Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Quilt and Lots of Machine Frustration

This is what I am trying to make. I have made lots of Spanish Tile Quilts. This will be a variation of my pattern.

It all started with this cute little Alexander Henry bird print.

It's a little out of my comfort zone, but I thought why not. I need a new Spanish Tile quilt and I wanted something different. Spanish Tile uses Primrose preprinted fusible from Quiltsmart. The process is easy, just a little time consuming.
I picked most of my fabrics to go with this print from my stash. There still is a little fabric shopping that I need to do. Not a bad thing!
My newer machine worked great on the fusible. I love how I can set it so the presser foot lifts up each time I stop sewing, great for sewing curves, how it knots the thread at the beginning and end of my stitching, and how I can set the machine to cut the thread, although the whole operation is slower than I would like it to be.
But, all in all it works good for making appliques using the fusible interfacing method.

I am sure many of you know how this kind of applique works. You place the interfacing on top of the fabric, sew the shape, trim and turn right side out. All the edges are turned under, and the fusible is on the back side.
I made 30 applique shapes and fused them to the black background.
Black!! What was I thinking????

I always use mono-filament thread to zigzag the turned under edges for a permanent application.
First I started with the smoke color. Black----------smoke. It made sense to me. Only the smoke showed too much on the colors. Stupid me. I sewed way too many before I decided the smoke was not right.
Did I think it would get better over time???

So I ripped that out and switched to the clear mono-filament. Much better. Did I mention this was smoke and black thread on jet black Kona solid!!
Ok. That was the easy part.
Even ripping out the black bobbin thread was easier than the /!#@#^*$%^ I put up with before I even got that far. My newer machine kept breaking, clumping and knotting up the thread. I re-threaded a gazillion times, changed the tension and all but gave up. This machine just does not like mono-filament nylon thread.

So what did I do? I got out my old trustworthy workhorse that I bought in the eighties, my most favorite machine of all time and it worked beautifully. Yes, it was slower and I had to cut the threads myself. But it liked my choice of thread and it worked!

My shapes are all made. I need to find the next fabric.

The moral of this story.
It isn't about good machines and bad machines. It's about hanging on to the tried and true. Sometimes all the bells and whistles are not what you need. It's kind of like the turtle and the hare. Sometimes slow and steady can get you where you are going faster than high tech! One machine can't do it all.

You just have to find a place to store them!!


Candace said...

Pretty quilt, Mary! I sympathize with your thread frustrations! Did you try a net around the monofilament on the new machine at all? Sometimes that works for me and sometimes not! At that point I do the exact same thing and get out my trusty old backup - she's definitely a keeper!

Joyful Quilter said...

I have an old all mechanical New Home that I will never ever ever get rid of. I dropped it on cement and the only thing that broke was the handle. One tough workhorse! I bought it when my old Singer would eat my fabric when I appliqued. My New Home always has wonderful stitching.

Can't wait to see your quilt finished.

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