Monday, August 18, 2008
Today is my final day of vacation. I wanted to spend it doing fun things. I needed to spend it doing things that needed getting done. So, I compromised and did a little of both. I did some cleaning, the preschool teacher is coming for a home visit on Wednesday, I guess to make sure the kids feel comfortable with her. I needed to find my kitchen table again. I know it was in the kitchen the last time I saw it, but that has been months. Who knows where it could have ended up.
I also wanted to get some more quilting done. I read everyone's blogs about pantograms. I have a vague idea of what a pantogram is. It is a picture that you follow with a lazer, pointer or other object while quilting. The picture is a continuous line drawing and as you stitch, the picture comes out on the quilt. Since my machine didn't come with a lazer, pointer or other such object, I emprovised and taped a giant knitting needle to the side of the machine. Then, I held that in my left hand and used it to guide my eye as I followed the paper pattern on the table. First, I had to hand copy the design from the template. I got a book of templates a long time ago (beginning of the summer?) from JoAnn's and never could figure out how to use them. So after asking for some advice, I just decided to try it out and see what a mess I could make of things.
It isn't as easy as it sounds, following a line on a paper with a giant knitting needle and a sewing machine. I should get someone to take some pictures of me trying to do this so when I am good at it, I can look back and laugh at myself (and so you all who know how to do this can laugh at me now). It is sort of like singing underwater while chewing gum and walking. You can do each thing independently of each other, but putting them all together is going to take me some practice.
The other thing that was hard was knowing how much to roll the quilt between rows. At first I was rolling too much because I didn't want to overlap the stitching and there are some gaps in the quilt, but I think they will be ok. I will post pictures when I get on the other computer, the kids are on it now, playing games.
The crazy thing that happened while quilting today was the quilting foot just broke! It was a $25 foot that I got with the machine just over a month ago (the package says 30 day guarantee--it's been 35 days) and I don't know how it happened, since I was watching the giant knitting needle, but I looked up and half the foot was stitched to the quilt and the other half was still on the machine. The foot was made of plastic so I understand it breaking, but the weird thing is, the needle didn't break so if the needle hit it, it must have been a really weak plastic foot.
Good thing the machine came with its own metal darning foot so at least I have something to use. I finished the quilting with the metal foot and it worked just fine. I'm not going to spend another $25 for another plastic foot. I think I will write to the company and see what they say about why it broke. It is frustrating that I didn't see it happen!
The other thing I don't like is when you aren't watching the stitching happening, but are watching the paper pattern, you can't see the thread run out. I was going along 6 inches before I realized that the bobbin thread ran out. Like I said, chewing gum while walking and singing underwater. I'll get it eventually. At least I didn't have any thread breaking problems =)