Thursday, 15 September 2011

Wonky madness

I pieced the centre of this top sometime last year using a load of bits and bobs - it was a wonky quarter log cabin.

However, it was very small and I always knew it needed some sort of border to make it a bit bigger (it still only ended up just over 40inches square) and I found the perfect wonky triangles in Gwen Marstons Liberated Quilted II.

So far, so good. Then I made a fatal mistake - to quilt using straight lines in a 1 inch grid. Well in theory it should have been fine but it all went horribly wrong.

Doing the first 4 or 5 rows I managed to break 3 separate needles. Well considering it was months since I last changed one (I know, I know, you are supposed to change them every quilt but who really does that) and it seemed a terrible struggle to even sew in a straight line and that the top and back were getting very distorted even with my pin basting I had to stop and take stock.

I looked at my walking foot - it was the first time I had used it for ages but it was also the first time I had used the quilting guide. Could that be the problem? Well it wasn't the guide but it was the foot. When the needle goes up it pushes the arm thingie on the foot up, then when the need goes down the arm is supposed to go down. My arm didn't go down - it got stuck up! So no extra help from the foot and my forcing the fabric through was what was breaking the needles.

I took it off and fiddled with it - then I thought, maybe it needs oiling? Do I have oil? Well not the sort for machines, only olive oil! Yes I did - I dabbed a tiny bit of olive oil on the end of a cotton bud and stuck it into the foot. I swished it around and around and it came out black and grimy. But it worked a treat.

I then was able to carry on the quilting nice and smooth, but being lazy I wasn't going to unpick what I had done so it still ended up pulled out of shape a bit. It isn't so noticeable on the front, but you can see on the back.

Here this strip was straight across the bottom but you can see how much off the horizontal quilting line it ended up.

So instead of being a nice simple little quilt - this became one of my most troublesome ever. But I'm happy enough with it now it is all over....

The backing was pieced using leftovers from the border triangles.


Sheila said...

OMG - olive oil in your machine, you mad woman - glad it all worked out fr you in the end, it's a fab border.

Leanne said...

I think your quilt is wonderful! I do wonder if maybe you need to take the machine/foot in for a proper service before too long - I am not sure olive oil is the best long term. I need to remember to do that soon too, it is a wonder what a bit of oil and cleaning can do.

Shay said...

My foot doesn't seem to be pulling my fabric through evenly either so I'm thinking about olive oiling my foot now too...

Cute quilt - especially those border triangles!