Sometimes I have a forehead-slap moment. This has been a tough week. I have many simultaneous projects/commitments and I’m trying to finish a piece for the Pacific International Quilt Festival deadline-yeah, that’s 12 days from now. So I’m petal-to-the-metal trying to get this piece done.
My plan for this piece is to create acres of this background, then lay down the design afterwards. I used this same technique on Breeze II.
This technique involves a crazy amount of thread. Of course, being The Thread Snot, I am using silk thread-oh I love this stuff! I am particularly drawn to this lovely light gray for use in my black and white series. I’m going through these 1090 yd mini cones like they were chocolate.
But I was having trouble. Of course, I should have stopped to figure it out before this happened:
See all those super big stitches? I just couldn’t figure it out. The tension was dead on, the Superior Titanium coated topstitch needle was sharp and the right size, I was using Superior’s Kimono silk-an excellent thread, my batting was wool, my fabric was high quality sateen. I was not flagging-my presser foot pressure was appropriate.
Then what could be the problem? Sometimes I was fighting just to move the quilt, as though I had no slider at all and was fighting friction. And sometimes I would be pushing the fabric and all of a sudden it would let go and I would get a huge stitch. Whaaaat??
It finally occurred to me that the problem was my slider! Sliders accumulate fiber on their bottoms and over time this will prevent the slider from sticking to the machine bed. (Sliders self-cling to your machine bed and allow you to move your quilt around with zero friction.)
The slider will begin to move around on your machine bed. Eventually you will end up stitching through it. All that is needed to prevent this is to simply run water over the back from time to time and the gunk will slide right off.
I neglected to do this and I stitched through my slider-many times. I tried to extend its life by repairing it with packing tape. Well guess what: packing tape does not slide well! I was fighting to move the quilt when it was on the repaired portion of the slider.
To make things even worse, there were so many layers of tape that there were also significant ridges. So that was why I was getting all those big stitches!
Will I go back and rip all that out? I may rip some of it out, but not all of it. What do you learn by ripping? Nothing. So I will probably take my loss, plow ahead, and do better on the next project. It’s really going to be tough to get this piece done in time for PIQF.
I’ll be linking up to Nina Marie’s Off-the-Wall-Friday tomorrow so be sure to check out all the cool links!