up things last minute which meant that the first project on the Coronet needed to be the quilt top to go with our tree!
And here is where I will start telling you all the things I shouldn’t be telling you.
The very first project I EVER attempted on my new machine was a pieced quilt top that was to be sold for charity. Not a practice panel…not two sheets with batting in between to get the feel of the machine….nope…a full on pieced quit top that was to be given away.
Was that a wise decision? (Do I even need to ask that question?) But the ox was in the mire and I was going for it….even though I had never done this before.
I loaded the quilt onto the frame (Which honestly was a breeze…for reals. I will be doing about 8.79 million more posts about the Coronet so I will talk about how it works in the future but for a newbie to quilting to be able to load a quilt so easily…it was amazing!) and began I quilting.
The Coronet stitched like a dream and I buzzed through that bad boy!
It wasn’t until I started turning the quilt that I realized that I had a problem:
Oh no! Tension issues. I have heard HORROR STORY after HORROR STORY about tension issues…and I obviously had some issues. The tell tale signs were all over the back of my quilt! I thought I was doomed.
However, after a look through the manual and a quick call with Elizabeth I solved the problem in less than 30 seconds with a tiny twist of a knob. Here is the deal..when the bottom of your quilt starts to get “eyelashes” it means your top tension is too loose and you need to tighten it. Simple as that.
BUT….I hadn’t even thought about checking the top tension before I began to quilt! Doh! Such a rookie mistake. When I threaded my machine I double checked my bobbin tension to make sure it was correct but didn’t even think about the top tension! Although now I will never forget to check it again.
With the tension golden I started off speed quilting again…which is so dang much fun…but when it came time to roll the quilt again I realized I had another problem:
I hadn’t pulled my fabric taut and evenly on my last roll before putting on the clamps which caused me to create a little foldy puckery thing on the back of my quilt.
But, it was a first timer mistake and will be so easy to avoid in the future! I just need to remember to make sure everything is smooth and taut after each roll before I clamp it down. Second lesson learned. And armed with new knowledge I finished quilting the quilt in no time flat and without any further mishaps. The only thing I had left to do was to bind it.
When I started quilting I swore that I would always hand bind all my quilts. “I will never machine bind!” I said. But last week I found myself in a bind (pun intended) and decided that with this quilt I would also try my hand at machine binding for the first time as well.
Now I knew the general idea of how to machine bind…but having the general idea and having done it yourself are two very different things…and it quickly became obvious that this was my first attempt at machine binding:
I was so in the quarter inch seam allowance groove that that is what I did on the binding and it looks…well..CRAZY! Since sewing on this binding I’ve read what other people do and my stitch line should have been waaaaay closer the the edge of the binding….way closer. But it wasn’t and now you’ve seen photos. All the photos.
Next Friday I am going to post the tutorial for how to make the log cabin quilt top for this quilt and it would have been easy to just post some glamour shots.
You would have never known about all the mistakes I made during my first attempts at quilting and machine binding.
I could have just said…look at this quilt, isn’t she a beauty? And you wouldn’t have known about the flaws. Maybe you don’t need to know…but I wanted to tell you.
Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I think it is super cool that the Coronet is so user friendly that I only had two minor problems (both my fault) the first time I ever used it without even knowing what the heck I was doing!!! (Which honestly is pretty awesome!) Maybe because I think there is a lot of pressure on all of us to pretend to be perfect. Maybe because I want you to know I’m still learning. Maybe because deep down inside I just really enjoy things that are real…not fake, not glossed over, but really real…and boy was this quilt ever real. Perhaps a little too real.
When it was finished I questioned whether or not to even put it by the tree. It is after all flawed. It started off with the best intentions but then stuff happened when I wasn’t paying attention…sure I fixed the mistakes but the mistakes left scars. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that it had to go with my family’s tree…because we (my family) are all scarred ourselves…flawed and imperfect…but we all have good intentions. So the quilt was put next to the tree and was sold on opening night. I only hope that the buyer will understand that the quilt is very real and not perfect. And that it was made with the best of intentions.
I love sewing…I’m crazy excited to start learning the art of quilting…and I feel so lucky to share my journey’s through sewing, quilting, and life with all of you. None of it’s perfect…and there will be more flaws and mistakes on the way…but that’s part of the journey with life, with family, and with quilting. So here’s to the journey may it be long and beautifully real.
PS: The Coronet really is the bomb…if things could go smoothly for me (who can’t operate her own cell phone without assistance) then anyone can use it! I can’t wait to keep working on it. (I already have a practice quilt loaded on her so I can practice!)
PS: I really do love sharing this journey with all of you. I feel lucky everyday to be able to do what I get to do…and I couldn’t do any of it without all of you so thank you for all of your continued love and support….even though I’m not perfect.
tisha @ quiltytherapy says
I enjoy hearing the story of the quilt. Flaws, challenges, and how you dealt with them. As a quilter we all know it happens, but blogging is about the journey. That’s part of what I love about blogs. Share away.
Jen Rosin says
I hate to say it, but I love reading about the trials and errors of quilting. I write about my own. It keeps me motivated and encourages my learning. I don’t care who you are, NOBODY starts out perfect and a lot of times we forget that with all of the glammed up photos we see everyday. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and having a good attitude about all of it. I think the quilt looks lovely, scars and all!
Pam @Threading My Way says
A refreshing post in an all ‘too perfect’ world, that’s not really perfect at all.
Diane M says
Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your first experience with your Coronet. I’ve been thinking about a long arm even though I am not very experienced as a quilter and your story inspires me to pursue it further. I’m sure the family who receives your quilt will feel the love you put into making it. Happy Holidays.
Awww, we love you LiZ! And true to the way you operate you would start on a quilt for a charity auction! lol.
Debbie Frio says
Great job accepting the “first timer” mistakes and moving on. All of those things happened to me when I first started on my Sweet 16. As someone once said to me “every expert was once a beginner” 🙂
Unless a veteran quilter ends up with it, the new owner probably won’t notice a thing! I’ve found that people not familiar with how a project is *supposed* to be often don’t even notice what I consider to be major flaws 🙂 I love your quilt and I would rather have an imperfect handmade one than a perfect storebought one 🙂 It’s beautiful!