Spirograph Quilting!

A few weeks back my Mom let me know her duvet was falling apart, and she would like me to fix it.  I’ll do anything for my mom.  So, she ordered fabric for the front and back, and sent the whole shebang down to me for quilting.  She requested I use my Gammill Design Center for quilting.

IMG_4057Apparently the duvet has been deteriorating for years, as it had several patches.  Calling it a rag would be a generous overstatement of its condition.  Mom has rather large dogs who are rough on the bedding.  I removed the safety pins that were used to hold some of the patches on.  Some patches were hanging off, so I tore them off the rest of the way.  I loaded it up onto Darla, and off I went.

IMG_4062As this is a strictly utilitarian project, I used up a bunch of half full bobbins.  This means there are random color changes on the quilt.  I’m sure Mom won’t mind.  I broke out the Design Center booklet that I received when I purchased it from the previous owner.  The directions are a bit scanty, but I figured it out.

You can see my starts and stops pretty clearly on the white fabric.  In the future I will tie off and bury threads, rather than lock stitches.

IMG_4064The design center makes some wonderful patterns, but I have not figured out how to resize them.  I think it is possible, but it will require further research and testing.  There are bits that slide around holes I can’t figure out.

Here is a video of me using the design center.  My videography game is, uh, not on fleek. (Trendy vocab courtesy of Joe Biden memes.)

IMG_4065Several of the patterns in the book involve changing out cams mid-design.  I was not able to get them lined up properly, so they looked wonky.  Instead I stuck with one cam per section, and just played.  It was fun.

IMG_4089As for the Gammill Design Center, I think it is a ton of fun.  All of the cams and cogs are a little intimidating.  If there were an online resource for how to use it, it would be so much better.  My online searching didn’t turn up much.  There is a book by Irena Bluhm  I am planning to order shortly.  Based on how much I enjoy free motion design, I doubt this will be more than a toy I use a few times per year.  There is no indication that Gammill is supporting it any more.  I purchased mine from someone cleaning out a closet.  I only paid $300, but it is hard to imagine that I will be able to earn that money back.  I’m still happy with it, but this is information that might help someone else.

IMG_4090If you have a Design Center and know how to use it, let me know!  I would love to understand how some of the other parts of it work.

img_4102.jpgI did break out my free motion feathers for some spaces at the bottom that were too small to fit in a spiral pattern.

img_4185.jpgHere is a photo of the whole top.  Dappled lighting and dirty dog footprints aren’t helping.  This piece is too heavy for my usual hangers.


This is the fabric my mother chose as the top.  You really can’t see much of the quilting in the photo, but it does sho up in person.

IMG_4183Finally, here are my quilt inspectors.  Beauty was delighted when I spread the quilt out for her.  Oscar was kind enough to play in the mud before running across the quilt.  He even acted as if he was going to vomit on it.  He’s a sweet puppy.

Overall, I would not recommend re-covering a duvet unless you are happy with a strictly utilitarian quilt.  Tension was a nightmare on this, and I think it was due to the varying thickness of the duvet.  I would definitely not do this for a client.  Duvet repair is a “mom only” project.  Also, it weighs a ton.  No worries about Mom freezing during a cold New Hampshire night.  I am slightly concerned that she won’t be able to get out of bed.

12 thoughts on “Spirograph Quilting!

  1. That seems like a great tool, but with the computerized systems, I expect it is only available the way you got it, lucky you. It looks like you had fun, in spite of the problems in quilting it. Your mom will love it, anyway. Your comments on the animals were amusing, so thanks for a smile, too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Does it work only with a Gammill? And is this more of a stylus operated thing, not robotics? I’m not at all familiar with it, but intrigued. I loved my Spirograph as a kid!


      2. It only works with Gammill as far as I know. The Gammill table has teeth along the edge to accommodate tools. Then you drop a stylus into it. It is very much like a Spirograph, except your gears don’t skip and mess up your design.

        Liked by 1 person

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