Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This is gonna be my life for the next few weeks. I have 4 quilts that need quilting, and I'm totally kicking myself for waiting so long to get them done. I set up my Quilt Easy frame a few nights ago, and I now have a kink in my neck and a little bit of a back ache. Every night after the boys are in bed, I think about how I really need to start working on this quilt, but I always have super-valid excuses for why I shouldn' legs hurt from spending 3 hours in the park with the kids, or my legs hurt from working out in the gym, or my veins are bothering me...see the pattern, here? It usually involves my legs hurting. Anyway, last night, I decided to get the machine set up. I haven't used this particular machine for over 2 years. It's a big, industrial Brother that I bought expressly for quilting. I don't use it for everyday sewing because it feels like overkill--it's really big and really fast. But I need it for quilting because it has a long neck and a rolled up quilt can fit under it easily. So last night I spent an hour looking for the user's manual (I'm not the world's most organized person) and another hour getting reacquainted with the machine. Then I decided to just go with it...ON A REAL QUILT!!! Dumb, dumb, dumb. The thought did cross my mind that I should load some practice fabric and batting on the rollers, but I had already spent 1.5 hours or so a couple of nights before loading on a real quilt (what was I thinking?) So I took the gamble, and look what happened: Tension problems, thread breakage, skipped stitches. Looks like I have lots of stitch picking to do. Hope the recipient doesn't look too closely! :(

After playing around with the tension and rethreading, finally this:

Oh, and look what I bought to make my job easier, because nothing is worse than having to stop a project midway through to wind bobbins, right?

I thought it was a great idea, too, but turns out that size-wise they're a little bit too bulgy or something and keep popping out of the machine. So it looks like I'll still be winding my own bobbins.

Oh, and one more thing (since this is turning out to be quite the epistle), there is a suicidal robin that keeps smashing it's beak on my dining room window where I'm working. He starts at about 6:30 in the morning and keeps at it intermittantly all day. He's been at this for a couple weeks now, and no amount of shooing him away works. We even tried putting a picture of a crow in the window, but he doesn't care. See all the beak and blood marks on the left? It would be a lot worse, but we washed this window just a couple of days ago. Ugh! What to do?


the painted pear said...

See this is where I don't know what to even say...I have never seen a machine like that. But the stitching looks awesome.

I kind of do the same thing, when the guilt of not accomplishing something sets in. I will set up the materials, to get ready. Then it will sit, till I am ready, and that could be weeks. Procrastination seems to like me.

Too bad to hear about the crazy bird. I have heard clean windows can confuse birds, but he must be really dumb to keep at it. Maybe he just wants to be with you. Let him in, make him some muffins. Or try putting up a picture of a shotgun, instead of another birdie friend.

autum said...

Your quilting looks beautiful. I can't get my mind around how that works. Do you move the machine on tracks up and down along the quilt. How do you get the free form stitching?
Maybe you should put a picture of a cat in the window.

lindiepindie said...

Oh it drives me nuts when I have machine problems, but it looks like you got them worked out - the stitching looks great.

Mom has talked about hanging CDs in windows - I know it's not the prettiest decor - but I'm wondering if that will even stop this bird. Maybe all that bangin has resulted in a head injury and even he can't NOT do what looks fun.

kimberly said...

Let him in and give him the manual to your machine. I'm sure that's what he wants.
Your quilting is so amazing. That machine is impressive. I bow to the machine. :o)

craftymodster said...

I agree, your quilting is beautiful! Wow! I am sorry for the machine woes, however. Ugh.

As for Mr. bird...we had major bird problems in our last house (why is it that 250 crows pick your home to "pick" at the roof at 5pm every night?!), so I can relate a bit. What about getting one of those scary faux owls and put him in the window? It worked for the crows on the roof. Also, do you have curtains that can be closed over that particular window? Possibly, just temporarily to see if that bird stops his insistant habit? I'm so sorry! I hope he stops soon for your sake.

Much luck with all!
xo - anjo

capello said...

Jealous of the quilting machine. Really jealous. Horribly jealous. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

As for the bird, my in-laws have a bird that keeps flying into their house. Everyday from spring through fall, for three years now. I think it has something to do with the reflection of the glass. Maybe hang some black fabric or paper on the outside of the window and see if that helps.

kathy said...

Beautiful quilting my dear. I'm really jealous too. I'm getting ready to machine quilt a baby quilt. I'll be doing it with free-motion on my regular sewing machine. I can only dream of my stitches looking that even! Thanks for your nice comments on my site, they are really appreciated.