My New Adventure.

Well HELLO there!

Again I have proven myself to be amongst the slackest bloggers…. I almost feel the need to start each post with … Hello Internet, please forgive me it has been 178 days since my last confession post. (For the record I am not the type of girl to go to confession – but whatevs).

Ok so now that my begging for forgiveness is done – lets move on to some much more exciting content. What is my new adventure I hear you ask… well lets get there…

When I first began quilting (about 10 years ago – way to make myself feel old) I would never never never have thought that I would get so into it that I would spend thousands of dollars and many, many more hours of time cutting up perfectly good fabric and sewing little bits back together. I would also have never dreamed of dedicating a whole room in my house to the pursuit of said cutting and sewing. I would never have thought that I would have multiple sewing machines (though I know many more who have MANY more machines than me) and I would never have thought that I would do a 13 hour round trip drive to pick up a new sewing machine – but that is indeed what has transpired.

So here is what happened… a while back a wonderful woman I know had the pleasure of getting herself a Gammill. Said friend was super kind and allowed me to quilt a few quilts on her Gammill… it was, I would suggest, equivalent to getting ones first taste of some wonderful drug (and by wonderful – I mean super addictive). I thought patchwork was fun.. but holding the machine gun style handles of that awesome machine was SUPER fun. And here the seed had been planted… To enable myself to get a fix when I needed it I had to source a machine for myself. The problem was, because these machines are such awesome fun they don’t often pop up second hand and it was more pennys than I was willing to part with to buy a new one. So I trawled the internet.

Then one day the familiar ding ding of a Facebook notification popped up on my phone – I think I was in a meeting at the time – but I made a note to check it out once I got home. Now this post wasn’t about a Gammill – it was about a John Watts frame and a Juki Machine… I had never heard of these.. but I was keen.. Google (ever my bestie) and I did a bit of looking about. The frame was designed to hold a domestic machine and roll a quilt – all good – the machine was a home professional domestic machine that could work as a sewing machine or on the quilting frame. Things were getting interesting.

Debi (the seller of the machine) was upgrading and offloading her old rig at an AWESOME price. I calculated that it would take about 13 hours for the return trip. I emailed Debi and she sent me back a video of the machine in action – that was all I needed to get hubby on board. What was even better was Easter was coming up… I needed to get that machine!

On good Friday Hubby and I woke before sun up and headed off on our journey. By 10pm we were home and I have a new toy! The next morning I set the machine up. By lunch time Hubby had headed out of town for a much deserved man-cation (off to the beach to hang with his and my brothers) and I had 5 days alone with my quilting machine.

So there it is … I have been holed up in my quilting room – I have eaten mostly fruit and take-away dinners… the images below show the type of thing I am doing. I know there is a LONG way to go – but it is fun, REALLY fun.

Next month my local quilt shop is hosting a quilts for cancer drive. Lots f people are donating tops – I am donating my time and machine to quilting them – but that will be a later blog entry! Now for some pictures of my work stuff so far.


I started by loading calico and using a water soluble marker to get a feel for the machine.



You can see in the image below my drawing lines were less regular than my stitching lines.


Feeling a bit more relaxed, I tried a feather wave.



And some leaves.




Hitting my stride I started to get a ‘feel’ for the machine and developed a ‘pea shoot’ form.


Next it was time to load an actual quilt.. This Wonky Rainbow Star is actually the first quilting class I taught.




So there you have it. My new adventure. It is all very exciting for me. It will be great to finish off some of those tops that have been hanging around.. not quite worth sending off to be quilted, but too good to bin -they now form the basis of my practice bundle. A few friends have even offered to let me practice on some of their quilts (looking at you Amy!).

For now I am off to load a new quilt.. wish me luck!

With a bit of planning (and luck) I will venture back into making a few more regular posts!




Tags: , , ,

14 responses to “My New Adventure.”

  1. Anne says :

    You will love doing the quilting.Last year i brought an Avante 18′ just love using it. I use pantograph patterns.

  2. Sue says :

    I have been very tempted to buy a long arm machine. Good luck with the journey.


  3. msmidge says :

    Looks like great fun!

  4. Molli Sparkles says :

    Sally, I didn’t even know you were in the market for a new machine, let alone a Juki! That’s what I sew on and love love love it! Welcome to the club. Now I’m super envious and want one of these frames!!! Mr. Sparkles is SOOO not gonna be happy with you! Haha

  5. YouknowwhoIam says :

    Well, well, well….. Let me just say jealous

  6. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo says :

    Wow!! Can’t believe you did the 13 hours in ONE DAY!! Looks like it was so worth it though.

  7. Debbie Wilson says :

    hi, i have recently inherited a John Watts quilting frame, i have worked how to load the quilt, and i started quilting, but my cotton keeps breaking!!! any tips?

    • SallyBally says :

      Hi Debbie,
      Ahh the joy of a new frame and the heartache of breaking threads! I guess my first question is – what sewing machine do you have loaded on the frame? The second would be what thread are you using? If it is a machine you have used a lot before with thread you have also used before you might just need to lessen the tension a bit… You may also need to lessen the tension on the rollers. If the quilt is super tight and you move to fast it can break the threads.
      I find if I sew through a lot of seams I get more thread breakage too.
      If it is a new machine (to you) it could be a thread and to tension issue also… I recently tried using king tut thread on my juki and I now know my machine doesn’t like that thread… I found it very hard to balance the tension and so had problems – with other threads it has been a breeze.
      So if you get back to me about your machine and threads we can go from there!

  8. Heather Cashman says :

    Hi Sally I also have a John Watts with a juki on it. Awesome machine. Hubby going to try and rig it so I can use pantographs on it. Will have to see how we go. My problem is I get to uptight when it comes to free motion. Any suggestions?

    • SallyBally says :

      Hi Heather,
      My frame came with extra rollers and an attachment so that I can do pantographs – and even use a stencil that has a groove in it. Do you have those parts as well?
      As for getting into the groove with the free motion – a good place to start is with a fabric that has a print on it and just trace around the shapes on the fabric. I find that when I start I am quite tense and have to take a moment and exhale and lower my shoulders… a big thing to remember is, it is just fabric!
      I also find that it is handy to move from tracing a print onto calico and just drawing some patterns. I found pebbles to be a good thing to work on, big ones, little ones etc. You can also try using one of those water erasable pens and drawing the likes of a feather on and then stitching over it.
      Keep your speed low and PLAY. I would love to see some pictures when you have had some paly time.

      • Heather Cashman says :

        I have the attachment for the groovy boards. Is this what you use for your pantograph and if so how long are you pantographs. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


It's a blog about all the things: big things, small things, life things and your things

Pumpkin to Princess

a journey of renovation and adventure.

mummy flying solo

...murmurs from the depths of my world

Sally Bally Creations

A simple girl living the simple life with a simply wonderful man and a simply delightful boy!

%d bloggers like this: