Thursday, August 13, 2015

Catching Up!

It's been little but free motion quilting around here for weeks now, so there was no need to post last week about more of the same. 

However, my frustration level grew as I quilted "Prism." More and more frequently, the top thread broke. It happened only when I was moving the quilt south - when stitches were being made behind the sewing machine foot. To fix the problem, I tried changing tension, unthreading everything and rethread, cleaning out the bobbin, and changing the needle. Nothing made a difference. When I posted this broken thread photo to Instagram, I received some helpful responses.  

Sue, a longarm quilter suggested I check for a burr on my throat plate. While this Pfaff has a regular throat plate, it also has a detachable throat plate placed on top of the regular plate for free motion quilting. (Feed dogs continue to engage and move beneath the detachable plate.) Sure enough, the edges of the small hole were quite rough! Makes sense that the thread would rub against the edges of the hole and shred.

So, hubby used his Swiss Army knife (thank you for that gift, Edith!), opening the corkscrew, and pushing the tip through the small throat plate hole. Doing that at least loosened some of the coarsest metal shavings. He followed that with a light brushing of 150-grit sandpaper. I thought it made a big difference! On my test quilt sandwich, using my Fine Line Ruler, I made a beautiful straight line while moving the quilt south.

But after a couple days, the thread began to shred again - like three times in an eight-inch pass! Sigh. This time I used a small emery board to smooth the top side of the throat plate hole. Again, it's better, but not perfect.

Happily, I've finished quilting Prism, and will take this throat plate to a sewing machine dealer who can make it right. I was told that there's an emery cord that can be run through the hole to smooth the edges. I hope that does the trick!

When I needed a breather from the frustrations of quilting, I sewed another Dress A Girl Around the World pillowcase dress. I enjoy making these so much! This one was made from a sale piece of seersucker, found at JoAnn's, and Lizzy House Mini Pearl Bracelets.

For now, I'm hanging onto the three dress I've made because I'll be teaching how to make them. There will be charge for an all day workshop, but if students will come to make a dress and donate it to Dress a Girl, the workshop is free. When a workshop date has been determined, it will be added to my Teaching Schedule (see tab above).  

My online friend, Amanda Jean Nyberg (author of Sunday Morning Quilts), celebrated her 40th birthday in July. One of her friends asked us to make and send this signature block for a quilt the friend is putting together. The block is only five inches square, so I hope Amanda Jean has lots of pals! I admire Amanda Jean's work so much. Her penchant for scrappy (see my Scrap Vortex quilt, initiated by Amanda Jean!) suits my tastes. And she seems like such a nice person... another quilter I know I'd hit it off with if we met in person.

A friend in Australia, Emma Jean Jansen (who I have met in person, twice!) is the designer of this bright and fun collection of 19 prints called "60's Scrapbag." I'm on a mission to find it here in the US, and thus far, I haven't located anyone selling it. Only Australian shops. 

Shipping from Australia can be more than the cost of fabric, so I'm holding out until I find a shop stateside. In the meantime, I added this "60's Scrapbag" to MassDrop, for people to vote for. When 200 people have voted, MassDrop will negotiate to get it. Fingers crossed! Linda

11 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness, such trials and tribulations. Good thing someone knew what to look for! I know I'm looking forward to seeing Prism all finished! Such pretty fabrics, Linda. When I used your link to vote on Massdrop, I just got a blank page. When I put it in the search box, the same thing happened. I'll jump on the laptop later tonight and try it from there. Such a good idea to have the dress class. Wish I lived nearby so I could take advantage of all your classes and feed off of your limitless enthusiasm! Check out that sweet autograph block! Have a nice evening! XO

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  2. I've seen my sewing machine guy use that emery cord to smooth out the burrs on my throat plate, too. It does make a difference! Glad you were able to keep sewing and going--your industry is so inspiring! (I am sewing vicariously through you currently.) Always fun to visit your blog and see what you are up to, even if it is hunting down fabrics!

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  3. Linda I hope to come over to FL for couple of weeks in September. I am happy to bring some of the fabric over for you and we can meet for a cup of coffee to hand it over. Email me privately if you interested.

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  4. I voted for the fabrics on Massdrop. Love, love, love Massdrop. Dangerous though it can be!!!!
    I have the same needle plate for my Viking, and I've had the same issue with it. I don't even use it anymore. I turn the stitch length to zero, which disengages the feed dogs.

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  5. What a cute friendship block. I love what you wrote on it; too funny. Isn't it so annoying when something goes wrong with the sewing machine? Glad to were able to fix it at least temporarily and finish the quilting. Love Emma's new fabric. I'm surprised it isn't in all the shops in the US already. There's a list of stockists in the US is on her web site; maybe the fabrics just haven't arrived there yet.

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  6. Your quilting is always amazing to me--something that I could never personally do. And yes, you would love Amanda Jean.

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  7. Linda, you have the patience of job! I would have given up long ago.
    It's gorgeous

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  8. So glad you persevered through and got your quilt quilted! The dress is adorable. I've been wanting to do a workshop making these dresses for quite some time but for the missions prophecy of a local cavalry that serves in Uganda. Cute fabric.

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    1. Sorry you were having such a problem with your thread breaking. I'm glad that you found a temporary fix and hope your machine dealer can sand it to keep it from happening in the future. That is so frustrating when the thread breaks continually. Your pillowcase dress is made with such a pretty piece of fabric. I haven't made one yet, but maybe I'll find time to try one soon. Ooooh, I would love to make something with those 60;s scrao bag collection (if I were buying fabric this year) lol. Those are some great colors. I hope you find it here in the US.

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  9. I really like the Emma Jean fabrics. If it's not too late I'll vote for it.

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