Monday, June 9, 2008

A Stressful Day

I've been greatly distressed all day today, but I am just fine now. I had a million and one things to do today, so I got up early this morning and headed down to the basement with my coffee to practice on my longarm for an hour or so. Last time I used my machine every thing was operating normally, so there was no reason to expect otherwise this morning. I guess I must have quilted halfway across my practice sandwich, then the thread jammed, and I had to cut all that out to start again. A couple minutes later it happened again, and it continued to get worse until, finally, as soon as I sewed two or three stitches, the thread would jam up with a big nest on the underside and little tiny stitches on the top. Yes, I remembered to put the presser foot down!

I tried all kinds of things to fix it, wasted all day fiddling with it, getting more upset by the hour, but things were no better by the end of the day. Initially I thought I must have messed up the timing, but after I had a closer look at some photos that showed where the hook was supposed to be in relation to the needle, it actually looked okay to me.

My husband, who knows nothing about sewing machines but who is very mechanically inclined, said he'd take a look at it when he got home. I left him the phone number for the factory out in California, who had been unable to help me earlier in the day, grabbed some supper, and headed out to my quilt meeting. We ran overtime on the meeting, and even though we were having a really good time, my mind kept wandering back to my machine.

I called my husband soon as the meeting let out, and he told me he had fixed my machine! Although he fiddled with the timing a little, turns out the timing was really fine. What was causing the problem was a little pigtail on the bobbin case. Somehow it must have gotten bent outward a little, and the thread would catch round that pigtail every time the thread looped around the case. Anyone with an embroidery machine might have a little pigtail like that on their bobbin case, as my Bernina does. My husband did spend some time on the phone with the rep in California, who mentioned that the pigtail was not necessary and could be removed. I gave my machine a test drive when I got home, and it works like a champ. My husband is my HERO.

The quilt meeting tonight is the last for the current membership year, until September. The second Monday in June is always a business meeting, Dessert Night, and for the years I've been in the chapter, Auction Night. Up until last year we've had silent auctions, but last year Barbara served as the auctioneer for a live auction. We had so much fun and it turned out to be such a good fundraiser for the chapter that we did it again this year.

My good friend Ann, quilter extraordinaire, brought three shopping bags full of scraps to the auction; and because I adore other peoples' scraps, I was determined to go home with them. After all, scraps cost the same amount as yardage, so to me it's a great value. A bunch of Barbara's scraps I won at auction last year went right into my Orange Crush, a nice change from my own collection of fabric. I also won two smaller ziploc bags full of scraps; a handful of patterns; and about 15 yards of novelty fabric (which will be duly reported on Sunday), mostly bug fabrics, which will make lovely little strippies for machine quilting practice and charitable giving. I can't wait to get started!

I'm working the next four days, but tomorrow I'll spend some time poring through and sorting Ann's scraps, which will be the most delightful pleasure.


Amanda said...

Oh, how frustrated you must have been. It sometimes needs a fresh eye to spot the problem doesn't it. Hope you have a better day today, and manage to get your quilting done successfully.

Pat said...

Sorry to hear about your problems but so happy for you that your DH fixed the problem and you got 'new' fabric!

Margo said...

All that wonderful bags of fabric must have relieved the stress...(smile)....great night...

Beth said...

What a relief to get your machine up and running again! Good luck and have fun with those scraps.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

My DH has fixed my machine more than once for me too - once it was just because I had the spool on wrong!!! Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes does the trick. Such fun purchases you got - those scraps look great!!