Friday, March 2, 2012

Gremlins in the Engine

.... or in my case, in the sewing machine.

Today I decided was the day to finish up Caleb's quilt. I had a little less than half of the quilt to quilt, and then do the binding. All on the machine, so I figured I could spend a couple of hours and get it done, and gifted to Caleb, who still doesn't realize it is for him, though he has seen me work on it a lot lately.

We went through the usual morning routines and chores and around 10:30 or so I got it all set up to go, anticipating "getting into the zone" and having a wonderful, peaceful morning quilting.

Well, my Janome had other plans, apparently. It really puzzles me how I can use the machine one day, without any problems, and hours of sewing go off without a hitch and then BAM! The next day, things are difficult. This is the same machine, same thread, same settings, same everything I used a few days ago to start quilting Caleb's quilt. It was fine. I sewed for a couple of hours, only having to stop to remove a basting pin, or refill the bobbin. It was so wonderful, peaceful, soothing... everything my experience today wasn't.

I don't know what changed, because the Janome is always put away in a case, where no little fingers can get to it, when not in use. My Singer is set up for all normal sewing, or piecing. The Janome is my heavy duty machine that I use for quilting or working with denim. Plus, all my quilting attachments only fit the Janome.

Anyway, I don't if my Janome was having a bad day, was up too late last night, didn't have it's coffee, had a fight with it's spouse, or having PMS, but it wasn't willing to do more than a few stitches then the top thread broke. I checked all the tensions and settings. Nothing wrong there. I scratched my head. So, I rethreaded the machine and tried again. It sewed 5 to 10 stitches then broke. This was repeated many times. By now I was done scratching my head and was into slamming my fist on the table in frustration. I can't blame the thread, as it was good quality "Sulky" thread. I ended up taking the machine apart, and pulled a wad of white thread from the top tension thingie. I put it back together, then for good measure put a new needle in.

Rethreaded AND a new needle! For sure this was going to work, right?

Well, not really. The top thread kept breaking, but at least now it was after a few minutes of actual sewing. That I can tolerate. It was still a pain, but at least I could work it.

Some might say all this hoopla would indicate that it wasn't "meant to be" that I sew today. Well, I know for sure I was supposed to sew today. After all, it was written in blue ink in my "To Do" list in my Homemaking Notebook.

I think it was pilots or submarine engineers that used to call the unexplainable little glitches in their machinery "gremlins". I figured I had one of those today.

So, it was (wo)man against machine. Will power against electric power.

"Who won?" you ask?

Who do you think won?????



Also, I'm glad to say that the binding came out much better this time than on the last quilt!


Kati's Quilting said...

I'm glad you powered up and won over the machine, your quilt came out just great!! I love the pieced back too, it adds a zing to it! Very well done and it's good for you that you didn't give up!

Mamachildress said...

The colors on this quilt are really pretty Lisa!