Monday, January 18, 2010

Wish me luck

So way back in early October I quilted this quilt using free motion quilting on my sewing machine. It was my first attempt, it went well and I was happy with my first try at stippling.

But then something happened.. not sure when.. why.. or what it is. But soon after - I tried to do this quilt.. and that's when it all went down hill. I don't have an actual picture from that day.. but here is one that I found online that shows what happened on the underside of my quilt.

So I did a lot of online research (highly scientific) and from what I could conclude - it was my bobbin tension. I went to a quilt store that specializes in my brand machine and they told me I needed this different bobbin case that is specific for free motion quilting.

So Santa left one for me in my Christmas stocking (love that guy). Then this past Saturday as I was going to make the pincushion for the Sew-in giveaway - I decided to give a little free motion a whirl using my new bobbin case.

IT DIDN'T WORK!!!!! This time I had the same issue but on top this time. I adjusted my top tension in both directions.. still no success. I was ready to scream.. instead I only grunted.

I was able to finish the pincushion by reverting to a straightline quilting instead. Then I turned the sewing room light off and got the heck out of there for the night.

BUT.. on Sunday morning.. God must had felt my frustration.. because I opened my email.. and during the middle of the night.. the quilt store that specializes in my brand machine had sent a newsletter announcing a class for machine quilting and troubleshooting.

Can you believe the luck?! It is tomorrow morning from 9:30 - 11:30 and it's only $12.00. And I'm serious.. I truly feel that God was looking out for me because not only is the timing perfect.. but it's during the day when my kids are at school. Because with me husband out of town for 2weeks for work.. I could never have made an evening or weekend class work.

I can't wait to get this issue resolved! Wish me luck! Pin It

21 comments:

Georgia said...

That's awesome! And I agree- it sounds like that class was planned just for you!

Angie said...

That's great. I hope you figure everything out. I've had that happen, and it was, oh, so very frustrating.

Luv 2 Kreate said...

Good luck at the class, and I agree Heaven sent :)

Leah S said...

I spent half of 2009 fighting the same problem with my sewing machine - to the point where I was ready to quit quilting! The culprit? My thread. I use Essential thread for everything, and I've got a couple of spools that no longer can hold up to free-motioning. It's not the tension, it's not the machine, it's not the needle, it's not the bobbin... it's the darn thread. Oddly enough, I don't see thread mentioned very much when people talk about trouble shooting free-motioning tension.

Valerie said...

Isn't it neat how HE knows just what we need when we need it? I can't wait to hear all that you learn. I had the same thing happen to me the other day on that table runner. That is why I didn't show the back side.

kwiltmakr said...

thread and needle all make a difference, also how fast your going and not only that but try to adjust that little screw on the bobbin case too. I have a bobbin case for free motion and one for regular sewing.It made a differnece for me. I have not done much of the free motion either but that is what I have learned so far. Hope you learn a lot at the class!

Amy said...

How neat that a class is available right away and the timing is perfect! I know how frustrated you must feel with your machine. Hope this class can help you solve the problems.

I purchased a new Husqvarna Sapphire a couple of years ago. Dealer was a dead-end. But once the investment was made, I wanted to make it work. I found a Sapphire group on Yahoo Groups. They have been invaluable. There may be a group for you too. I read lots of articles on-line, books and a few videos on tension and free-motion quilting. I never had tried free-motion before this machine. Each tip or technique would get me a step closer to achieving better stitch quality. Took a few classes. One at a quilt shop with same brand of machine. They were awesome. I didn't purchase my machine there but since have purchased everything else. I had them service my machine and turned out the timing was off. It was worth the money. I learned alot about the factors that affect tension. Needle size, thread weight, top tension setting, making sure the machine is threaded properly, etc. I never owned a computerized sewing machine before. More settings - fabric weight, auto sensor off, pivot height, selecting type of free motion (spring or float), etc. Everything had to be set properly. Anyhow, after servicing and making sure I had all of these factors correct, I had perfect tension with 50-wt thread. However, 40-wt thread wasn't so good. More researching. Bought special bobbin case. Told not to adjust original because it was factory set and would almost be impossible to adjust back. One of the girls on the yahoo sewing group suggested maybe loosing the tension on the special bobbin case just a little. My top tension was perfect but I could see the top thread on the bottom side. I finally got brave a few months later and loosened 1/4 turn. Success! Thank goodness because I have 6 large spools of King Tut thread that I absolutely love and want to use!

I wish you the best of luck. I think taking that class will be a big blessing. Whatever you don't get worked out tomorrow, keep looking and asking. Keep us posted on your progress. I'm excited for you!

Hooks, Pins and Needles said...

Oh Girl I feel for ya..I know how frustrating a sewing machine and the tension issues can be...I got a new machine in November and it took me what seemed like forever..to figure out all the bells and whistles on it and to get it to sew the way I wanted it too...the way I knew is should sew. I hope you get your issues ironed out soon...good luck..

Lissa Jane said...

aw crap.. dont you just hate that?? the only upside when the tension is loose is that it is 'easy to UNsew!'... enjoy your class.. I am still learning to drive my new machine too (a husqvarna) I have said a LOT of naughty words at it.. ones I didn't even know I knew!

Lissa
Australia
PS I know a LOT of bad words...

Kim said...

I had that problem with my Bernina, and then I heard from a lot of other Bernina owners who had the same problem too. I took it into the shop and they "fixed" it so it worked slightly better, but not consistently. (Yes, I tried all the different things it could be and nothing helped--no one ever suggested a different bobbin case though!) In the end, I bought a Juki to quilt on. I love my Bernina for piecing but quilting? Not so much! Good luck with your class!

Rita E said...

I use a Husqvarna Mega Quilter to do all my free motion quilting, and I've had the same problem. But after adjusting the tension, it works great. Of course, it helps to make sure I have it threaded properly! The class will be a big help.

Abi said...

Oh, how fun. A get together class. Cool. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but glad things are looking up.

Actually, my sewing machine is very temperamental. It does that to my sew alot; and I mean alot. Like the night of our sew-in I was using the machine fine and good. Daughter set down and bingo. starts messing up. I have to take it all apart and clean it. The least bit of fuzz makes it go crazy. And I mean least bit. It drives me bananas. I also have to change needles and make sure thread is really tight on or it will mess up. It is 25+ years old. I think I'm due for a new one.

Maria said...

I hope you really enjoy your workshop.I have been to a couple of free motion quilting ones and you learn heaps so have fun. I am sure you will learn how to use your machinefor stippling too.

Patty said...

Good Luck, Let us know how you make out.

Dianne said...

Have you tried moving your fabric slower? I found that sometimes the settings were "right" and it was me that was off! I heard once that if you pretend like there are only two settings for your foot...off is off, and "on" is 3/4 of the way down. Also, I find that if I slow down my moving of the fabric and keep the footpedal speed up...it evens out in the end!

Needled Mom said...

I hope this answers all of your questions. It will be fun to see what you learned.

Crystal Hendrix said...

Good luck! Make sure you share what you learn!! Because I had the same problem on my sewing machine! :D

Julia said...

Good Luck!

sweetbabies00 said...

You are such a sweetheart. I'm glad you get to go to class. Have fun!

Sara said...

When I have that problem with my Pfaff, I always remember that I didn't put the presserfoot HALF way down. There is DOWN and UP and then there is HALF way, which is for darning and free motion quilting. Seems I miss that sometimes.

Nichole said...

i have had that happen to be before. it is so frustrating every time! i had no idea that there were special bobbin cases for free motion quilting. what type of sewing machine do you have?