Monday, December 6, 2010

help me help myself

sooooo. remember my big lofty dreams of learning to free motion quilt in 2010?

yeah, me neither, until this morning. and since i am about to run out of days in the year, i decided to give it a whirl. i have been making a few place mats for my messy boys. i figured they may be more inclined to keep their food on their plate that way. and it's using up some poly batting i had, as well as some large chunks of novelty prints. yay!

ok, so i dug out the little spare parts bag that came with my machine last christmas. and i found the feed dog cover. so i snapped it on. backwards. oops! try again.

next i tried a little stitching. and my presser foot fell off. and i realized, hey! maybe i have a darning foot or something for this. and yes! i did!

so i started stitching away, trying for a tight meander. i might as well confess something right now. i could never master this effect on my cakes - trying to control the line of icing into a random, never crossing line was impossible for me. but i thought it would be easier with sewing. after all, the machine is "squeezing" the line of "frosting" for me!

so i was going along, not too shabby! i thought cockily. a few jerky spots, but this is my first time you know.

then i noticed some loose looking loops. uh oh.

then my thread broke and the machine hung up. and when i clipped the threads and flipped it over - ugh!

more confessions.  i never check my tension before sewing. i never check the underside of my stitching.  and i have no idea what caused this.  so any of you out there care to troubleshoot for me?  what should i try first?


Nikki said...

This happened a lot with my (new out of the box) Singer.

Doesn't happen with my Bernina.

Don't be too hard on yourself... You just have a cranky machine!

You'll need to check your tension each time you change feet, I think. Especially with free motion / darning foot...

I couldn't ever get anything satisfactory to happen with my singer darning foot. The top would look ok, but the bottom- LOOPY. No good.

Wish I was more help... You might take it into Quilters' Haven in Olathe and get Tom to sit down with you. Maybe it needs tweeking? He will help. He's nice, too. He and his wife, Debbie own the shop.

Lauranie said... help from me!! I've only tried free motion wasn't that bad, but I felt I had no control! One day when I am ready to be a "serious" quilter I'll be more day!! ;) Love the dinosaurs though!

Anonymous said...

Tighten that top tension!!! I check tension ALL the time when quilting, no matter what type of machine I am on.

Megan said...

just caught this post and wanted to let you know about an amazing blog series here:

You may need to scroll through a bit but Christina has done a whole series on free motion quilting and shares TONS of great info and tips. There's also a flickr pool to share pics.

Hopefully, you'll find some answers there!

Lisa said...

i always have to move the tension all the way up with my quilts. i always test after any change of (thread/feet etc) if it's a drop in bobbin check the tension there as can do it!!


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