Sunday, October 6, 2013

Frogging A Quilt...... And Machine Repair!

I should know by now, if I am not happy with the beginning of the quilting then I will be extremely unhappy by the end! In spite of that, I did it again, quilted a good size quilt and now I am ripping out all the stitching.
This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern, Tobacco Road, and her quilts are always busy and scrappy, lots of small pieces and likely hundreds of different fabrics. 
They need a simple overall quilting design and the leafy pattern I chose is just too fussy.
 I have used this pantograph many times successfully but I think not on such a busy quilt.
None of the quilting will show much on a busy quilt but the effect is more pleasing if it is simple.
 The large leaves are ok but the smaller ones just look awful to me so I decided it all must come out!
 It just looks messy to me and that is unacceptable!
The back is OK, the full design shows but on the front the smaller leaves etc. get lost. I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter's patterns and Andee, owner of this quilt is a devotee so for both of us this must really meet our standards for eye candy! I contacted Andee to be sure she was not in a hurry for the quilt, the unsewing will take a while I need frequent breaks for my hands and arms  to do something different!
This is my choice now for the re-quilting, it's called Maple Breezes from Meadowlynn quilting, it's a 15" design and I think it will be perfect. I have also decided to use a neutral thread color instead of brown. 
Lesson learned here, and next time I begin to feel unhappy with the quilting process, I will stop and wait a day or so thinking it over before going on!
In addition I had a machine issue this past week when a tiny piece of fine bobbin thread got jammed inside the hook assembly and my machine would not move! Heavy oiling and wiggling the hook usually works but not this time it was locked up!
So removing the hook and soaking in oil was my next move, also to no avail which is when I called Randy one of the wonderful techs at A-1, Plank Manufacturing. He suggested the owner's solution, take a hammer to it LOL.
  Literally that is what you must do, with these high tech tools!
The first whack was likely too tentative as nothing happened, the second gained a tiny amount of play and the third loosened the hook enough that I was able to wiggle it back and forth with more oil until it broke free and spat out a half inch piece of thread! Whew, that saved me about $150 and a wait for a new hook.
The A-1 maintenance DVD actually shows this elegant procedure and Randy would never have advised it were it not an acceptable solution. All of this trauma required that the hook be re-timed, one of my least favorite tasks, because the tolerances for these machines are so fine that it can take several tries to get timing right. Fortunately I am experienced enough at this chore that it only took two adjustments and the machine and I were again in harmony.
Now a disclaimer: I am never suggesting that you take a hammer to your machine- unless you have clear and defined instructions you should never do anything that may destroy something expensive, so follow your manufacturer guidelines to the letter!


Gari in AL said...

OK, so I gasped at the hammer but agree that sometimes there is no other choice. Also agree that fairly simple quilting on a BH quilt is best. I have only made one but chose the panto I was going to use right after I made the first VERY BUSY block. ;-)

Andee said...

Ros--I do not envy you all that unstitching! I know I would love whatever you do, I trust you completely with my quilts (and I don't say that to just anyone!) and I know it will be fabulous. Take your time :)

Roslyn said...

What a lovely compliment Andee, I am relieved that you can be patient, I know what a Bonnie Hunter quilt means to you!

Cactusneedle said...

Oh my! Not a productive quilting week! I don't like retro-stitching either. When you're in the piecing phase it's bad enough, but in the quilting phase? Yikes! Hope the redo goes much better once the unstitching is completed.