I write. I quilt. I cook. I take photographs. What else is there?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow, Snow go away!

We've had this wet mushy stuff for the last two days.  Wish it would just go away.  Pretty though, isn't it?

Sorry for my absence, but I've been in a bit of a tussle with a spool of thread.  No, really, one spool.  I started quilting my Carolina Christmas, but I wanted a variegated green thread, not too dark, not olive.  It took me awhile, but I finally found it ... at $9.50/spool (750 meters).  I frankly don't know if that's pricey compared to other locations, but that's darned pricey for here.  Anyway, I brought said thread home, cherishing it like it was gold, threaded my machine and there began the problems.  Snarl after snarl after snarl.  Shredding and breakage, too.  Now, this is fine thread, premier stuff (so I'm told).  I had it in the bobbin too, so you can imagine my distress at all those gobs of thread falling into my trash container.

I don't know if I've ever explained my quilting set up, but it's ... unique.  My machine sits on a table.  I don't have one of those lovely plexiglass table that surrounds the base of my machine, so I use a box that's cut to spec.  I left the bottom on the box so I could slide it under my machine and it wouldn't walk away.  I'm trying something new, too.  It's a slider and man, it really works wonderfully!  I got it at Leah Day's shop.  So, this slider fits on top of the machine base and box. 

Now's the moment I mention I have a side loading bobbin case.  You know what that means?  Every snarl, every break, every shred, I had to ease the quilt out, take off the slider and remove the box.  Try that a couple dozen times and see if you don't scream, too!

I'm slow, but I eventually figure things out (I hope).  I got to watching this spool.  Because of its size, I had it sitting beside my machine, letting the thread peel off the top.  The result:  fine twists that came down into my tension thingy, thereby making it ever so much tighter. 

Back up a tic.  I bought this thread at the same place I bought my machine.  I spent a lot of time choosing that machine and was in there every day for a week.  Not to mention that I regularly hang out there and they can tell me what parts I need for my machine without asking me what model it is.  That's how well they know what machine I have.  This thread, that they recommended, doesn't even belong with my machine.  I had to rig an insert for this big spool just so it could sit ON my machine and unwind without twisting.  I tested my spool theory on more diamond blocks.  I have a few now.  I'm not sure if I'm going to quit making them here or go for more.  Bed sized or wall hanging?  Meanwhile, I can't go hugely fast or it tips my poor spool. 
Can you tell I get steamed just talking about it?  Grrrrrrr. 

Deep breath.  It's okay.  I'm okay.  Tomorrow, I'll start quilting in earnest again.

And God help the store people if that thread acts up again!


Helen said...

Major hugs coming your way!!! BTDT VERY recently (only mine is a stupid spool that snags the thread every time it is at the bottom when unwinding! GRRRRR!) I almost was ready to toss the machine out the window! At any rate - think in terms of Twinings Relaxation tea with a bit of honey!

Clare said...

I'd love to see your set up. I haven't got a plexiglass top either and just wing it.

Oh God - thread problems - don't talk to me about them!

BTW I thought you were supposed to be grilling this week?

Joanne said...

Good luck with your thread woes! We have all been there!
Your diamond quilt is looking great!!

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