Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Quilty Sister Visit

back of quilt
Just look at this fun little quilt my sister Cheryl made for a little baby that lives next door to her. The main reason for her visit was to quilt this little number on my long arm and it turned out so cute. I can't be certain, but if I remember correctly, it was around 42" x 50" and it was quilted with a panto called Popcorn and we used a pale lemon yellow thread.

Cheryl stayed for a few days and while she was here we also did some stash enhancement. We got it all washed and dried and Cheryl got it all ironed as well. It sure reminded me of the good old days, before she started quilting, when she would iron all of my fabric for me. I miss those days! ;)

On Sunday, we loaded my sister Glenda's 'treasure quilt' on the long arm. I was so impressed with myself because I was able to load it onto the long arm without too much difficulty at all. I certainly would never have been able to accomplish that if I hadn't done all of the work on it to fix it. I chose to use a gold thread and a panto called Blossoms.  I got the first row done and it looked great so I went on with the second row. I got through most of the second row and when I ran out of bobbin thread I changed the bobbin as I normally would. I started quilting again but I was feeling some resistance as I was moving the machine - not good!

The stitching on the top looked perfect but when my sister looked under the quilt it was a terrible snarled birds nest. I should have taken a picture but I was too horrified at that moment to even think of it. We undid all of the stitching and then I thought I would change the bobbin because maybe there was something fluky wrong with the bobbin. I started up again and it looked great on the top but when my sister looked underneath it was a terrible mess again. :(

I didn't know what to do....everything looked fine and normal except the birds nest on the back. I couldn't see anything that was obviously wrong with the machine and nothing had changed except the bobbin. I use a TOWA gauge to set my bobbin tension and the tension reading was just fine. I was very puzzled and not happy so I just turned everything off and left it.

Yesterday morning, I tried to find reasons for the issue I was having. I figured the problem had to be with the bobbin so I looked on the APQS website and I realized that there may be lint stuck in the bobbin case itself under the tension thumb. I followed the instructions they gave to use a business card to slide under it and voila a fair sized piece of lint came out. I put the bobbin back in the bobbin case and I used the TOWA gauge to test the tension and it was way too loose. I tightened up the tension on the bobbin case and put it back in the machine and did a test run and it was perfect. That little bit of lint caused such a huge problem with the bobbin tension.

I think the instructions provided by APQS for bobbin maintenance would apply to any sewing machine bobbin case. If you ever have the problem with birds nests on the back of your quilt I would certainly check your bobbin case to see if lint is the culprit!


belarmina said...

Ellen bonita colcha bebe!!!
gracias por la explicaciones tan importantes,
sobre la maquina

Deb A said...

As I was reading I was thinking lint in the bobbin case! That tends to be my issue which is why I have been doing straight line quilting instead of FMQ. So glad you figured out the issue and a great tip.

Aunt 'Reen said...

Amazing what trouble a little bit of lint can make.
Sorry to hear you had all that ripping of stitches to do.
Wonderful though that you were able to resolve the problem.
Wishing you smooth sailing on the rest of your quilting process for this beautiful quilt.