Okay, maybe I’ll keep it clean. We’ll see how it goes.
I am quilting today. This is the big-block project. I finished the top, all gazillion half-square triangles. I made a heavily pieced back, the better to use some of the worst “quilting” fabric I’ve ever owned, John Deere logo fabric. (Yeah, there’s a story to why buy it and why use it. Another time for that.) It’s a biggish quilt, 84″ square. That is 7,056 square inches.
Yesterday I finished loading the back. It took more than one try, because that pieced up section with the horrible John Deere fabric was saggier and baggier than any little elephant. (In fact, I got it to behave reasonably well by surrounding sections of terrible fabric with pieces of better quality. Even so, the pieced section made the whole thing harder to load. But I did it.)
After loading the back I cut and loaded batting. I pressed the top and loaded it, basting along the upper and side edges to secure it. I began quilting, a simple loops and stars free-hand pattern edge to edge.
It went well. Tension was great.
After getting two-thirds of the way done — four passes out of six — I quit for the day.
This morning I began again. The fifth pass was fine.
The final pass is where the swearing begins. In fact, halfway through the final pass. I figure I got about 6,468 square inches, almost 92% of the thing quilted before the tension started acting up. I heard something weird. It looked fine on top, but I stopped a little ways away and checked. Yep, underneath was a thread nest, a wad of loops. Tracking back farther, I could see there were more issues; it started before the funny noise.
Okay, I spent most of an hour picking out the worst of those stitches, the ones that happened after the funny noise. Most of an hour to pick out stitches that took about 30 seconds to put in. And I began again. It was better, not great.
Last pass, remember? I took the stitching to the bottom (near) edge and tied off. I went to the other side. Changed the bobbin, rethreaded the top, cranked the top tension down slightly… And still it’s making loops underneath.
Why does the tension change when I have NOT CHANGED THE TENSION?????
This has happened before, and frankly it pisses me off. I swear A LOT when this happens. I am not Zen about it. I do try to go about fixing in a calm and logical way. But how do you fix THIS?
Okay, not much swearing in this, but it was good to rant out loud. When I finally finish this thing (which in normal circumstances should take about 5 minutes of stitching) I will email the company and ask the machine guy. WHY??? And more importantly, how can I make it NEVER happen again?