Thursday, May 16, 2019

Making a Start: Mission Impossible is Finally Under the Longarm Needle!

I started quilting Mission Impossible last night and I'm SO EXCITED!!!  This is how it looked when I shut off the machine and called it quits for the night:

FINALLY Started Quilting Mission Impossible!
I spent four hours at the machine and got the purple background areas of four 12" blocks quilted during that time.  Since there are 48 of these blocks in the quilt, that means I have 44 hours to go -- and then I have to go back and quilt the flying geese, and then trim the quilt and bind it...  But maybe my pace will quicken up as I get more comfortable with what I'm doing, operating more on "auto pilot" without having to stop and think things through every step of the way.  One thing is for sure, I will be LOTS more comfortable and competent at quilting straight lines with rulers by the time this quilt is done!

I'm using three quilting "rulers" for this:

Tools of the Trade
The two straight rulers I'm using are Lisa Calle's Quilter's Groove Pro and Pro Mini, marked with 1/4" lines as well as handy perpendicular and 45 degree angle lines that I can match with block seamlines or previously stitched lines to keep everything nice and straight as I go along.  The smaller 2 1/2" x 6" Pro Mini is more comfortable in my hand for the shorter lines, but I switch to the larger 3 1/2" x 10" Pro size when the lines are too long for the Mini.  And that other "ruler" (that is technically not a ruler at all because it has no markings for measuring) is the custom acrylic template that Bernie made me to perfectly match the curve of my flying geese.  I shared a tutorial for making your own DIY acrylic quilting rulers in my post yesterday and you can find that here if you're interested.  Lisa Calle's rulers are available in her online shop here (and they can be used with domestic sewing machines, too, as long as you have a ruler foot for your machine).

To keep my rulers from slipping, I've stuck pieces of HandiQuilter's Handi Grip Adhesive Strips onto the large curved ruler, and it's an absolute Godsend.  It's really hard to hug the edge of a curved acrylic template with the hopping foot of a longarm machine without the ruler sliding out of place, but this Handi Grip stuff is like really coarse sandpaper that grabs onto your fabric and prevents the ruler from wiggling even on long curves like mine -- yet it's clear so I can still see through it.  Best stuff ever, and I'm going to stick it on all of my circle templates.  The straight line rulers don't need to grab the fabric quite as firmly and I slide them around a lot from one straight line to the next, so I've stuck strips of 3M Nexcare 1" clear medical tape to the back of those for a slight grip that prevents accidental sliding but enables me to move the ruler smoothly over the fabric when I want to.  The Nexcare tape is great because it doesn't have any adhesive on it; it just clings to the back of the ruler.  If I don't want it on there anymore, it just peels right off without leaving any residue and I can stick it on a different ruler.

Well, that's all you guys get for today because I have some serious quilting to do!  Have a great day, and happy stitching!

Hanging Off the Front of the Frame: So Much Left to be Quilted!
I'm linking up with:
·      Whoop Whoop Fridays at

·      Finished Or Not Friday at


Ann said...

I've really loved watching the evolution of this quilt. Love that quilting design/plan.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great start!! it is looking so good - I'm sure your speed will pick up as you get the design flow in your head.

Sara en Marie said...

Wow! That quilt is coming along beautifully!

SJSM said...

That first row looks magnificent! I will run out of superlatives before this quilt is done but it is such a beautiful job it deserves the accolades even at this juncture. Your eye and mind are well trained for making this not just a memory for Lars but a gift of who you are. I will look for each installment you write. You’ve got this!

Janice Holton said...

Sending good vibes your way for a super productive day! (code word for prayers) :)

Lakegaldonna said...

I love the quilting! Brilliant Rebecca. That's a show quilt for sure.

Ramona said...

Oh, it's getting closer to a finish! I am so excited. Your quilting design is perfect! Woohoo!!

chrisknits said...

It is going to be gorgeous!!!

Karin said...

Great straight lines...always looks so fantastic on a longarm machine!