Friday, January 16, 2009

Auction Quilt, Interrupted

I had to take a quick break and sew a shop sample for an upcoming class I'll be teaching. I needed to have it done by tomorrow, so of course I just started it this past Monday and finished today. The bad news is that my machine problems seem to be more extensive than I thought. I think I may have bent my shank (I believe this is the right term -- the part that comes down and has the presser foot attachment). A couple weeks ago I discovered that the main free motion foot I had was bent. I wasn't sure how it happened, but I more or less bent it back into shape and have been using it fairly successfully (except, of course, the quilt-eating incident my machine had a week or so ago). Well, this class sample was the first thing I've done where I needed a quarter inch seam and I discovered, after sewing the whole main part together, that the quilt was quite short. After doing some measuring, I found that my squares that were supposed to finish at 1 1/2 inches were actually finishing at 1 3/8 inches. Oops. So now I wonder if, while I was transporting my machine in the car, maybe something pushed against the shank. Or the machine tipped and the shank ended up against something. I don't have a rigid (or any) case for moving the machine in.

So, anyway, don't look too closely at this quilt because it's far from perfect (though the waviness in the middle is just because I didn't lay it out perfectly for the photo). The bright side of this is that I can use my recent experiences as teaching points for my upcoming beginning quiltmaking class. Lemons and lemonade, blah blah blah.


  1. You might want to get one of Perkin's Perfect Seam Guides to check your 1/4" for sure (or you can borrow the shop's if you must). Or you could take your machine to All Brands and let Billy "lay his hands" on it. :-)

  2. You've been saying that you want a new machine, maybe now is a good time to think about getting it. :o)

  3. Thanks. I will try the seam guide. I can adjust my needle position and get back to a 1/4 inch that way for any piecing I need to do in the near future. I'll still have to take it in; I would always wonder if having the shank bent (or whatever is going on) is causing more problems down the line. It seems like I could end up causing some sort of damage if I continue on with it not adjusted correctly. I would guess that it doesn't help my stitch quality if the needle is not going down through the throat plate right in the center. Of course, a new machine is tempting, but probably not in the cards right now. Maybe after the economy picks up and I stop worrying about RT's job. (Not that I have any specific reason to be worried; I'm just a worrier.)

  4. I love the name of your blog!

    Sorry to hear about your machine problems. If there's one thing that will send me over the edge, its machine problems! lol! Your quilt is beautiful!