Monday, March 26, 2018

HEY, YOU GUYS! I Am Hosting the TGIFF Linky Party This Friday! Finish Up So You Can Link Up!

So are we all familiar with the TGIFF -- "Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday" -- Linky Party?  It's a floating linky party that is hosted by different bloggers each week, and I get a chance to be the Hostess With the Mostest right here at Cheeky Cognoscenti this coming Friday, March 30th!  Woo hoo!!  

I am so excited, I just might vomit.  You see, the TGIFF Linky Hostess has to write a post about his or her OWN finish to kick off the party, and as my longtime readers can attest, I am so much better at starting than I am at finishing...  There is nothing like a looming deadline to light a fire under the hostess's tushy, don't you agree?  

Tabby Mountain is OFF My Wall and ON My Frame, FINALLY!
Naturally, I'm hoping that my Friday finish will be my February March OMG, my Tabby Mountain quilt that you see in the photo above.  After much deliberation, research, and extensive Internet forum consultations, I loaded Tabby Mountain on my APQS Millenium frame as a full float and then proceeded to baste the WHOLE thing, top to bottom, just the outer edges of the quilt and the horizontal seam lines between rows.  Then I rolled the quilt back to the beginning, with all three basted layers wrapped around the backing roller and nothing hanging down in front of my frame.  Why did I decide to do it this way?

  • The quilt top is very straight and square to begin with, so no need for the additional control and fudgeability of a partial float to ease out fullness
  • My first step in quilting is going to be SID (stitching in the ditch), but only the bias diagonal seams of the triangles -- not the horizontal seams.  I wanted to ensure that those seams remained straight throughout quilting, and basting them straight up front seemed like a good way to do that
  • When I SID, I'm going to use Mono Poly invisible monofilament thread to blend with all of these different fabric and to hide any little oopsies since this is, after all, my first attempt at SID on a long arm quilting machine.  Invisible thread requires major tension adjustments, so I want to complete all of the SID with that thread at once rather than change threads two or three times with every advance of the quilt top.
  • Although there are nearly as many different "right" ways to load and quilt as there are quilters, several people recommended a video tutorial demonstrating "Loading Lori's Way," and Lori bastes the entire quilt first before doing any other quilting.  That gave me the confidence boost I needed to get started -- knowing that someone else who knows what she's doing has done it this way with success!

GIANT Tacking Basting Stitch, Using Horizontal Channel Lock
I basted those horizontal seams using my horizontal channel lock and BIG tacking stitches that will be easy to remove, as you can see in the above photo.  You can also see that I'm overdue for a manicure but that's not happening until these kitties have been quilted!
Painter's Tape Reference Keeps the Sides Straight Throughout the Basting Process
I used strips of painter's tape on my quilt top roller as reference points to make sure the sides of my quilt were perfectly straight from top to bottom.  That was another great tip I gleaned from the Internet from longarm quilters who prefer to fully float their quilt tops.

Nice, Straight Sides, All the Way to the Bottom
One more thing I want to show -- and remind myself of for next time, if I ever decide to baste the whole quilt first again:

See the Bulging Wrinkle at Each Basted Seam?  Lori Says That's Normal!
That bulge of fabric above the basting line as I'm rolling up the basted quilt would totally freak me out if I hadn't watched Lori's loading tutorial.  She says that's totally normal, no cause for alarm, and the layers will all lay nice and flat when you roll it back down to do the real quilting.  So I'm going to trust Lori, whomever this Lori may be, and just go with it.  This project is all about trying new things and learning what works for me and what doesn't, after all.  I'm trying it Lori's way this time.  

All Basting Completed, Rolled Back to the Top and Ready for Quilting!
...And see?  Here's what my quilt looks like this morning, with all the basting completed, excess batting trimmed away from the bottom edge of the quilt, and the whole thing -- all 3 layers -- rolled back onto the backing roller so I can start my ditch stitching at the top of the quilt.  I must say, one fringe benefit of Lori's baste-it-all-first method is that I no longer have ANYTHING hanging down at the front of my frame.  When you have two big black dogs and even if you've just vacuumed your own CLOTHING is covered with dog fur, this is a good way of limiting opportunities for pet fur to get stuck to the batting, to the quilt top, or inside the layers of the quilt.  So it might be a good way to do my upcoming Paint Me a Story quilt, since it would be a major bummer to have little black dog hairs showing through the white background fabric.  We'll see how this one goes.

Today I'm hoping to get all of the SID completed and at least make a start on the ruler work that I've planned.  You probably won't be seeing other posts from me this week, as I'll be frantically quilting away every chance I get in order to have a finish to show for myself on Friday.  

But in order to be the Hostess With the Mostest (the mostest posts linked up to my party), I need all of YOU to finish something this week, too, so you can link up with me here on Friday.  Pretty please, come to my linky party!  (Does that sound too needy??)

Here's the deal:

If you have a finished project to share by the end of the week, link up and pop a TGIFF button on your blog. Your finish can be anything you've made out of fabric and thread, as long as you've finished it within the past week.  Quilts, dolls, costumes, clothing, pot holders...  Anything goes!  Even if you don't have a finish of your own to show off, please plan to sip your coffee on Friday morning while admiring and commenting on the fabulous finishes of others. I'll be posting the TGIFF linky right here on my blog by 6 PM EST on Thursday, March 29th, to ensure that it's live by the time Friday morning arrives in other parts of the world.  

Meanwhile, today I'm linking up with:

Have a fabulous week, everyone -- see you Friday!


Podunk Pretties said... you, I'll be pushing it hard for a finish.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

You totally made my morning.... and go go go ! you can do it!!! see you friday at the finish line???

Val's Quilting Studio said...

LOL!! I'm glad you are so excited to host! I'll be back on Friday to share my finish...maybe finishes. Keeping my fingers crossed....enjoy your quilting. :)

Soma @ said...

Fun to see you so excited about TGIFF. Sadly I will miss out this week. Have fun quilting and have a fabulous TGIFF linky party.


Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I'm going to have to try the Lori's way. I've seen the video but haven't tried her method yet. I love how straight and square your quilt is. Looks like a lot of fun to quilt! Boy, the pressure is on for a finish this week. Not sure it will happen, but know I support your linky party in spirit if not in a finish! :)