Sunday, January 13, 2008

A tragic moment in quilting

On Saturday I decide that I want to do some sewing, so I can claim that I busted stash! I selected to do Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads clue #5. Uh, yeah, nevermind that I haven't done 3 and 4 yet. :P

I cut out what I need for 100 quarter-square triangles. My first time using the Companion Angle in this manner... I predict more QSTs in my future! :D

Then I'm merrily sewing along. After doing over 150 seams, one QST's corner finally got chewed up because the back fabric folded over. So I pull it off the machine, seam rip it, and prepare to sew again.

Whenever I have thread tails, I use a small corner of scrap fabric, just in case there's a nest of thread or something before I chain sew. I noticed the tension was terrible on the bottom of the scrap. Hrmm. Then I take a closer look at my triangles...

Oh man!! Is that bad tension or WHAT?! Nearly gave me a heart attack, how could my beloved Bernina spew out something so ugly? The worse I've gotten were pokies, and minor thread tension adjustments fixed it all. How in the world was I gonna fix this?

I did take some cheer in the fact that "only" 40 pieces had bad tension. I couldn't see anything to indicate a sudden change. It was literally fine with one piece, and terrible on the next.

First thing I did was clean out the bobbin area. Just making swipes at any lint. I tried to see if the bobbin thread was wrapped around something or such, but nothing. I took the bobbin out of the case and completely rethreaded it.

Then I did the same to the top thread. Snipped next to the spool and rethreaded it from scratch. Sewed another corner scrap... yay! My lovely tension is back. Whew. :)

So somehow, somewhere the thread must have come out of place somewhere in the machine.

Now what to do with all those bad pieces? Rip them out? I tried that with one piece... whoa! Talk about stretching a bias edge. :P

Then it hit me, why not just double sew them? I'm already using a scant quarter-inch seam allowance (as you can see by the needle's right position, not center of the foot), so the little extra bulk of thread isn't gonna hurt anything.

So much for stashbusting this past week. Ok, I did cut up about a yard of fabric for the QSTs. :) But otherwise, nada.

Not all is lost though, I did get those blocks into tops earlier this week! :D



ForestJane said...

I'm glad you were able to fix them so easily. ;) I'm afraid I'd have been tempted to pull that loose bobbin thread out on all of them... lol

Gail said...

Aargh, don't you just hate when that happens! I'm glad you were able to fix things easily and didn't need to take the machine to the shop for some big problem.

Chrissie said...

whew! I'm so glad your machine is alright! I love the polka dots - can't wait to see what you're making! luv ya!

Kim said...

I hate when that happens :(
I've been getting that a little lately too and I find that unthreading and rethreading cleaning the bobbin area again almost always works.
I'm almost done with my stars for step 6 and then the corner thingies.
Of course now I'm behind on everything else :p

atet said...

I hate it when that happens. But great fix (and yep, I usually find rethreading is the ticket). You know -- now that you have the second seam in, you could probably pull out the loose tension stitches (I wouldn't -- but I'm lazy and all).

Steph said...

Glad you got it worked out!! I also wanted to thank you for all you share on your blog, and with that I have gifted you with the 'You Make My Day' Badge!

Andrea said...

My machine is naughty sometimes with tensions - ususlly while quilting - arghh. Anyway - looking forward to seeing your version of this. I have had to back-track on mine today as somehow I am missing 12 9-patch blocks. Looked everywhere and come to conclusion I miscounted when making them. Oh well . . .

Elaine Adair said...

Oh gosh - maddening! But still usable, fortunately!

FabricMom said...

I can totally sympathize. Thankfully you were able to fix it. Double seams was definitely the way to go. 40 is way to much seam ripping.

~Quasimodo~ said...

You are the quilting queen, girl! Glad you were able to fix those easily!

Dozz said...

hi :)
im a sewing beginner and i just thank God i found you! the thing is,i know nothing about sewing and my only guide is the internet,and my ancient sewing machine's manual...! my one simple question is : what do you call the stitch you apply when you have one piece of fabric,and you need to tidy up the edge,without folding it in any direction,just a free neat stitched edge??
i barely know these expressions in my mother tongue,any advise is sooo much appreciated :)

thank you