Friday, August 28, 2009

Tension Troubles!

I'm trying to make new placemats for our dining room table. We have a round table and rectangular placemats don't fit a round table top very well. (I like to use a table cloth but my husband and son have both almost pulled everything off the table while sitting down to dinner with a table cloth on the table.) A few weeks ago I drafted a pattern and bought fabric. Yesterday I cut everything out and sewed everything together, except for the quilting. When I sat down to quilt this morning, the above photo shows what the back looked like. Yuck! I want these placemats to be reversible so I can't have loopies on the back. I changed the needle, rethreaded the machine and cleaned the machine. Then I tried again adjusting the tension and machine speed. It seems that my problem is mostly related to the speed of the machine, not the tension. As long as I sew slow to medium speed, both sides look good. If I go too fast, I get these loopies on the back. Despite having to quilt them at a snail's pace, I got all six of them finished this afternoon.

I also bought fabric for napkins but I didn't have time to do those today, for obvious reasons. Maybe next week.

I showed my husband the trouble I am having with my machine and warned him that I am starting to, maybe, think about (gulp) getting a new machine. The one I have is only 9 years old but about three years ago I had an incident with it. I wound a bobbin of wash-away thread the regular way with the machine and I shouldn't have. The manual does say this but I've had this machine for years, why read the manual!? Anyway, I couldn't get the bobbin off after I had wound it. I called the shop where I bought the machine which happens to be 3 1/2 hours away over a mountain pass. When they realized bringing it in wasn't an option, they took my name and number and the maintenance person called me back about 30 minutes later. She explained to me that I am not suppose to wind specialty thread the regular way. That I had ruined that bobbin already and that I needed to manually unwind the bobbin to get it off my machine, then throw it away. After that the machine would only sew a straight stitch with the widest stitch length, no matter what buttons I pushed or how much I pleaded with it. I was so mad (at myself) I just unplugged it and didn't turn it on for about a week. When I did turn it back on, it worked properly, for the most part. However, ever since then weird little issues keep coming up. Maybe they are completely unrelated to my mishap, but my baby has not been the same since.

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