Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thread War s!

I've been waging war with my thread!

This weekend I was determined to finish Lily's quilt so I could move on to something (anything!) else. I get really bored when I'm nearly finished with a big quilting project and just want to finish it, already!  Am I the only one who gets like this? Please say I'm not, please.

Anyway, I sat down yesterday to begin working on the borders of the quilt. That's all I have left--just the appliqued borders.  I decided to do some accent stitching in the flowers, leaves, and stems. I started having problems with the top thread breaking.  The same thread I've used throughout the body of the quilt. The same bobbin thread. The same tension settings and the same needle.  So frustrating!  I could sew about half a flower and, Bam!  Frayed, broken thread!  Since Lily was in the house, I kept my mouth shut, but there were words flying around in my brain I'd even never thought before much less said!  I started trying to fix it--re-threaded the machine. Changed to a new needle. Changed the thread.  Nothing helped. Finally I quit and went to fix supper and didn't return all evening.

This morning, I had a brilliant idea! I was going to try an embroidery needle. They have larger eyes and maybe the thread wouldn't shred and break.  I sat down this afternoon and put in the new needle--no change. Ten stitches and snap!  I gave up. I'll have to take the machine in to have it fixed and it'll take about 2 weeks to get it back.  Lily will have to wait even longer.  I made a little quilt sandwich to show what was happening so the repair guy can see for himself.  The thread didn't break!  It was a miracle!  The problem must be fixed!

I returned to the quilt--you know what happened, don't you.  Ten stitches and &((^%$$&%##!  I went back to the sandwich to get a sample ready for the repair guy, and again, no breakage.  Now I was really stumped.  What was different between the quilt and the sandwich?

Finally, the light bulb went on in my feeble, curse word addled brain.  It was the fusible in the applique!  That's what was different!  I had used a fusible to stick the flowers and things on before edge stitching them and when I stitch through that sticky layer, it must get on the thread and cause it to stick in the machine mechanics.  When I was sewing on the non-fused part of the quilt, no problem. Same for the quilt sandwich.

Lesson learned:  Be prepared for thread wars if you stitch fused applique. Better to save that stitching for non-fused applique.  I'm so happy I don't have to take the machine in. I just have to be verrry patient and I'll get the quilt finished. Soon. I hope.

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