Thursday, April 19, 2012

Machine quilting and I – the next instalment

I have already given a couple of descriptions of my attempts at becoming a more versatile machine quilter. However, the story is not over yet.
The last report ended on a slightly positive note, there was a silver lining on the horizon after I had set myself an organized and systematic manner of approaching the task. For example, when I was waiting somewhere or riding the train I started doodling to find out how the eye follows the line, and perhaps to develop own patterns as well – i.e. I was really getting into machine quilting mood and mode.

So far, so good. Very quickly, however, severe frustration set in. Constant breaking of the thread was driving me wild.

Attempts at changing the tension or even the foot-type were in vain. The thread kept breaking.
Consultations with friends and quilting experts such as Bonnie Bucknam and Leah Day pointed to a possible reason, namely that the thread was too old. After three years?

Too old after three years? Can't really believe it...

In any case, I ordered another type of threads (which also required buying a special spool stand for large cones). I also tried a different kind of foot, assuming that this one would give the fabric a firmer hold, thus causing less disturbance:

Still, the thread kept breaking, and again the left-out stitches occurred, which had been the reason for that first trip to the retailer in December.
So I sent the machine back to the store again, getting not only slightly annoyed by this time.
Several phone calls later, including one with an employee of the store who was trying out the machine and admitted she did not do machine quilting herself, and having sent them my thread as well, and after 10 days, I got the machine back last Monday. They told me that they could not find any problems, that the pressure of the foot had been adjusted slightly, and it was all my fault.
I waited for a day before unpacking, but yesterday I thought it was time to give it another try, using all the settings and foot pressure they had sent it with. This is the result of the very first attempt, after a length of less than 4 inches:

Mark: These are the new threads! That’s when “my thread of patience broke”, as the saying in German goes. I could have thrown it out the window, but instead I cried.
Right after the machine had gone on its new tour I had already talked with my local sewing machine dealer who had been taking care of my machines before I made this mistake of buying out of town, being blinded by the light, so to say. And yesterday I got his offer for a new Bernina 820, and he will give me a very decent trade-in for this other machine.
So perhaps the whole story will take a positive ending after all.
And then, I am certain, those other threads will get their next chance, and I am pretty certain they will live up to the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. How very frustrating! I hope a happy ending (or beginning?) is just around the corner for you and the threads.