Beware of Flying Spools

You might want to put on your helmet before reading this post. This is the bobbin winder that came with Eliza. That's the bobbin thread I've been using on Psycatdelic. I've had an ongoing problem with the bobbin winder where the thread spool jumps up and down on the spindle while the bobbin is winding. I've tried holding it down with my fingers, but my fingers get in the way of the thread as it comes off the spool. If I don't hold it down, the spool comes flying off the spindle and onto the floor, trailing miles of thread behind it. All the while, the bobbin keeps winding away.

Usually this bobbin/thread debacle happens while Mike is at work. This morning, it just so happened that Mike was in the room when it happened. This was a good thing because the spool ended up under my sewing table, which really made it sort of a two person job to hand it up to the second person and avoid unwinding miles more thread.

So Mike the Engineer opened an official investigation, and we realized that the arm that feeds the thread (the tallest one) was turned the wrong direction. Turning it back so it is directly over the spool cured that problem. Then the other problem was that it didn't shut off automatically, and so the bobbin would wind and wind and wind and wind until thread was spooling out all over the floor and onto the spindle that holds the bobbin. What a mess. Now that too is adjusted. Phew. The trials and tribulations....I don't know how I survive from one day to the next. Thank goodness for cats.

So in this whole process, the quilt got unceremoniously dumped on the floor. This worked out well for Smitty.

Before all of that happened, I decided I'd spend a little time fixing things I'd already done. For one thing...this block. 

There was a little pleat on the back, and after just three tries, I fixed that. Then, I wasn't happy with the quilting. I didn't like the little bobbles, especially in the middle diagonal line. I was either going to take that out, or I was going to quilt more lines. I opted for more lines.

I'm quilting totally free-hand (as if you couldn't tell). My lines aren't perfectly straight, nor are they perfectly parallel. I'm hoping the many imperfections in my quilting will add to its charm. It is a funky design, after all. Ordinarily, I don't take out stitching unless I know I'll hate it forever, and so I'm hopeful that the quilting will be imperfect enough to hide its many imperfections. It's sort of a quilter's way of saying, "Yeah, I meant to do that." I like this better with more lines, and so it's going to stay, imperfections and all.

Last night I finished up Block #8 for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. This block is the block designed by Sonya the lunch lady. Here is Sonya's original design:

Here is my fabric interpretation of it:

This morning I spent some time perusing the rest of the block submissions looking for one I could do quickly since we're going to be gone next weekend. I didn't decide on one. None of them are really going to go quickly, but there are two t-shirts to be made into quilt blocks. I might do one of those this week.

I've been getting a lot of quilting help from my little cat. Here, he's pondering how to best murder his tail. It looked at him funny, after all. It must die now.

Curses. The evil tail lives on. After an epic battle, he needs kitty treats.

Moooommmmmmm! I'm starving! Would you puh-leeze get off the computer and feed me?

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dana Gaffney said...

Having an engineer in the house is pretty handy, maybe you should have told him about the problem before he had a spool fly at his head, LOL.

quiltzyx said...

Hooray for the 3 Cats Ranch Engineering Department! I like the added diagonal lines in the block. Just the one line did look a bit lonely in retrospect.
My word! Does Smitty look smug on that quilt or what?!?
Block #8 looks great too. I have a tshirt quilt that I need to get working on. I have the shirts rough cut - need to measure all the artwork & decide what size I'm going to make them & put the stabilizer on. And I want to make a zipper bag for my friend Kim to keep all of her electronics' cords in. Plus I'm working ALL WEEK this week too! yay!!

Sandi Whitford said...

I am so in love with your cat quilts. Boy.. Been there done that with that bobbin winder! I have on many occasion ran around my sewing room chasing the spool of thread as it bounces and dances around! Ack! Good thing your guy was home to help out!

Valerie Reynolds said...

THe cat sitting in the cat fabric made my day!!

Junebug613 said...

Wow, that must have been some experience with the bobbin winder. Glad you are getting all the kinks worked out with your quilting!

VroomansQuilts said...

You are lucky you have an in-house engineer. Smitty looks right at home snuggled in that quilt - purrfect.

Carole in Nebraska said...

The triple lines are just the thing! Funny how those little oopsies become something that's better than precision. Congrats. That quilt is such fun...can't wait to see the finish.

liniecat said...

You don't suppose a cat had adjusted that wind - y gadget do you, I mean that there silvery things sticking up like that would be perfect for itchy feline chins lol
Unpicking stitching is time consuming - so you show sound common sense to me, by adding more lines.

Nita said...

I watched a video about threat at guild last month. I learned that thread spools that are wound criss-crossy like the one in your photo are meant to unwind lying on its side. Spools that are wound straight (not crissy-crossy) are meant to unwind standing upright. Maybe that is why the spool is jumping around?

Dasha said...

I find on my Bernina, the spool thrashes around if I wind the bobbin too fast, so I usually turn the machine speed down. Nita's comment above is correct. I went to a lecture on threads a year or so ago, and learnt that.

Tami C said...

I've run into problems like that when winding bobbins myself. Smitty sure looks quite comfortable on your quilt!

Kate said...

The quilting looks great. There are no imperfections, just creative design interpretations.

Michele said...

Whew! I'm glad the resident engineer finally got on the job and fixed the problems. And those darn tails will thwart all attempts to get rid of them every time.