Avanti 18 – Problems solved!

Cotton Patch did a wonderful job sorting out my machine and giving it a thorough service.  There was play in the needle shaft – no doubt a a result of some ugly incidents with rulers when I was just starting out.  As I’m working on a batik top, this didn’t make things easier for making my stitches.

Once it was back, and I’d moved up to an 18 needle and slackened the thread and quilt tensions, she quilted beautifully – and much more quietly!


New York Again!

So onto my second cushion in my New York Pillow series.  This is the design that set me off in the first place when I admired the cushion my friend Louise had made at a workshop at the City Quilter in New York.



And then I “needed” to choose another design for the back.  I thought I’d use the rest of one of the fabrics I’d used on the front and thought an off centre strip of flying geese on an all white background would go well with my front.






Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.  Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.  Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.  Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.  Give so much time to improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticise others.  Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!

Christian D. Larson


New York! New York!

The company I work for is listed on the New York stock exchange and we have a corporate office there.  When I was visiting last September, I found time to visit The City Quilter which a quilting friend of mine had mentioned to me.  It’s a great store – full of vibrant fabrics and activity.

I always buy at least something  when I visit a patchwork shop (what a hardship!) and so decided to indulge in some New York fabrics which is one of their specialities and a  great cushion book called Pillow Pop.

Without the long arm quilter in working order, it’s enabled to me to start making some new cushions for the sofa in my sewing room.



Timing issues with Avanti 18

This weekend has been a bit of a journey of discovery -  I’m the sort of person who uses machines rather than understanding them.  So  when 90% of the way through quilting my latest quilt, I couldn’t pick up the bobbin thread and the needle was catching on the hook shuttle, it all looked rather disastrous.  Diagnosis from my partner who not only uses machines but understands them and a surf of the net introduced me to the concept of “timing”.

We were steered in the direction of a Youtube video about timing in APQS machines -

This was quite helpful as an introduction but obviously having a Handi Quilter we were concerned about the differences between machines.

Then we came across

which is done on a Handi Quilter Avanti 18.  This seems to focus on the position of the needle at its lowest point and the hook but while this has improved/enabled stitching on the machine as soon as I move to the left and away from me, I’m getting huge skips so things are still awry.

Skipped stitches

So it’s a call to Cotton Patch from whom I bought my machine tomorrow to see if they can assist with a bit more detail on the correct position of the needle etc.


Update on the timing

We spoke to Cotton Patch who said they could provide us with a DVD and timing kit.  It arrived today and with the aid of the DVD which was very good, we were able to check out and correct the timing.

Unfortunately while the stitch quality is much better and as soon as I moved the machine away from me, I was back to massive skipped stitches.


We think its because there’s too much play in the needle shaft – probably due to a few “ugly incidents” over the years.

So it’s going to have to go back to Cotton Patch for  further investigation and a full service.  It’s so fustrating – I’ve only got about 2 hours of quilting to do and my pineapple quilt would be finished.

Wild Garden - Quilting detail1

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog and join me in the next stage of my quilting journey.

For 7 years, I ran an online patchwork kits business but last year the pressures of my day job became too much to combine the two any longer.

I’ve been enjoying taking some time out for the last year of not writing patterns, cutting up fabric for kits and packing up orders for my very kind partner to take to the post office.

I learnt a lot with Patchkits – both running a business and also the challenge of designing simple but attractive kits for newbies to patchwork.  It also gave me the excuse to buy a long arm quilting machine to help me make up the sample quilts more  quickly and easily.

But it was time for a change and the work pressures gave me the excuse.  I plan to develop my skills in both the techniques and designing of quilts and want to make quilts that don’t have to have the end customer via a kit in mind! I also want to have fun as this is the antidote to my professional life working in the City of London.