Tuesday, August 5, 2014

sometimes it's the thread

 Some days quilting brings me great joy and sometimes it just frustrates me to no end.  Those days I'm thankful I don't quilt for hire.  This quilt made me pull my hair out and cry a little bit.  There is no reason it should have given me such troubles.  It is beautifully sewn and made from the best quilt store fabric.  Normally when I have problems with a quilt, like the one below, where there are skipped stitches or broken thread, I can blame it on the fabric.  I just feel the fabric and know that there is some polyester in there and take a deep breath and know I will have to babysit the quilt while the machine has a little fit.  My machine will sometimes skip stitches if there is polyester or shiny or painted on dots (like the pink dotted fabric) or if it is too tightly woven or on a Tuesday.

But the first quilt didn't have any of those issues.  The thread just kept skipping and breaking every 2 inches.  So, I figured it was time to change the needle.  81 quilts last month and I think I changed the needle once.  I changed the needle twice and still it was giving me fits.  So, I changed the thread and loosened the quilt sandwich.  I changed the bobbin and adjusted the needle.  The thing I hate the most about my machine is the needle is round at the top, so when you change it, you have to play with it a little because there is no 'right' way to put it in.  With the flat top needles, there's only one way it fits.  With the round top needle, it can fit 17,000 different ways and 16,999 aren't right.  You have to adjust the angle of the needle and make sure it is just right or you will get the thread going through not quite right and it pulls funny and breaks.

I was sure there was something wrong with the way I put the needle in so kept messing with it for almost an hour before trying to change the thread again.

Sure enough, when I changed the thread for the third time to Sew Fine in a different color (I had been using the same grey thread from the previous quilts that didn't give me problems) the thread breaking stopped.

Sometimes a quilt just wants the best thread possible.  Most of the time, the less expensive thread does the trick.  But sometimes, only the best will do.

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