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