Sunday, January 8, 2017

What a struggle!

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"Nobody knows the trouble I seen."  That's how I feel about the quilting on the log cabin quilt.  I've been making pretty good progress on the quilting since I changed out to working with my old machine.  Yesterday, I was going along pretty well--only a tiny bit of tension problem--when I ran out of bobbins.  I usually fill 5 bobbins when I'm sewing and in the middle of the afternoon, not only did the bobbin thread in the machine run out, but I had no more filled bobbins. Stop everything and wind 5 more bobbins.  Also, clean out the machine so the lint won't build up too much.

When I began quilting again, with a newly wound bobbin, TROUBLE STRUCK AGAIN!  Horrible tension problems!  No matter how I adjusted the tension, there was trouble!  After I'd stitched about half of the quilting design, I gave up and spent the rest of the time unstitching it.  As I was doing so, I decided that the newly-wound bobbins must have been wound too loosely. That's the only thing I can think of that would make such a difference.  So today, when I go downstairs again, I'll rewind all the bobbins using a different technique.  (On my machines, I can wind bobbins with the spool of thread either horizontal or vertical, and I think I need to rewind the bobbins from the horizontal position instead of the vertical.)  Wish me luck, please.

Until the tension problem reared it's ugly head again, I was making good progress. I think I have about half the blocks quilted with the design in the light side of the log cabins. I'll have to go back and stitch a different, and easier, design in the dark side of the design, but then I'll be using the same thread in the top as in the bobbin.  And I also have to do a separate design in center squares of each block, using a third color of thread.  I have a ways to go on this big quilt, and I get exceptionally upset when the tension goes off.

Enough of this tension business.  On a lighter side, . . . Well, I guess I've been totally absorbed with the tension and the quilting problems.  But, yes, I just thought of it. I've been working for a few hours each evening after dinner on the embroidery of Among the Pines  and have the second block nearly finished.  Here it is.

The more I work on this embroidery, the more I like it. The tiny stitches really aren't the problem I expected them to be.  And I'm looking forward to stitching every night.

I also remembered that yesterday morning, I had an extremely productive meeting with 2 other guild members and we ironed out nearly all the details of our upcoming quilting exhibit at the local library in April. Pat and I had the idea last year of creating an exhibit of quilts based on books to be displayed during National Quilt Week and National Library week, both of which are in April.  The guild members have been working on these quilts and I'm anxious to know how many we'll have to display. 

I decided to use the embroidered Bee-utiful quilt that I stitched last summer as my entry, based on The Secret Life of Bess by Sue Monk Kidd. 


 I've read this once and liked it and I think I'll read it a second time to refresh my memory. We decided yesterday to have a bed turning of the quilts waiting to be exhibited, and we'll have a little blurb about the quilt and about it's corresponding book.  We've never done this before, so I'm interested to see how it goes.

And here's the quilt that I have to quilt up when I return from Alabama in early March.  All of these 6 1/2 inch blocks are hand embroidered with a bumblebee or two in each one.  

When we return from our month in the warm, Don will be flying to Maine to spend a week or 10 days with Lily while her mother's at a conference.  That means I'll have all the time I need to get this quilt done up and ready for the library show.

When I began writing this post, all I could think of was the frustrating thread tension issues, but the process of writing has forced me to look for positives in the previous day--and it worked!  I'm in a much more optimistic mood right now than compared to when I started, and I know I'll be having a great day.  Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. The chili I made for dinner last night was probably the best I've ever, ever made!  And there was enough left over for a second Saturday supper in the future. Win, Win! 

And now I'm off to tackle the tension and bobbins and get the quilting done!

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