Fought the (not-so-good) quilting fight…

… next for the binding. Ouch.

A week past Sunday, the day after we returned from a week’s holiday, determined to finish the last bit of quilting left after bits fell off my sewing machine before we went away. Most of the time was spent fixing the machine, of course.

Bless him, hubby took screwdriver to the sewing machine, and worked out the small blade which had come off with a clunk along with everything else was the thread cutter. No, I hadn’t realised the machine had one, or indeed had ever used it! He reattached, but when I came to thread the machine the shaft which rotates with the needle threader didn’t turn as far as was needed to reach the needle. So he had to take it apart again and adjust, so all was well (I thought).

I decided that as well as doing the last tiny bit I was going to pull out two short rows near the corner where stitching was noticeably weird. It definitely looks better for it. You can see on this picture where the stitches on a plain green block were really long, for reasons I haven’t established, and can see by the puncture holes how long they were compared with what it looks like now.


All was not ‘quite’ fixed, however, because a problem I’d noticed for a while got much worse, in that the front of the walking foot was lifting, tilting rather, so that the top didn’t seem to be coming into contact with the fabric at all, so not much pressing happening with the presser foot. I had been pushing it back down with my finger, but it only stayed put for a few stitches. So again, husband attacked it with the screwdriver – given that he had things he would rather have been doing himself before we were both back at work the next day, I felt a bit guilty but overcame the feeling for the greater good!

Eventually, the quilting was finished, but if I’m going to do any more of this I need to invest in a proper walking foot that is meant for the machine I’ve got.

I’ve spent evenings during the rest of the intervening week, when I wasn’t doing other things or staring into space being tired, cutting strips to make the binding and starting to sew them together. I finished sewing the last of them last night, and trimmed down the edges of the quilt. I found the strips hard to cut when they were from the 1/2 metre long piece of fabric, because try as I might the fabric still stretched a bit under the ruler, so the edges aren’t as straight as I’d like. I’m going to make it a 1/2 inch binding, so think that rather than draw a line a 1/4 inch from the edge that’s to be sewn on, I’ll draw it a 1/2 inch from the fold that will form the finished edge (don’t think I expressed that very well, sorry). I’ve only ever done double binding with mitred corners, though have never made a very good job of the corners and when I first did one spent an inordinate amount of time on YouTube trying to fathom it out. The ones I’ve done have also only been small things, and I don’t know how I’ll manage with larger quantities and the sewing machine, except that I read I’m to do longer stitches. But being aware that the back has to be sewn by hand and that that will take ages, I’m getting rather anxious about time. I think I’ve now three weekends until it has to be ready, and I know I’ll have lots on for two of those weekends as my husband’s family are visiting from Australia. I spent loads of time this weekend tidying, dusting, and sorting clothes to take to the charity shop, or I would have been further ahead! I think the majority of that’s done, so I’m hoping I can get the front of the binding stitched on this weekend. If only it wasn’t 5 days away! You never know, I may get a bit done on a couple of evenings, but what in the morning I think I’ll do that night, and what come the night time I’m actually capable of doing, are two different things.

Quilt and binding, ready to go!

Close, but no cigar

Quick post, because leaving for Wales any minute now. Wanted to finish quilting ‘Auntie Syl’s quilt’ (the pink machine-stitched quilt for my aunt for Christmas) before I left for holiday, leaving the joys of the binding to come back to. Last weekend feeling tired and unwell so nothing happened on the Saturday. On Sunday, more problems with stitch lengths and my inability to keep the machine running on an even keel. I changed the needle, and my husband came up with something made of balsa wood to stick under the pedal so I couldn’t push it down all the way and it didn’t go so fast. I made decent progress and the stitches were a better length, though far from perfect and I had to unpick a section because got a fold of fabric caught up at the back. I didn’t think I’d finish it by today, though. However, I did a bit each night except Monday and it was going quite well, though with different problems on the back that looked like the tension was wrong, even though I hadn’t changed it from the setting that had previously worked best. I went hard to it last night, then the foot started making these awful clunking noises, but it was way after I should have been in bed so I soldiered on. Then, when I was literally – no word of a lie! – on the very last row, on the very last corner, the presser foot fell off! I couldn’t believe it. I was going to attach the ordinary foot, thinking it would be fine for those last few inches, but then realised the bit you attach the foot to wasn’t there. It must be still attached to the walking foot, but by then it was beyond me to work it out, and I still had other things to do for today, so I had to leave it. Argh! So, today it’s rolled up, with a few moth balls that I bought yesterday (I’ve had a couple get in there and do not want them eating a big hole in the thing) and which I pray don’t leak and do do their job, to be left til next weekend. My husband’s family are coming next weekend for a few weeks and I think that will limit the time I can spend on, probably only leaving two weekends before I have to have the quilt ready to take home with me when I go to visit my parents before Christmas, so really a lot less time than it looks on paper, and I know the binding won’t be easy.

I’ve other, smaller, craft projects packed to take with me for this week, hope I haven’t left anything behind!