I finished the top of Rectangle Squared over the weekend and it is (comparatively) huge(er than Foxes Out My Window) – I believe it has 90 blocks and the dimensions of the top are something like 71″ by 75.”
The back, which I’m also hoping to finish tonight, is going to be white with a row of sailboats offset by a row of garden gnomes.
Basking in the glow of a second completed quilt top, I decided to tackle machine quilting Foxes out my Window. I got a free-motion darning foot for Christmas, and I hoped that it would screw on, I’d drop my feed dogs and practice a bit, and then I’d go – I’m not particularly concerned that Foxes turns out amazingly well, it’s going to be a chilling on the couch kind of quilt just for me.
And here’s where the snafu hit. I would press the pedal, the machine would stitch a few stitches, then make a loud noise and refuse to move. Or it would jam. Or the thread would break. Or the bobbin mechanism wouldn’t grab the top thread. So I checked the threading, tried a new thread, tried a new needle, tried a new bobbin, cleaned the dust bunnies out of the bobbin area, checked the threading again, tried a thread with a different fiber content, tried turning the machine on and off again, but nothing I did made the slightest difference. RRRRRR clunk went the machine and snap went the thread. Granted, by this time it was nearing the next day, so I gave up and went to bed, mulling over options for quilting classes, machine repair, or long-arm rental
In the morning, I read some quilting forums as I ate breakfast and one of them talked about a ten-minute DIY tune up. So later that afternoon, I sat down with the list. I had done a couple of them the night before but one of the items was check to make sure the needle isn’t in backwards.
So I checked just to be on the safe side, figuring that there was only one way to install a needle in my machine. And sure enough, the needle was in back-to-front. At this point, feel free to imagine both my gladness that my sewing machine wasn’t broken and my chagrin at such a simple, simple mistake. An easy fix , a bit of practice on a rag, and shazam!
I’m quilting! Honestly, I couldn’t help squealing every few minutes at the pure joy of seeing a project that seemed indefinitely stalled hours before moving forward. Granted, it’s not a perfect stipple but I’m starting to get a rhythm. I finished about half of the quilt on Sunday afternoon and I’m hoping to get the rest done this week.
I am so, so happy with it!