Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Messed Everything Up

I received my new single hole throat plate on Thursday, and being so excited about my new item I promptly installed it. 

I had to move my needle back over to 0.

Since I had just finished cutting my fabric for the next project, I was ready to start sewing...
For some reason, I figured I could just move my guide line over that 1/8th inch and be on my way.
I sewed 2 entire strips, ironed and starched and then measured.  OOPs.
Error #1. I should have done a test piece. Duh, you say?  Yeah, me too.

So, I got out a couple test strips and started on my quest to find my new guide line. 
I CAN'T FIND IT.  No matter what I do, I can't seem to figure out where to get my 1/4" seam to measure out properly. 
After running about 4 strips through with various adjustments along the way, I'm not any closer.
1. I'm finding that my quilter's 1/4" presser foot isn't really a good guide, and I have to be on the inside of the foot.
2. I can get one side to measure fairly accurately, but the side that is being ironed over is shorter.
Does that mean that my thread is indeed too thick? 
3. I've ordered the 60/3 Presencia Thread that Quilter's Academy talks about, and maybe that will solve my issues, but it won't arrive for DAYS yet  :( And, how come that wasn't a problem before?

I feel like I had finally gotten fairly reliable accuracy and now I will be starting all over.

Error #2, Don't fix what ain't broke.. At least that's what I've been told.  Why did I feel I needed to take this next step?

So, what does one do when not able to continue?

I'm cleaning out the closet of my quilting room, and making room for MY stuff, of course.
Sleeping bags, photo boxes, photo albums and scrap books, guitar and amp, and other misc. things. It's all cleared out and now... I have room to start storing a fabric stash!  

I'm reading intently the Machine Quilting book. Maybe I'll get far enough that I will venture into doing some practice swatches. 

And, I've decided I'm going to start saving all those little pieces of scraps in bins.  I have a notion in my head that I can use them for applique, and scrap quilts some day. After I get a good handle on what I'm doing and I feel like I know more about how to piece, I can venture into something scrappy.   Scrappy has always appealed to me because it doesn't seem to be so color coordinated, which I am definitely challenged with, and it fits with the re-purposing way of life I find myself  usually following.

Anyway, I'll be here reading about all those others who are actually quilting until I can get over my hump in the road.


  1. Jeeze Dawn sorry to hear about your difficulties with your seam allowance! It is so frustrating isn't it.
    Does your quarter inch foot have that flat guide thing down the edge? I absolutely hated mine! when i went over a seam it would go all over the place and no it really doesn't give you that scant 1/4" that seems to work so well.
    I am unclear on one thing you mention though, you say the side thats being ironed over is too narrow? are you measuring the actual seam allowance? or are you measuring the width of the strips?
    I would give it another try when you are not so frustrated and just go back to that section of the book and follow the steps again :)
    In the end i think the benefits from the single hole plate will outweigh the issues you had getting used to it!

    Having a tidy sewing room and lots of space for stash is good too. I have scraps all over my cutting table at the moment decided to do a bit of sorting and tidying of them as they were overflowing all the little areas i had been using to keep them in LOL


  2. Vicki,
    I'm measuring from seam to edge on front side, and the dark edge that I pressed toward is smaller than the lighter side seam to edge. I can't get it pressed any flatter.

    My foot does not have a guide edge. It is simply supposed to be 1/4" between the needle and the outside edge of foot. From needle to inside edge of toe is 1/8". That measurement worked fine IF I moved my needle over +1. Now, I can't seem to find that perfect spot in the middle of my foot's toe, because it is hard to see any line. I'm using a piece of tape to help me stay straight but so far, I'm not finding the right spot.

    I know this was a move toward the long term good, but right now, I am frustrated. I didn't have this problem in the first place. So, I'm just baffeled in trying to figure out how this could alter my measurements so much. Again, Harriet was correct... don't move the needle to make your seam allowance work. I did it anyway and am paying the price now. Words of warning to fellow learners!

    In the mean time, I'm enjoying the organization time. It always makes me feel good when a space gets a good clear out and clean up job. It's my stress reliever. Some people eat chocolate. I clean house!

    And, with all the time I've been quilting lately (or quilt room cleaning) I've listened to the entire first 3 books of Harry Potter! I don't know how many hours that is, but it is ALOT of disks cycling through my computer and loaded onto my Ipod. I've accomplished so much this winter :) I've had cooperation from the weather and work schedule. I just hope I can get back to it before those things change.

  3. Are you using the Perkins piecing seam guide to establish where to put your tape? If I don't have that sticky plastic strip, I use a razor blade and cut about 1/8" down into the roll of tape so I have a real "wall" for the fabric to go by. That is all I can think of. I am not sure that the thread thickness is going to make that much difference. I think it is something else but I don't know what. :( SOS to Carrie. :)

    You probably don't have a straight stitch foot, I don't think they come with new machines these days. On Harriet's recommendation in Vol 1, I bought one for my Bernina and followed her directions in the book. It did work but now I mostly use my 1/4" foot without a flat guide on the side (Bernina #37) and the screw in seam guide.

    It is interesting, your comments about moving the needle. I can never do that because as Harriet said in Vol 1, it is mentally challenging to always remember to move the needle again after you turn your machine off or make any other changes.

  4. P.P.S. 1 more thought: I know a lot of people who use the "move the needle" way to set their seam. There is nothing wrong with that. The lady I took Beginning Quilting class from recomended moving the needle all the way to the right before measuring out from your needle. In the quilty world, you just have to figure out what works best for you. My wish for you is that you don't get too frustrated.

  5. Dawn , have you tried the 1/4 inch graph paper? I found that worked pretty well as a guide on where to put the tape.

  6. Well, My presser foot is a straight hole 1/4" quilter's foot I bought separately when I bought the machine years ago. I just didn't think to buy a throat plate too, because nothing was said about that back then. The hole is just big enough in the presser foot to move the needle over to the right +1 only, it almost scrapes the edge of the foot. If I were to be rough with the fabric, bending the needle could make it hit the edge.

    There is no way I can do that with the throat plate. So, moving over needle is no longer an option. I did have problems remembering at the beginning, but now it is just habit to turn on machine, move over needle +1, and move the stitch length down to 2. I don't know how to make the machine remember that stuff automatically. Especially since I have to unplug machine every time I get into the bobbin case, since I have the machine sitting down in the table slot.

    I ordered that purple sticky stuff. In the mean time, I'm using a piece of red tape, but it isn't thick, which is a slight problem.
    I'll cut some tape thickly and use that until the purple gets here..
    AND, I'll get back out my graph paper like I did in the first place :) THanks Vicki.
    Yep, starting all over. And, I hope the thread width doesn't change it all over again when I get the 60/3!
    Sandra, did you notice a change when switching the thread?

  7. I can't say for sure that the thread made any difference. Like you, I was changing so many things at the same time.

  8. Well, I think I've got it figured out. Took a l o n g time, and many tries.

  9. Hmmmmm, thought i had posted this before? checking to see if you had said anything else and my post isnt here? lol

    anyways what did you do to finally get things figured out?

    and Yaaaaaaay! that you did