Thursday, November 06, 2014

Anchoring My Creative Quilt "Mess"

The current quilt on the agenda is a baby quilt.  The person who commissioned it checked with the mother-to-be for colors and theme.  The baby's room will be in mostly blue with white and a few red accents. So the quilt will be red white and blue.  The room will have a nautical theme and anchors are a major design element.
I sat down with Electric Quilt and made up this design.
The anchor will be better centered on the real quilt.   Then I started cutting fabric and realized that it could be a bit tricky to piece this without having to do partial or Y-seams. Hmmm....  EQ doesn't really help with that bit of quilt planning.  So I sat down with a pen and paper and started sketching and figuring measurements. I also was planning how to piece it.  EQ had several small pieces and lots of points to match (ugh.) If I can avoid matching points, I do.  Especially when I have a deadline to reach completion.  (and I really don't know when this baby is due - I did but I have forgotten!)

So now I have this creative mess in my living room - which is where I am sewing and cutting.
I should mention that the embroidery machine decided to be temperamental  when I was sewing out the anchor design.  It was sewing so nicely that I walked out of the room to do some other chores.  Did you know there is a special built-in sensor on an embroidery machine that limits how long you can leave that machine?  Well, maybe not really, but it certainly seems that way.  I heard a "clunk" and took off running.  I quickly stopped the machine and sorted out the problem - I thought.  Then, I used the  minus  ten stitch feature to go to the last place it was sewing properly.  I restarted the machine and it punched needle holes but did not sew.  ARRGH!
Now what????

I took out the bobbin, cleaned the bobbin area and put in a nice new bobbin, as the other was almost empty.   Just to be safe I used another hoop and just stabilizer to test it. More holes, no sewing.
So, I removed the embroidery unit.  I tried straight stitching. Nope!  I re-threaded and tried again. WHACK- the needle broke.  (I am ready to scream and/or cry now!)  I replaced the needle and the embroidery unit.  I put the small hoop with just stabilizer back on and picked a simple design -and prayed.  I pushed the start button....and it started embroidering.


I put the anchor design (still in the 5 by 7 hoop) back on and repositioned it once again.  I hit start and watched constantly until it was finished.  Whew!  Apparently when the machine jammed previously, it bent the needle just enough that it wasn't noticeable to my eye - but the machine noticed. If it had only told me what was wrong!  I have lots of new needles in my stash.  Now I know and that is a good thing to remember.

When in doubt, re-thread, take out the bobbin and put it back in, clean the bobbin area while you have it open and (oh yes!)  change the needle every few projects.
A little prayer never hurts either.

Have a great day,

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A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Oh, I know that feeling!! Somehow that machine KNEW that you had left the room!! It reminds me of a car I had once that decided to break down - it KNEW that I had just paid it off - EARLY!! Glad it was only the needle that needed to be changed and not something MAJOR/EXPENSIVE to fix. And I like your design - isn't EQ7 the greatest?? - ;))

Lynn said...

Cute design! Glad you were able to fix your machine! I've had that happen to me before too. I don't have an embroidery machine, but I also bent a needle once - not enough to see but enough that the machine noticed. It's not a nice feeling when your machine won't sew!

Barbara said...

So many(!) roadblocks, but I know you will complete this cute design. Oh, your "When in doubt..." finish will lead to more success than what I've always heard -- "When in doubt, don't." ;)

Barb said...

Never...I mean Never leave the room...that is a sure stopping point for the machine....

Love your design.

Beth said...

Those machines. lol
I am glad it was just a needle. Too bad it doesn't tell you what is wrong.
Cute quilt.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh Gene....don't talk to me about wild things happening while you are doing ME. In the beginning that stuff used to happen to me all the time and I wanted to throw mine away. So glad I didn't! I hear ya...makes you want to cry and scream all at the same time.


Bev said...

Gene, I too would choose the Feathered Star Design.
I'd like to break it up and use either on placemats or a t-shirt.