A Slow Start

My sewing day got started kind of late yesterday, and so I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hoped. There were a lot of little things to take care of in the morning, and the hours got away from me. I needed to go into town, and my first stop was a little vegetable stand where they had a good price on some pretty hanging baskets. I picked up two of those to hang at the corners of our greenhouse window.

After that, I did some grocery shopping. When I got home, I filled the hummingbird feeders, did some watering, tended to the greenhouse, and by the time I got around to sewing, it was already late in the afternoon.

I did a few little practice rounds, adjusting my tension and making sure everything was as it should be. Then I stitched just a little bit when I started having trouble with my threads. I'm using a light aqua cotton Essentials thread in the bobbin.

There are so many colors on the quilt top, I finally decided on a monofilament "invisible" thread from Superior for the top thread. I've used this same combination of threads before with good results. After stitching just a little bit, the top thread broke...as you might guess.

It seemed like a good time to give this "Thread Director" a try. You can find the link to the website for this device right here. My dear friend Ila gifted me with this item last fall just before we left on our trip, and I haven't had a chance to try it out until now. (Thank you, Ila.) Ila thought it might help me with metallic threads. It turns my vertical-only thread spindle into a horizontal spindle, which sometimes works better with certain threads.

You probably already know that threads wound on the spool in a zigzag fashion (like my cotton thread pictured above) tend to behave better when positioned horizontally on the spindle while threads wound straight onto the spool tend to behave better when positioned vertically. And while my monofilament was wound straight, it is a specialty thread, and that's what the Thread Director is designed for. What the heck, I figured.

Only...my thread breakage problems continued, and so I tried various ways of loosening the drag on it. I tried only threading through two holes on this insy-outsy thingy. This often works well for metallic threads.

Also, I tried lubricating the thread with Sewer's Aid, and this also works well for metallic threads.

Also I fiddled around changing needles, and then rethreading needles and the bobbin. Also, I realized I had the needle in backwards. The mid-arm machines do not have a flat side on the needle shank, and so one must pay attention to the groove in the front of the needle. All of these things got me nowhere. Finally, and since the Thread Director wasn't helping, I took it off and went back to a vertical orientation of the spool. Finally, things started working again. 

To be clear, I'm not saying the Thread Director isn't a helpful item. This simply wasn't a fair test of its value since my spool really suggested a vertical orientation right from the get-go. I'm curious to try out the Thread Director on a metallic thread because I believe it will be very helpful there. In any case, I was off and quilting, and the day was very nearly over. It seemed like a good time to stop. At least I could quit on a upbeat. (I hate walking away from the machine when things aren't going well.)

So I got a little bit accomplished on the terry twists.

And I love how it's looking on the back.

It was about that time that Himself showed up on the scene. It was his dinner time, and he was letting me know I had work to do.

Nice quilt you've got here...be a real shame if something happened to it.

Today I really have nothing on my agenda aside from quilting, and so my fingers are crossed that things continue to go smoothly.

Mike texted me this "purple rain" image from his drive across the state of Nebraska. He got into some scary weather crossing over the Great Plains states. Fortunately, no harm done beyond a lot of rain.

He's expecting to be home by late this afternoon. He spent last night in Twin Falls, Idaho, and so he has a ways to go today. Still, I know he's well ready to be off the road and home. I'm very excited to see the new RV. Pictures to follow.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dorothy Finley said...

And we're all waiting for the grand tour of the new RV :-)

Sandra W said...

Your quilting looks lovely, top and back. Is that a handi-quilter you are using? I am very envious. I am still learning how to quilt on my B770. I've got the walking foot down and am ready to try the BSR.
Looking forward to the RV show and share.
Why special dinner do you have planned for Mike?

piecefulwendy said...

I can imagine Mike is ready to be home! He has had one long road trip. I didn't realize there was such a thing as purple rain. Being Minnesotan, with all the Prince hoopla, I just thought it was some weird title he came up with. I apparently live under a rock (but it's a happy rock, nonetheless)! I've not heard of the terry twist; it's a pretty pattern!

Kate said...

Glad the thread issues got resolved. You've made a good start on finishing off the quilting.

quiltzyx said...

Happy to see you got that thread problem worked out and ended on a good note. I like the way the quilting looks.
Himself really does the "pay attention to me or else" look quite well, doesn't he?!

Cool pic of the purple rain! Nice job Mike!

Sally Trude said...

Oh dear. My heart goes pitter patter when I see such sad photos of neglected and starving shelter animals. Please let me know where to send my donation.



Brown Family said...

Sorry you had so many issues with the thread.