5/2/14

Sewing machine whisperer

For simple repairs, I am a great repairer of machines.  I can pay attention to the machine and generally figure out what it needs.  Maybe it’s a bit of oil, or a rest or a new needle.

When it came to the Elna, it was sewing great, but each time a new fabric edge was fed under the needle, it would ruffle up under the foot.  I couldn’t find anything it was catching on and it happened on multiple feet. 

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I could lift the foot and the fabric ruffle would release and spring forward and I could finish sewing the seam.  I played and played and played and did a lot of letting it rest.  I couldn’t find anything from anyone else with this complaint on the net. 

Turned out that there is too much pressure on the presser foot.  I had to turn that adjustment all the way down and the ruffling stopped and the feed is terrific. 

Now, she’s quiet, makes a great stitch, even tension, no pulling to left or right, and that’s about all I require. 

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Right now, she’s practicing her stitching on some scrappy 9 patches while we get to know one another better and work out the kinks.  One of the things I read was that she wasn’t very strong.  And, if I was making a pair of jeans, I probably wouldn’t use her.  I’d use my Bernina.  She’s at least as stong as my black Featherweight.  And, just a couple pounds heavier, but with a much bigger harp.

I want to try to FMQ with her.  That would be nifty.

I got the borders on the mini quilt. 

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You can see the swag templates laid in on the bottom.  They had to be sized to fit the spaces.  The copies from the book were slightly too wide.  Not sure about the purple.  I think this might need a nice, safe gold.

It’s a lot of work to take such a big chance as purple.  What do you think?

I want to do these as machine applique, using Harriet Hargrave’s method of freezer paper on the back, and blind hem stitching it down with monofilament thread and a VERY narrow stitch width.  I’ve always wanted to see if the blind hem stitch attachment for my low shank machines would would for that. 

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I don’t see a width adjustment, so I’m not very hopeful, but hey, it’s worth a try anyway.  I’d love to be able to say I made this whole quilt on my Grandmother’s 15-91.

Everybody have a great Friday.  Lane

8 comments:

Kate said...

your mini is just gorgeous, gorgeous. Hard to tell about the purple - any chance you could put up a photo with a couple of other options? Seeing the photo will probably help you decide.

Kath said...

good tip about the ruffle, that happens to me, so I am off to try adjusting the foot pressure. Have a good May weekend Lane.

Hazel said...

What can I say ,your amazing .

lw said...

I hadn't thought about the machine tension being disrupted by having the fabric feed delayed, so that's a really good catch.

As much as I love purple and green together, I'm worried that a border that visually interesting might distract the viewer from the pieced blocks. I agree with Kate's idea to lay it out and shoot a photo before committing.

Elizabeth said...

I vote for purple. :)

xo -E

qltmom9 said...

I can't tell about the purple without a smaller amount showing. Lay it out like it will be.
I choose my black featherweight for jeans mending ALL the time. She's a workhorse. I've even quilted on her. My white 221 wouldn't do it, but the black ones I've had (gave 2 to dds) mend jeans often and well.

Lucy

Anonymous said...

I bet your Grandmother would be very glad knowing you were using her machine. Love the mini. Have no opinion about the purple. You have to decide what you want hanging on your wall. That is, if you plan to keep it and hang it.
Beautiful piece. lum

Unknown said...

Trial a printed fabric that picks out the blue, yellow and cream colours to repeat the colours in the blocks.