12/8/19

One More Time Around

Are you getting dizzy going around and around Semper Fi? I wish dizziness was the only thing holding me back from this finish. There was a lot on the to-do list yesterday, and so I didn't get into the quilting room until after lunch. Now I'm on the last border with three sides left.


One whole side is done, and I was just getting started on side two when I quit for the day. Really, I needed to walk away from it because I was tearing my hair out with frustration from thread breakages. (And, honestly, I can't afford to lose any more hair.)

So I wanted to blame this half-empty spool of thread.


But, really...it is only about half empty, and it doesn't seem as if the machine should be that picky about thread spools. And this is expensive Aurifil thread! Nevertheless, I'd tried everything else. I'd cleaned out the bobbin casing, rethreaded the bobbin, oiled the machine, rethreaded the top thread, changed to a larger needle, changed back to the original needle. Finally, I tried changing out the thread spool for a new one. It seemed to fix the problem, but only temporarily. Maybe it was only fixed because I did walk away from it for a while. When I returned, the problem was back. Smitty was completely purrplexed.


Now, I'm thinking I might be yanking a little too hard on the quilt as I change directions on the stylized stars. The same thing was happening on the earlier friendship star motif, which my friend Cathy has cleverly identified as "twirly star thingies." I love a good technical quilting term, don't you?

Terminology aside, it's natural to pause for an instant as I change direction, and here's my theory: As I pause, the needle probably makes one or two extra ups and downs in that spot, which makes a tiny knot on the back of the quilt. Then, as I take off in the opposite direction, the knot makes just enough resistance to cause the thread to break. And here's my proposed solution...slow down just a tad at those changes of direction. As I was taking off on the second side of the border, I slowed down at those spots, and possibly...just possibly...I have identified and solved the problem. If you don't hear from me again it's because the problem continued, and I decided to slit my own throat with my sewing scissors. Not that I'm overly-dramatic or anything, but enough is enough. I'll find myself quoting Popeye when I say, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!" But you really want to see him say it, don't you?


It must be old television show week, here at the Three Cats Ranch. Please tell me you're old enough to remember Popeye.

In other sewing, Smitty was my helper cat yesterday. We're on a skeleton crew here as we wind down for our winter trip. Only one kitty helper per day.


With his assistance, I finished the fourth Tiny Tree block. This one was a simple four-patch...or "fur-pawtch," if you're speaking Catonese.


These are the four blocks I have so far.


Also, I traced out the next three Snowmen for "I Believe in Snowmen." This one...


And this one...


And this one.


The first is hooped up and waiting for me downstairs. They are small, and so they stitch up pretty quickly.


So that's where I'm headed next. I'm hoping to finish the quilting on Semper Fi today...unless I take the Popeye escape, mentioned earlier. If I can get the quilting finished. I'll get to work sewing the binding strips together. If there's any patience left in me, I'll get that binding sewn on by machine. It'll be our final wrestling match, and I'm determined to pin it. (See how well wrestling and sewing fit together?)

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Annette Mandel said...

Not your sewing scissors! They are for fabric only!
Popeye eats spinach when he needs to solve problems. Have you tried that?

Julierose said...

I yam able to remember Popeye for sure!! Sorry you are having quilting problems; so frustrating!! I hope the slowing down method works....
Pretty little greenery blocks hang in there--hugs, Julierose

Fribble said...

I had a spool of white Aurifil that broke frequently. I contacted the company because I wondered if it might be counterfeit (apparently not), and they sent me a replacement. I've assigned the original spool to piecing only. One thing you haven't tried, though, is rewinding the bobbin. Sometimes that helps.

Lyndsey said...

I feel your frustration but I'm totally unable to think of any helpful advice.The last time I had the problem I changed the needle for a different size but you've already tried that. Remember sewing scissors are for fabric only as said above and rotary cutters are far too dangerous for frustrated quilters. Slowing down sounds a good option and one I have in the past found to work. If all else fails find a space and scream and stomp a lot, then cuddle a kitty or two and finally return to the quilt and show it just who is boss.

gpc said...

Perhaps Sadie needs to come in, representative of the lovely Olive Oyl, to calm you down. You are doing a lovely job, and you are braver and stronger than any spool of thread so I am sure you will prevail.

Becky said...

Is your aurifil 100% cotton? If so, good luck. I have switched to using the poly's manufactured for the speed / pull of long-arm machines, which yours really is. I tried multiple kinds, but my Nolting likes So-Fine and MicroQuilter the best. The Microquilter is size 100 so you mainly see the texture of the quilting, not just the thread. There are other good threads out there, these are just what works best in mine.

piecefulwendy said...

Not only do I remember Popeye, I can hear him saying that without watching the video. I can understand your frustration; hope you have solved the issue. I broke a needle yesterday; it was a bit traumatizing, but my machine seems to be okay. Phew. I was worried I'd thrown the timing off, but it doesn't appear so. I was supposed to have coffee with a friend today, but there is snow and slippery roads, so we will be rescheduling. I have some errands to run in town (after the snow stops), and then it's time to sew.

kc said...

Frustrating, I'm sure, but well worth it in the end. Kitties in to save the day and prevent bloodshed.

Snowmen promise to be cute! Got plans for your little bitty green blocks!

QuiltGranma said...

I understand being frustrated beyond belief and yelling at inanimate objects when they do not behave. Not saying that this is you, but if so, you are not alone. Take some deep breaths, take a walk, talk to the kitties nice, take a nap. Get calm then carry on... to paraphrase Winston Churchill.

quiltzyx said...

How aggravating thread breakage is. I'm sure you have it sorted by now, since I'm behind in my reading. :)

I took the WHOLE weekend (12/7 & 8) off!! On Sunday I went to a Celtic Christmas concert with friends & it was spectacular! 3 different bagpipe bands, a hand bell choir, a middle school choir, a brass section and an unbelievable pipe organ. The organ was installed in the church in 1998 and has something like 4,400 pipes. It is ranked as one of the top 5 pipe organs in the world! Right here in little ol' Claremont. That organ, along with the brass section & bagpipes just gave me the chills. I do love me some bagpipe music!

The snowmen look very cute. You find some of the best patterns to use.