I got Emmy up and working a few days ago. Here’s a very short video showing her in action:
As you can see, the shafts are hanging up on each other – this was a known problem with the loom. On AVL’s advice, I’ve ordered shims for the lamms and pulleys, but they won’t arrive until tomorrow (I think). I also need to order reeds, extra heddles, and other bits and pieces. So I’m working on quilt design until they arrive.
I’ve now been through many iterations of the quilt design. You may recall that the original design looked like this:
I liked this initially, but after showing it to several people for critique, various people felt that the spirals were too “busy”, drawing attention away from the birds. On sober reflection, I agreed.
So, on the advice of some quilters, I tried the “Attic Windows” block next:
The faint outline shows the edges of the mattresss; this is a king-sized quilt with the head at the top.
This worked fairly well, but felt like it lacked tension. So I tried variations on the background:
The tan background didn’t work – the light, warm color drew attention away from the birds. The green, though, had potential – the only problem was that the sills of the window were too wide, making the birds hard to see. At the same time, the much narrower sills in the tan version produced a “window” that I thought was too small for the quilt – more like a prison window than an attic window!
So I compromised and made medium size sills:
I felt this worked the best.
Next I visited several quilting shops and bought some potential fabrics. I mocked up a square in each combination I wanted to test:
And – just for fun – I tried the spiral block as well:
This pretty much confirmed what I had seen in the computer mockups: the spirals were too busy, and the dark green background looked best with the “Attic Windows” block.
So I ordered twenty yards of the dark green fabric, ten yards for the front and ten for the back. They should arrive by the end of the week – meanwhile, I’ll cut and sew the fabric for the window part of the quilt.
I haven’t yet figured out what to do in the giant green border, but I’m thinking of doing an allover pattern, interrupted periodically by the outlines of birds, in a faintly contrasting thread. Too much contrast would draw attention away from the birds, but too little contrast would result in a green blob. I think maybe a medium to dark brown on the threads.
I also haven’t figured out how I’m going to do the border. I’ve been advised that a king size quilt (I’m planning on 116 x 100 inches) is almost impossible on a home machine, so I may either rent time on a longarm quilting machine or hire someone to do the quilting. But I figure I’ll cross that bridge once I get there.
And, finally, here is Fritz, playing with a favorite toy, one of my paper pirns. I love the way he practically trips over Tigress (hidden behind the drapes) at the end.
I bought a 40H V Series a couple years ago and had problems with the harnesses hanging up and it turned out to be that holes were drilled crooked on the harness wood slats which put them the tiniest bit out of whack – got replacements slats and all is fine. I suppose before putting them all together finding them drilled crooked or not all the way through should have been a clue but I had no clue how close they would be to each other and how much a being the tiniest bit off would be. Lesson learned when I had to put 40 more together and back on the loom.
Congratulations on getting Emmy up and running. I still have the extra heddles available. If they are the correct size.you are welcome to them.
The attic window is a great solution for the quilt. Have you considered including some of the window frame fabrics into the border? They would break up the large green area and not detract from the attic window focal point.
Tien Chiu says
Thanks Cindie for the suggestion! I’m going to run out now and check to see if the holes are on center.
Janet – I think the heddle size for mine are 12 7/8 inches, so the ones you have won’t work on my loom. Thanks for the offer, though! It’s very generous of you.
I also love the idea of using the window frame fabrics for the border. Unfortunately I have barely enough of the window frame fabric for the windows…I think. I will have to see if I can purchase some online…
My problem of 40 shafts hanging up on each other was solved when I installed the auto cloth advance. The very regular small advances eliminated the hanging up. It was advancing more than a fraction of an inch at a time that exacerbated the problem. Just a thought.
Tien Chiu says
Interesting! An auto advance was tops on my list of accessories to buy – I think I’ll bump it up a bit further on the list. This month I’ve already blown my budget on reeds (and an upcoming meal at The French Laundry), but maybe I can get one next month!
Tien, have you tried the frames at the side and top of the block, instead of side and bottom? Perhaps it would bring the birds foreward visually and set them off better. I wanted to flip my computer screen upside down to see….
Tien Chiu says
Doing that changes the perspective – as it stands, the window looks as if you’re looking at it from slightly above it (adult height); if you flip it, it looks like you’re looking at the window from slightly underneath (child height). I think I prefer the adult perspective, but I thought I’d mock up the other one just to see. Here it is, so you don’t have to turn your computer screen upside down!
See what you mean! But if I squint a bit, I can see the birds on the flat tops of pryamids. Perhaps if the lighter side frame were a bit darker, it would help enhance that point of view, with the birds projecting toward you instead of away. But perhaps it’s half-empty, half-full prospective in any event….