Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Learning curves and broken needles

I'm pushing the learning curve of free motion quilting. Or I'm learning to curve my stitching line in free motion quilting. However you want to look at it, LOL. 

I'm also breaking needles like crazy. I have increased my stitching speed, keeping my hands slow, so I won't be tugging the fabric while the needle is down in the machine or fabric. One issue eliminated. But as I sewed, I still felt a tweaking resistance.

I checked my thread and threading. Made sure nothing was snagging my quilt sandwich. Beat my head against my machine a few times. I was not sure about this issue. Why was I feeling a definite tweak to the fabric sandwich? 

When in doubt, I look issues up. I booted up my laptop and headed to Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. I did a search for broken needle and found several blog entries. I knew my needle was fresh and sharp since I had just installed a new needle three times! 

I hit on the presser foot idea and explored. A little comparing and I found my foot is exactly as Leah described, evil! I have the obnoxious little bar that hits the needle lifter making the foot tilt and tweak. She encourages people to try bending the bar back so it will stay steady. She also states to try it on a cheap foot, not the expensive feet that come with your machine. Good thing too, since the foot that came with the machine has a thick bar. 

I will pause in my learning to purchase a reasonably priced darning foot and alter it. And of course, I have to buy more needles, LOL. I have bought more needles this year than ALL the previous years of my sewing life. But that's ok. When I was stitching and making slow soft curves, angels sang and I had a smile on my face. It's all anticipation of the beautiful designs I will one day be able to stitch. I will learn. I will get there. I am sew happy. 

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