Danger: fingers and needles

20130101-193142.jpg OK. So I have a new quilting frame, which means I must try it out. Having purchased it on Friday, trucked it to ‘the hideaway’ on Sunday, reassembled it on Sunday evening, by Monday I was ready to get sewing or sew I thought.

In hindsight, this became a bit of a comedy of errors. I should have realized something was up when it became apparent that I hadn’t added the vital ingredient yet – the sewing machine. Off I went to rescue the sewing machine from its usual hiding place. All I had to do was slide it on and…er, no. Strange as it may seem, you can’t get a 1” bar underneath the foot of a sewing machine.

You can picture the scene – slightly frustrated sewer sliding the machine under the bars only to bump into them, back out, slide forward and bump into them again. This also meant that the trolley supporting the machine couldn’t go in either so I was left in limbo cradling the machine and calling “can you come and help for a minute?”. Luckily my trusty side-kick ambled onto the scene and rescued me by un…the frame bars, and sliding the fabric under the machine foot, replacing the bars before I could finally comfortably slide the machine into position. There is something distinctly unnerving about “I might drop my 5kg sewing machine and drop it on my foot” that somehow focused my attention throughout the episode.

After getting the sewing machine attached I used a QFO project I had stashed away to practice firstly ‘stitching in the ditch’, the results on this were predictably mixed but I kept going. More practice became my mantra. Part way through the quilting my reverie was interrupted when the bobbin abruptly ran out of thread. I didn’t like the last few stitches it had done so I unpicked them before continuing on. Somehow in unpicking the last few stitches, I caught my the edge of my index finger next to the finger nail on the machine needle at which I flinched and carried on. It was only when I took my hand away from the machine that I noticed that my finger was bleeding at a rapid rate which just would not do anywhere near a quilt. I then spent the next 10 minutes with a tissue wrapped around my finger and my arm up in the air to stop the bleeding. I must have looked funny pacing up and down the play room with my arm in the air trying to not do anything while the bleeding stopped. Why is it that the smallest places (like the edge of a finger, or back of the ankle) bleed most profusely?

Thankfully the bleeding stopped. I finished the stitching in the ditch, and started on a crazy stars pattern which while odd looking will work once it’s all over the quilt.

20130101-193231.jpgWhat I am pleased about is that it looks like the frame is helping. I had looked at the pinned quilt sandwich before and there was half as many pins and lots more fabric wriggling going on than I like but I wasn’t prepared to re-pin the whole thing. It seems that using the frame forced out most of the bubbles and bumps in the layers of the quilt and it will end up nice and flat. Fingers crossed.

Off to get dinner going and sew some more crazy stars.



About bertcollections

I began quilting, with the help of some friends, in 2005, and have been quilting ever since. In that time, I’ve completed several projects in a variety of styles and colour combinations. My approach to quilting generally doesn’t involve using a particular pattern. I tend to have a concept I want to bring to life, or find a fabric on sale somewhere that looks like it could be turned into something fun. As the photos in the 'Introductions' post show, my quilts cross a range of styles, but generally use some strong colours and shapes.
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13 Responses to Danger: fingers and needles

  1. This kind of quilting is definitely a learning curve but once you’ve practiced you’ll really enjoy it. The internet is a great resource. I learned to frame quilt the hard way several years ago. Now I have graduated to a HandiQuilter Longarm Quilting System but I have another challenge to meet with the new mid-arm quilting system which just arrived last week. Enjoy the journey. I look forward to seeing all the great quilting that will come from your new toy. Happy New Year.

    • Thanks Lucie. I’m hoping that this will make quilting my large quilts (I usually make them at least 45″ square) a bit easier so I can focus on the quilting rather than fighting with the weight of the quilt. Looks like it will probably work.

  2. Karen Harvey says:

    Would love to pics of your setup. Do you put your regular machine on the frame or is it a longarm?

    • OK Karen, I’ll take some more pictures and do a post on my new set up. I have a domestic quilting machine, so it’s not a long arm by any means but the arm is a little longer than your standard dress making machine.

      The length of the arm is now the limit of the size of the pattern I can do on the quilting frame as it’s too messy to move the quilt along the frame and continue a pattern (at least for now?).

  3. Maribeth says:

    You have much more patience than I do. I would have called it a day after the first mishap. I like your crazy stars! I have a quilt that I have been wanting to quilt up with stars, so it gives me great inspiration!

  4. ruthiequilts says:

    I had a traumatic quilting my finger experience, except the needle broke off in my finger! Yowza! I’m glad yours didn’t hurt too much even though it bled a lot! Glad the quilt didn’t get any on it either! Good luck!!!

  5. Pingback: QFO5 – Schmooze it, shoot it or fix it? My new sewing machine solver… | bertcollections

  6. Pingback: Getting Started with a Quilting Frame | bertcollections

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