September 03, 2007


Here's what happens every time I quilt:

1) Get everything ready and get hyped up to start the project.

2) Sit down and quilt the first row.

3) Go to start the second row; top thread doesn't catch and I quilt several inches before I realize I'm sewing without thread. Remove entire quilt from machine and rethread.

4) Start again, only to find that the second time I inserted the quilt, the bottom layer got a wrinkle in it.

5) Pop in a Futurama disc and spend 40 minutes tearing all stitches out.

6) Finally make second row.

7) Without changing a single thing, start third row and find that tension has completely changed and a big knot forms on underside of work.

8) Cut everything out, spend 15 minutes unquilting.

9) Take all thread out, rethread, try on actual quilt because I'm a moron: tension still berserk. 5 minutes of unquilting. Unthread, take apart every removable piece of the machine, blow on it like an old school Nintendo, put it all back together, try again, this time on scraps: tension fine.

10) Put quilt back on machine, tension goes berserk.

11) Grit teeth, clench fists, shut off machine and return to my knitting where there's no #$%& technology between me and my craft.

Total time spent: all morning
Total rows quilted: 2

If I didn't want the finished project so badly, I'd throw the whole thing out the window.

Posted by Sarah at September 3, 2007 11:30 AM | TrackBack

Time for a new machine? Or perhaps old-fashioned quilting, without the technology! I'm about to start hand-quilting myself, when I get all my pieces together.

Posted by: Green at September 3, 2007 12:25 PM

Okay, I will give you the advice my mother has given me, and I swear it is true: do not be cheap when it comes to thread. Only buy good quality thread. She buys Gutermann. That thread never ever ever breaks. I have been sewing like crazy the last few months making stuff for the wedding, and not one single thread break. And my bf, aka the sewing machine idiot savant (he knows more about sewing machines than anyone I know, since he reseached like crazy when it came to getting my machine) also seconds that advice. And wouldn't it be great if the solution to all this trauma was as simple a new thread?

Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at September 3, 2007 12:57 PM

But I DID buy good thread, and it's a new machine. Next advice...

Posted by: Sarah at September 3, 2007 12:58 PM

I use good thread for the stuff I make on my machine. But quilts? Nah - I only do them by hand. When the time factor for fixing screw ups is calculated in, it doesn't take any longer that way.

Posted by: airforcewife at September 3, 2007 01:10 PM

Boo hoo! I knew you had a new machine, but I was so sure this was a thread issue. I am fresh out of advice.

Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at September 3, 2007 01:17 PM

Your machine might need maintenance. It might also hate the material you're using. What kind of machine is it?

Posted by: deltasierra at September 3, 2007 02:53 PM

I'm with the 'do it by hand' camp. (altho I had had fond hopes of maybe getting a machine myself to be able to machine quilt the more utilitarian quilts in my stack) But you make me suspect it's not as easy - or quick - as I had thought!

The one thing I finally let go of - hand-quilting-wise - is this idea of "perfect" stiches, all tiny, all straight, all uniform. I move a WHOLE lot quicker now, and no one seems to be able to tell the difference. (Not that most people would even look!)

and one more thing: I roll and baste the edges so that the quilt can actually be used when I'm not working on it. Quilts take long enough to make as it is - might as well use them! I figured this out when my brother grabbed a quilt that wasn't finished and slept under it the night before he headed out on a year's deployment. My first thought was : how did he avoid getting stabbed by the needle? My second was: what a cool idea! And how I love it that the first person to sleep under that quilt (even before it was done) was my brother. . . . It's still one of my favorite quilts.

Posted by: prophet at September 3, 2007 07:47 PM

At this point if it was me I would pay someone to quilt it on one of those long arm quilting machines. Quick and painless. I like to make the top, but after that I quickly lose interest. I have a couple in the works....dare I confess that my husband could probably quilt it for me? LOL The news even did a segment on him. Now he is going to kill me!

Posted by: ABW at September 3, 2007 08:31 PM

Each deployment I try something I have never done before, lets see this was what I did back in was a bad, bad experience, I did not fare well in the end, (think burned, stabed and bleeding). I was just happy that my lap quilt (square) was now ready to be framed!

A good friend took pity on me and finished it, my one attempt will forever be just that.

I am envious of your two rows....envious of all who can quilt.....I will stick with window treatments, less chance of me winding up in the ER!

Posted by: A Soldier's Wife at September 3, 2007 08:46 PM

"But I DID buy good thread, and it's a new machine. Next advice..."

Screw thread quality, don't pay someone else to do it, and no, your machine doesn't need service.

Invite me to your house and we'll work on it together. Man, I miss you.

Posted by: Erin at September 3, 2007 09:48 PM