Every time you try something new, there’s a learning curve. Sometimes the curve is so tiny you barely notice. Other times, it’s an Everest of a curve. For the third practice quilt on the frame, it was somewhere on the lower end of the scale but definitely irritating. The grind your teeth, take deep breaths kind of curve. I wasn’t hopeless or freaking out. I…just…wanted…the…tension…to…stay…fixed! Not a big ask, right? Wrong.I cleaned, oiled, delinted, re-threaded. Over and over again. And stuff like this kept happening. Not okay!Loops of thread on the backside meant the top tension was out of whack. Every time I stopped to fix it, things started out well and soon devolved to the same hot mess.About two thirds of this quilt needs to be picked and redone. Sigh. But I love this Sassaman fabric and have been hoarding it for years. And the backing, more Sassaman, is one of my all time faves. So…definitely going to fix it. But for now, it’s sitting in the corner.
The good news is that I did manage to fix the problem. I switched back to Superior Threads for this quilt, but this time I used a large cone. If you have a Juki, you know there are three holes in the little bar where the thread first enters the threading scheme. Usually, you skip the middle one. Well, don’t! That’s all I have to say. Just don’t! Apparently, the larger cones of thread like the extra drag created by the extra wrap on that bar. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure that out, but I’m glad it finally occurred to me.
Another little hiccup happened during one of the cleaning and re-threading and reaching around the machine to turn it off and on. I inadvertently lowered of the arm with the thread guide for the larger spools. You need to have that fully extended to keep the thread from lolling all about the top of your machine and creating its own version of tension. Simple fix but important.
Practice is a good thing. It provides so many opportunities to grow and learn. Too bad they have to be irritating and unpleasant in order for us to do the learning. But….so they are. And I’m not about to give up, as I’m sure you know. In fact….Rather than change the thread for the next practice piece, I whipped up a new 44″ x 60-something” quilt top and backing for Practice Piece #4. Because that’s so much easier–ha! Temporary insanity. What can I say?