I am tired of gummy needles, missed stitches, and broken thread. I am tired of failure. Do you ever feel that way? I love my doggie portrait. The fusing came out better than I dreamed, but the quilting is a disaster due to fusible adhesive glopping up the needle. I called my Baby Lock dealer who is always helpful. She suggested that maybe I didn't get the fusible ironed enough so that it was fully incorporated into the fabric. She also suggested #12 denim or jeans needle. If I couldn't get that needle, try #12 universal. OK. I drove to the valley and the closest store didn't have the right needle, although I picked up the #12 universal. I went to the other store and they were closed for two days. So....I came home, ironed down the fusible really well with a silicone press cloth and tried again. No luck. I talked to my daughter (professional longarmer) and she asked if I had used steam. No I hadn't so I tried that, to no avail. My only option is to look further for the #12 denim or jeans needle when I am down off the mountain on Wednesday.
Thank you for listening. I feel better now. Here is a picture of my doggie before quilting.
|Dixie fused, before attempting to quilt.|
No luck in quilting no matter what I did so I moved on to another project, but my beloved sewing machine bunched up the stitches, ruffled the fabric and tore the foundation paper. It was fully serviced one month ago! I called my dealer and was told to bring the machine in. Move over dark cloud. I have had enough disruption.
I left the machine in the shop while I got a haircut, had a Japanese lunch with DH, and did some errands. What a boost for sagging spirits! On the way home I retrieved my presently persnickety
The diagnosis of my machine troubles:
1. The fusible not only gummed up the needle, but left a crystalline, powdery residue in the bobbin case and surroundings. The folks in the shop cleaned up the mess and recommended not using Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite with my machine. That's easy. I prefer Soft Fuse anyway. I will just have to do the doggie over again. Fortunately my 3-year service contract paid for the work.
TIP: Run a tester on your machine with Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite before investing time or money in it for a fusible project.
2. In my new project (no fusible) I was using Superior's Bottom Line in both the top and bobbin, sewing seams on foundation paper. It is a thin, polyester thread, and is relatively elastic. This is fine for the bobbin as it will pull the top thread down slightly when it relaxes, but it is too stretchy for the top and causes bunching. Being polyester, it also can get hot, which causes more stretching and therefore more bunching.
TIP: Use Superior's "Bottom Line" thread in the bobbin, but not top AND bottom.
In spite of many, many years of sewing and quilting, I still find myself crawling up the learning curve. There is always something new to learn in this business/hobby. My brain loves to form new connections, which will hopefully keep me sane and avoid early onset dementia.
Friday: Epilogue by Brain Dead
I set up the machine and sat down to sew again, but my fabric bunched up as before. Rethread, change the needle, redo. Still bunches. No (scream and tear hair out).......this cannot be! Change from my favorite foot to the standard foot. Ah, it works great. Pick up my favorite, but non-standard foot to put it away. What is this sticky stuff on the bottom? Oh no! I told you about putting my foundation pattern together with surgical tape. Well, my surgical tape had been in the band-aid drawer for decades and was feeling a bit gummy on the non-sticking side. Apparently the top of the tape gummed up the underside of the foot so fabric could not flow under it. My newly purchased roll of tape is not sticky on top and I can sew over it just fine with all feet. I cleaned my favorite foot with alcohol and it is back on the machine and working beautifully. Incidentally, I can easily pull the bad, old tape off the foundation pattern and replace it with the new. All is working fine and progress has begun again. May I hear a big HURRAY!!!!?
TIP: If it is sticky, don't sew it! Buy a new roll of surgical tape if you plan to use it.
I still have to do the doggie over from scratch, but at least I have the pattern in waiting mode.
Sew a Happy Seam this week. I wish you no gummed needles or puckered fabric.