A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

Bee Quilt

Finally, I have completed another project on the Bernina quilt frame and using Quilt Motion.  I truly believe my struggles with this set up are 90% due to the length of time between projects.  So many things take up time these days which brings me to the latest diversion.  We have a new family member.  Pippa joined our family this past weekend.  We are now officially a two white cat family.  Here’s our new little sweetie.


OK, back to the purpose of this post.   Introducing the Bee quilt.  A friend at church asked if I would make a quilt for his wife for Christmas.  It was originally going to be king-sized, but became queen-sized one the planning began.  His request was that it have a bee theme.  I found some interesting bee fabric that he liked and we chose 4 other coordinating 1 yard pieces and made the Turning Twenty pattern (the original).  Instead of 20 fat quarters, I used 5 yard pieces.  It wasn’t as scrappy but there were enough fabrics to make an interesting pattern.  The piecing went well and quickly.

Here’s a shot of the finished quilt.


Next came the loading on the quilt frame.  This is by far the largest quilt I’ve had on the frame and there was one obstacle I’m not sure how to get around for the next big quilt.  When the frame traveled the length of the frame, the cords from the machine and quilt motion would get caught on the center leg.  I had to keep running between the front and back of the frame each pass to make sure it wasn’t hung up each time.

Since the couple were married last year, they are still newlyweds in my book.  I chose an intertwining heart pattern for the quilt design.  Here’s a close up.  I used my favorite matching King Tut thread.

When I got to the bottom, there wasn’t enough room for another row of the same pattern, so I did a smaller border pattern for the bottom.  Here’s a close up of it.  You can see the fun honeycomb fabric we found for the borders.

"Bee Quilt Border Close Up"

Here are a couple lessons learned that I’d like to share with this project.  I decided to try a Schmetz 90 quilting needle.  That did not work well…thread kept breaking.  I went back to my Organ titanium 80 sharp needle and it worked beautifully.

Only other big issue was one of the rows I didn’t have the safe zone set well enough and the machine got too close to the quilt on the back rail and freaked out the machine and broke the needle.  Unfortunately my 830 was out of whack after the project and needs some TLC from my Bernina dealer.

Here’s another close up of the quilting.

"Bee Quilt Close Up"

One of my biggest issues still is how to handle when the machine runs out of bobbin.  I don’t want to cancel the design so the machine is unlocked and can move freely on the frame.  I have a hard time lining back up the project.  I’ve been reaching under and changing the bobbin blindly.  If anybody has a solution/tip, I’d love to hear it.

In the past I have had looping issues with the front thread to the back.  This time I had it in a few places but it wasn’t consistent.  That’s frustrating to the perfectionist in me.  I did watch and interesting on-line video about tension on long-arms, so I want to try a few of the tips next time I have a quilt on the frame (and preferably one I’m keeping instead of giving away).

The quilting for this queen-sized quilt took about 5 hours (and yes I did it straight through).  I had a deadline of Christmas, so there wasn’t any time to take a break.  I figured if I was on a roll…keep going.  Here’s a shot of the quilt so you can see the quilting.

"Bee Quilt Overall Quilting"

Yes, another good learning experience on the frame.  I sure hope it isn’t as long until the next project.  My box of quilt tops is growing and I got a king-sized one to do for a neighbor of my mom’s.

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…



Comments on: "Bee Quilt" (1)

  1. John’s sister Joan, called him one day because she had a piece of fabric which wasn’t quite long enough to cut in half and sew back together with a vertical seam to get a quilt back. Her idea was to cut the fabric in to two big triangles along the diagonal, offset the triangles along the diagonal cut to get the width she needed and then sew them back together. It worked great!

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