November 9, 2011

Mrs.Singer Quilts Again!

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I learned the hard way that fusible 100% poly batting is all around a BAD idea.  Here's my story.  In the small quilts I quilt on my old Bernina 830 sewing machine, I always use fusible 80% cotton / 20% poly batting so I don't have to pin or baste.  It works fabulously, and I don't understand why someone wouldn't use it!  Well, Joann's apparently no longer sells fusible mostly cotton batting, and I could only find fusible batting in 100% poly ... and I was in too much of a hurry to wait for an order from Connecting Threads, the only place I could find that still sells it other than Amazon, {please let me know if you have another source}. 

I bought the fusible 100% poly any way, sucker that I am.  BIG mistake.  It wouldn't adhere to the quilt top evenly, so rather than throwing it away, I decided to try it in a larger quilt on Mrs.Singer.  Another BIG mistake.  She didn't like it either as it gummed up her needle and broke the thread.  But it took me agonizing troubleshooting to figure out what was wrong, as the batting was the LAST thing on my long list of considerations.  It took me weeks to figure it out, and I was nearly ready to KICK Mrs.Singer!!  Poor thing!  She was innocent after all!  Mrs.Singer now works great with the right batting, bless her heart!  I almost kissed her!

Below are some pics of my practice stitching. I thought I'd practice a bit since I had to put scraps on the rollers to make sure she was stitching okay.  I think I'll be throwing in some flowers and circles on my next quilt which is ready to go on the rollers again.  I have already ripped out the messed-up stitching - a nice way to spend the evening in front of the tube at grandpa's house.

One thing I did learn while researching online what the problem could be, is that some people "float" the quilt top.  This means one end is not attached to a roller.  I always "float" the batting since my table doesn't have a roller for it, but the quilt top?  That sounded too scary!  This practice top is floated {you may be able to see in the picture above that the middle roller is not being used}, and it works just fine - which means one less layer to pin to a roller!  YEAH!  I'm all for that!

I also learned in my researching that I was putting too much tension on my quilt layers {not my chickens, silly!}, and they don't need to be rolled so tightly.  I did notice how easy it is to stretch on-point squares into diamonds by rolling the rollers to tightly, and I'll try to loosen up a bit!  Literally and figuratively.  Little by little I am learning!

The wheeled roller contraption Mrs.Singer sits on does not run perfectly smoothly, so it is very difficult to get a perfectly round line of stitching out of her.  Mr.Hearts has adjusted it to the best of his ability, but maybe someday I'll ask him to build Mrs.Singer a new wheel assembly.

1 comment :

Miki Willa said...

So sorry to hear about the fusible batting problem. I hope you find a new source. I always float my tops and am much happier with the results. I feel I have so much more control. Glad you tried it.