Monday, January 28, 2013

Time to stitch! Or not ...

My Goddess quilt is drawn! I got lucky and had enough batting left over from Christmas projects. It took me an hour and every straight pin I owned but I got her pinned to the batting and backing. I thought this was going to be smooth sailing. 


I pulled out what I believe will be my free motion quilting foot. I have not altered it yet, as Leah instructs in one of her classes on Craftsy. I'm winging it. I spent half an hour figuring out how to get the thing on my machine. Holy cow I felt dumb! 

I had my machine service this past summer and could not get the screw loosened to replace the lower shank part. I finally grabbed another presser foot and used the end as a screwdriver. Do not be like me! But I did get the regular shank off and after a good while, the new foot installed.

I went into my stitch settings and found I could not set my stitch length to -0-. Almost but not quite. I hand cranked the wheel slowly and the feed dogs didn't seem to be doing any advancing motion. Wheew! Now let's try to stitch something. 

Single layer of fabric was floating well under this foot. Argh! I need to go back to Leah's Free Motion Quilting a Sampler Quilt class on Craftsy to see how to alter and adapt this foot. In the meantime, I made a small quilt sandwich of scrap fabric and a small bit of scrap batting. 

This worked better. Until I got along an inch. Crack! The needle broke. I heard it hit the plate. 
Hhhmmm, ok I will change out the needle and try again. 
The screw holding the needle in was too tight for me to loosen by hand. My tiny screwdriver was not in my machine. Thief! The handy dandy presser foot would work though. I got the needle changed out and tried again. 

Crack! Another needle bit the dust. Now I was frustrated. 
I went over the steps in my head and examined my quilt sandwich closely. You can see the top thread tension was too tight. Surprisingly the bottom thread looked beautiful. As I pondered and tried to blame my needle, presser foot, machine, fabric, anything but me ... I realized it was completely a user error. Both times I bet.

I advanced pretty well for a beginner. While going straight. But then I moved my fabric sideways. And I am betting a million dollars that I was not stitching fast enough. I was maintaining a smooth, steady pace. A slow pace. I am guessing the needle was down in the fabric when I pulled to move sideways. I have one more needle but it is the wrong kind for this stitching. Proving my theory will have to wait until I can get more needles. So much for sewing happily along today : /

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