Life as a Greenmonstr

Quilting and Other Facts of Life

Mystery Step 1 Complete - Take a Peek!

I was quilting a T-shirt quilt I made out of my son's old soccer T-shirts, and my Viking died again.  It froze with the needle touching the fabric and the bobbin thread pulling the fabric down towards the bobbin. I had to have my husband hold the presser foot lever up so I could cut the bobbin thread and release the quilt.  I had to loosen up the needle and step on the pedal so I could get the needle out just to get the quilt out of the machine.  It kept balling up the bobbin thread, so I re-threaded it.  I wound another bobbin.  I turned the machine off and back on in a few minutes.  I sewed on a scrap.  I rethreaded again.  Turned it off again.  No dice.  I gave up.  I will be taking it to get fixed again.  The last time I took it in to get repaired (it froze utterly and would not do anything), they told me it had just needed a tune-up.  However, I discovered later that the feed dogs would not come back up after free-motion quilting until I turned the machine fully off and back on.  Now this.  

In the meantime, I have my mother's Kenmore sewing machine as a backup, so I set that puppy up and got into the McCall's Quilting Mystery Quilt.  This was something of an adventure since the Kenmore is very different from my Viking.  I had to break out the manual to discover how to wind the bobbin and change the presser foot.  It was a little awkward sewing because the plexiglas insert that fits nicely around my Viking doesn't quite fit around the Kenmore, so I don't have a nice flat surface anymore.  I will not lie; some of my seams are not precisely 1/4 inch, but it's okay.  One thing I have learned from quilting:  things will never be perfect.   The same quality that makes bias a pain can work for you a little bit too.  Without further ado, here is my completed Step 1:


I already had the magazine with step 2 in it but I did not look at the next step before completing this one.  Once this was done, I ran for my magazine to check out step 2.  HIghly anticlimactic, I would say.  It's not very long.   I kept thinking there was more on the next page that I was missing, because you're directed to cut pieces that aren't used in this step.  It'll be interesting to see how this all goes together. Anyway, I will post the next step once it is complete.

It's appropriate that I was using my mother's sewing machine today, since this would have been her 75th birthday.  She died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) at Christmastime in 2000.  My kids were 9 and 4. My son remembers her somewhat but my daughter doesn't remember her at all.   I wish she could have been here so they could have gotten to know her better...she was a very active, busy, creative person with a fantastic sense of humor.  Happy birthday, Mom - I'll keep you in my heart as I make this quilt with your sewing machine.


Pamela said:

We share Mother's birthdays. My Mom would have been 72 years old on February 3rd. She died of breast/bone cancer almost 25 years ago, my youngest daughter was a newborn and my oldest was nearly five. Hard to believe she would have been that old, since I remember her at the age I am now. The biggest compliment I get these days is that I look just like her. Happy Birthday, Mom, as well.

Will be watching your progress on the mystery quilt.

# February 4, 2012 5:43 AM

Karla said:

My husband's birthday is today, the 4th, and his mother will be celebrating her 90th birthday tomorrow, but we won't be sharing it with her as we cannot drive down to California this weekend because we are babysitting the grandkids and we will not drive that distance with the screaming boys and a dog in the car.  I would probably have to be committed to the loony bin before we got there.

I'm making this MQ too, waiting to find the mag so I can start Part 2.  Love your colors!

# February 4, 2012 10:01 AM

Ellen said:

I'd like to hear more about the T-shirt quilt.  I have a book of instructions - T-Shirt Quilts (what else??!) by Jane Davila & Linda Oehler Marx.  It seems pretty straight forward, and I love the samples of their work! My son has put special T-shirts aside for years and I think it's time I took up the challenge.  I've been in a sewing slump and need a new project - though I ought to be finishing others I've started... not going there!!!!

# February 5, 2012 2:03 PM

arjames727 said:

Hello, Feb 3rd is a sentimental day for me too.  Lost my dad on that day in 2000.  It happened to be his and my mom's 55th wedding anniversary as well as my daughter's 13th birthday.

Anyway, sorry about your Viking acting up.  I have a question about machine quilting a tee shirt quilt.  My very first quilt ever (3 weeks ago) was a tee shirt quilt using my daughter's cheer shirts.  Everything I read said it is a piece of cake.  Well, having learned a few tricks along the way by doing things wrong, I was finally ready for the FM quilting part. (The top actually turned out nice).  Got everything ready, bought the gloves and the best quilting thread money can buy...sat down at the machine with my self created pattern, and ...started quilting...only to have the machine miss stitches about every inch or so.  NOOOO. Used stretch needles, jersey needles, quilting needles, and asked the experts at joanns and Viking.  No one had ever heard of this problem. The machine simply would not pick up the bobbin thread.

Have you ever run into this problem when making a tee shirt quilt?  I was using a 1973 sears Kenmore.

It was horrible and frustrating.  I finally had to send it out for professional quilting.  Boo.

# February 12, 2012 5:15 PM

martisavignali said:

The Kenmore is probably good on this. What I love about these quilt sections that you have are the vertical angles being displayed so nicely.

# February 12, 2012 8:53 PM