Friday, March 11, 2005

She Conquers All!

Well, maybe not *aaalll*....

But I did conquer the Evil Metallic Thread!

The photo is mediocre, I know. But do you get the idea? I finally got to the point where I could do some smooth quilting before the thread would fray. And then when it frayed--but before it broke completely, I'd pull some fresh thread through the needle. With some threads, one just has to be resolved to some breakage.

So, what did I do to get this thread to work? Well, lemme' tell ya', it wasn't pretty. There was whining and furrowed brows. There were complain-y phonecalls to girlfriends. There was chocolate, lots of chocolate....which means a few extra pounds (that I just lost)....followed by depression, then the fetal position...

OK! Was that more than you wanted to know? See what a truly Evil Thread can do to a girl? Here's a list of items and techniques tried with the E.M.T.

-a variety of machine needles in various sizes---finally settled on a Schmetz size 16 topstitching needle.

-Threads in the bobbin...fat ones, skinny ones, pretty ones, ugly ones. In the end, bobbin thread had nothing to do with it.

-Thread Tension, bobbin and needle. Niet.

-Sewer' Aid....a silicon lubricant that can rescue some the last Evil Thread I chose---a variegated Sulky cotton. No dice---didn't fix a thing. Some say you can't use this stuff with metallic, but this particular E.M.T. had enough non-metallic content that I thought it worth a shot

-Using a higher chair. It did help my back and wrists, but not the quilting problem.

-Turning the thread cone up side down. Yes, we're getting desperate at this point, but there's something fuzzy in my memory about thread twist....

-Naked Voodoo Dance under a full moon. You never know...

What finally did the trick?

A pair of snug gloves with rubber-impregnated finger tips and a thread net.
Turns out the real problem was too much jumping around. The thread was coming off the spool too loosely and not feeding into the tension disks correctly. And the quilt really needed to be hooped. Even with a darning foot the quilt was jumping around too much, not allowing the tension controls to do their job. The gloves helped turn my hands into a human hoop, giving the stability needed. I was able to rip through the quilting at a good clip without fraying.

The thread net was an inspiration---I saw it in my toolbox and said, "Oh yeah!" The gloves were a matter of finally caving in. They were at the table watching me the whole time, probably thinking, "You idiot." It took a week of horsing around before the solution came into my head.

The real lesson here is to be determined to use what you want to use and to keep a variety of supplies on hand. Yes, it was a frustrating process. Sometimes one has to live in that place for a time. But once the solution came, I was freeee! And the joy of free motion quilting was mine to savor again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you go funkyC