Saturday, July 28, 2012


I wrote two posts ago that I was finally quilting my big Brown Planet quilt.  I have two Bernina machines, one is the 1230 model that I've had for many years. It died on me a few years ago and in utter frustration I went out and bought a new one, Bernina Virtuosa 153.  I had the older machine serviced, which needed some kind of new motor and it has been fine to use ever since.  It has some feet that the new one doesn't have and it's much better for winding bobbins.  It's a very sturdy machine with much more metal than plastic.

Are you with me so far?  Anyway the newer machine needed service.  It kept seizing up, perhaps because I was using a very heavy thread on my last project. Normally I get my machine back in a week, but the service guy was on vacation (the nerve!) and I wouldn't get it back for two weeks.  I was anxious to get started on BP and decided to use the older Bernina.  My friend, Carolyn, has the same machine and has complained about the tension while free motion quilting. I wanted to use the same thread in the bobbin all the way thru with the bobbin thread matching the backing fabric.  That way if you had tiny flaws in the bobbin, they didn't show. I did my first section that way, gray thread on the top, tan in the bottom.  It looked fine.  On the next section I used dark brown on the top and little peeks of tan poked thru at the corners. Rats!!  So I decided that I had to change the bobbin to match the top each time I changed colors.  Not too much of a big deal, except that now that the bobbin thread did not match the backing fabric, I saw what Carolyn meant about the tension. No matter what I had the tension set on, even on 10, the thread on the back looks like it is just laying there.

I am sooo annoyed.  I feel as though I have already spoiled my chances of ever winning a ribbon with this quilt.  Although I think the front looks good so far, I know that the judges are picky, picky and will look at the back with magnifying-glass eyes and see that less than perfect tension.

I will get my machine back next Thursday and rather than aggravating myself even more, I am going to wait until next week to resume my quilting.  The 1230 Bernina is fine for straight sewing, so I will bring it upstairs to my studio and do some quilt facing and other things that require straight-line stitching. I just wish that I had waited until my other machine was serviced, but who knew that I would have these problems.  I will keep the dining room set up the way it is.  As I've said before it hardly ever gets used anyway and it will be ready when my 153 gets home.

I have a nice long weekend with nothing planned and was anticipating getting a lot of quilting done. So poor Brown Planet gets another set back.  Oh, well it will get finished eventually and this will give me more time to watch the Olympics.


Kathleen Loomis said...

Norma -- just enter shows where the judges don't look at the back!! there are plenty like that

norma said...

Kathy, the art quilt shows that don't care about the backs do not accept two-person quilts, as this one is. They also don't allow anything started in a workshop and this was designed and started in your workshop with Nancy Crow. So I am left with Houston, Paducah and those kinds of shows that do look at the backs.

Vivien Zepf said...