This sign hangs in my studio area. This week has been one of those weeks, but I sure don’t feel like I’m back yet!
I have had a customer quilt to do…first I was sick and sure didn’t want to work on a customer quilt when I was not feeling well, so that postponed it for a week. Then I finished up a small wallhanging already on the frame. When I first started the wallhanging, I was using Superior’s LAVA thread and had no problems at all. I had to switch to Signature for the center part of the quilt as I had nothing else that matched (I am not yet one of those that has 400+ cones of thread in every color….). I haven’t ever had a problem with Signature, so sure didn’t expect any issues. I use a TOWA gauge to check bottom tension, got my tension at 220 on the TOWA, did a practice piece that looked great, a
nd went to town on the top.
When I pulled it off and looked at the back I was horrified…..the tension was aweful. I had loopies and eyelashes on all the new quilting with the Signature thread. BUT – it is mine. It is going to hang on a wall and no one will ever see the back. I had no desire to spend two or three days frogging it. And I had too many quilts waiting to be quilted. So I am in the process of putting the binding on it now. I will wash it up and we will see how it comes out.
That just gives you a little background of what I was looking at as I prepared to start this customer quilt. This quilt is done by Sue Edmonds. She started it as a gift, but said she put too much blood, sweat, and tears into it, so she decided to keep it for herself. She is going to hang it on her own wall.
Well, I messed with the tension, switched back to the LAVA I had success with earlier, put a new needle in, did a practice piece and got the tension looking good. I float my tops, so I basted it on the top and down the sides for the first pass of quilting. Checked my tension and stitches again and then tried some quilting in the ribbon part of the outer border. I went about an eighth to quarter of the way around it, then unzipped it to check the tension and stitches again. UGHH. It wasn’t as bad as on the wall hanging I had just finished, but it sure wasn’t good. It had a few eyelashes, and in some places the bottom thread “flatlined”. It was obvious the bottom tension was too tight….but I had checked the bobbin tension on the TOWA, even loosened it and tightened the to
p tension, but was STILL having issues. That was late last night (all this is part of the reason I haven’t had time to post!) so I gave up on it for the night. I think I did have nightmares about tension though! LOL.
This morning I got up, put a video in for the kids, and got my Rick Taylor Maintenance DVD out, and started watching it and going through things one at a time. I always learn something new when I watch that video…
After much trial and travail, I finally decided my bobbin case must be damaged. I remembered I had dropped it about two weeks ago, but have a carpeted, padded floor, so didn’t think anything of it. But when I put four different bobbins in it, each with the same LAVA thread, I get four different TOWA gauge readings on it – anywhere from 180 to 300! I think one of the bobbins may be bad but will check that again after I try a new bobbin case. Unfortunately, I don’t have a spare (one of those things I never got around to). Due to bad weather here, Merrily We Quilt Along is closed today and tomorrow, so I won’t be able buy a new case and test my theory until Thursday.
So, I loaded up Dawn Ramirez’ Pajama Quilter Reloaded DVD and watched that. I got out my white board and was going to go to town with that…..all my markers were dry! (See where my day had been going?)!
That used up most of the day until I had to go to Mom and Dad’s and feed the horses. Jeff gave me a list to run by the store while I was out to pick up a couple of things for supper and I mentally added markers to the list! Well, I get out of the house and have to take trash out and put up by the road to be picked up in the morning, and it is sleeting ice on top of me the whole time. Finally get myself loaded up to head to town and decide the weather is bad enough I will stop at Wal-Mart first to get that out of the way. I get into Wal-Mart and look for Jeff’s list….and can’t find it. I get in my purse to call him and find I had taken my cell phone out to charge! So there I am in Wal-Mart, I can only remember he wants green peppers but not what else. I asked a clerk about using a phone and she said there was a pay phone up front. I get out TWO quarters to call home and call Jeff’s business line, get his answering machine, and lose my quarters. I get two more quarters out and call the home number, but it starts to pick up on the fourth ring, figuring it is the answering machine, I hang up. I at least get my quarters back and try his work number again. This time when I get his voicemail, I tell him I am on a payphone and what happened and that I will call him from Mom and Dad’s. So I go to Mom and Dad’s, fed horses, but couldn’t water them because the hose was frozen (they had enough until tomorrow), dragged the hose into the well house to thaw out, and then drive back into town to pick up the groceries. I guess that worked out well, because I also stopped by the pet store to pick up more crickets for Mushu.
I have a story about Mushu also, but that will have to wait until tomorrow! Hubby and I are going to play some Skip Bo and enjoy the peace and quiet. We are quite the socialites….LOL.
That is how my day went…..