Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Quilt Wrangling

I sat down two weeks ago to start quilting the stars.  Within two stitches the sewing machine locked up and once I pulled it through the sticking point, the hook timing was all screwed up (the needle hit the bobbin plate).  After hours of troubleshooting, including pulling apart a chunk of the machine, we figured the cause was an aging motor belt.  It's an inexpensive piece and easy enough to find online, but installing it would require dismantling a large portion of the sewing machine.  I'm confident we could pull it apart... but not so certain it would work once it was reassembled.

I've found a repair place that says they can fix it, but they tell me it will take 2 to 3 weeks.  I really want to finish this quilt in time to submit to the Topsfield Fair and that is a hard deadline of September 9th.  So I've managed to get the machine working; I can feel when the belt starts to slip and I can shove it back into true.  However, I'm now battling with wonky thread tension and the occasional messed-up stitch.  Obviously, my machine is terribly unhappy.  I just hope I can coax it to keep going just long enough to finish the quilting and binding.  Fingers crossed.

My machine, in pieces
The good news?  Tackling the stars is much easier now than when I first tried to stitch them.  I'm much more comfortable stuffing the quilt through my sewing machine, the quilting I've done has limited the amount of pinning I need, and I can focus on each star at at time.  They go pretty quickly, although 77 stars remaining at 10 to 15 minutes apiece... um... that's a lot of hours.

Come on, my trusty Graduate... just a little longer and I'll give you all of the refurbishment you deserve.

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