First, I need to say that I had a delightful day Saturday at my guild’s monthly sew day. I got presents (my friend Carol picks up panda stuff for me when she sees it – she’s such a sweetheart!), and I got to show my Mom a quilt live and in person that I had done a round on in our last Round Robin. She’d seen photos, but hadn’t seen it in person, and Wendy was binding the quilt on Saturday. Now I’ll be about the last person to say anything good about my work, but I really like 3/4 of what I did on Wendy’s quilt! ;-) And I got some news... Wendy is entering that quilt in the Quilter’s Anonymous show next month.... and MY NAME is on it (along with 6 others)!! I’m in the QA Show!!! ;-) Okay, so it’s silly, but I just think it’s cool saying I’m going to be in the QA show. ;-)
Sunday was another day entirely.... I have a project that I’ve been working on for a while and I’ve run out of steam before I’ve run out of fabric, so I’m going to alter the direction a little bit. I’m going to keep most of the work I’ve already done (I think), but any “new” blocks will not be the same as I’ve been making. It’s taking too long and not really seeming to look as cool as I’d hoped. Of course, the fact that I decided to make it a little more complex than it needed to be hasn’t helped matters, either. So I’ve been kicking around an idea or two for the alternate blocks, and I had some small (2-1/2) squares to play around with, so I decided to try a sliced-up nine-patch technique that I saw somewhere and probably remembered wrong, but that’s how we get creative, right? ;-) So I go to sew my patches together on a machine that’s new to me (but not “new” but it is barely used) and I see that I have no 1/4" foot. WHAT?? They give me a walking foot but not that?? It’s in the manual, so I call the dear sweet woman I bought the machine from (Mom) and ask her if she has any knowledge of where these feet would be besides the obvious. Well, she tried so hard to help, but the speculation that “maybe they didn’t come with it” only added to my frustration. THEN I tell her that my needle isn’t centered. “Did you push the button for the straight stitch in the center position?” I suddenly feel like I’m talking to the computing help desk minus the Indian accent. “Yes, Mother, the machine thinks the needle is centered.” I’m just so fit to be tied that I can’t sew and I know Mom is trying to be helpful but I just can’t be consoled at this point. So eventually we hang up (and yes, I said goodbye and I love you and I didn’t hang up on her), and I remember I have a Curvemaster foot that looks like it would fit. Okay, better than nothing. So I out that on and start sewing. Eventually my bobbin is banging and then my thread breaks. Hey, that needle not being centered is shearing the thread against the foot! GO FIGURE! Ugh. So I figure out how to move the needle over to where it should be (and thus my blocks are two different sizes, but it’s just an experiment, plus I know that I didn’t care at that point). I’m sewing my two nine-patches together, and I realize that I need to rip out four seams. Ugh. So far, I’ve learned the following on my machine: How to thread it; how to use the needle threader; how to make the needle stop in the down position; that the machine goes to sleep when I’m “unsewing”; and that if I press buttons that I don’t know what they do, the machine tells me I’m an idiot.
Back to the “experiment.” So I get these two nine-patches together (finally), and my original idea of cutting them diagonally and sewing them together with their opposite-value counterparts just wasn’t looking right (and yes, I was smart enough to fold them and look before I cut them, wonder of wonders). I cut the blocks in half each direction and ended up with little squares that reminded me of my friend Debi’s Turning Twenty blocks... Interesting. I wonder if that’s how they’re done. Anyway, so how do I want to put these little things together? I played around a little bit and decided that the largest squares look best in the middle, so they find of look “framed.” I think that will echo the style of the existing blocks the best. Do I have a picture? Of course not! First, I didn’t take a picture, and second, even if I had, GUESS WHAT! I went upstairs TOTALLY frustrated with my Janome and was going to blog while the fire was fresh, and my computer decided it wasn’t going to cooperate! I couldn’t even get the thing to open a browser! Ugh! After about 20 minutes, I got the thing to get to a place where I could tell it to restart and then I went and took a nap! :-p Here's a photo of the experiment.
Sunday evening Mom called. I was playing games on my cell phone and wasn’t in the mood to talk, and even though DH Bill and Mom both knew that was probably the case, I ended up saying hi to Mom. She asked if she could make me feel better. I told her she could try. ;-) She said she found a little box with feet that look like they don’t go to her Pfaff or her Viking, so we may be in business! YAY! It almost made me feel better. I’d feel MUCH better if I could get that needle to start in the center of the machine. :-( All in all, it was a learning experience, and after almost 24 hours I’m mentally and emotionally almost ready to go talk to the machine again. My dissertation here doesn’t really describe the frustration I felt of not being able to just turn on the machine and sew. It also didn’t end up as humorous as I was hoping. Oh, well. Maybe next time (or not).