Saturday, January 28, 2012

A placemat for Max, and some very sad news

My good friend Karen wondered a while ago whether I could make a little mat, a mug rug of sorts (minus the mug!), for their cat Max. It was in the back of my mind for a while, then when I was experimenting with the asterisk blocks a few weeks ago I thought it would be perfect for Max. Colourful and scrappy and just kind of fun. :) I think Max likes it!

And now for the very sad news. I have to take my new machine back...for now at least. I've been having some struggles with it, mainly around the IDT (integrated dual feed, somewhat of a built in walking foot on Pfaff machines). I've been experimenting with well-basted practice quilt sandwiches and I've been having a lot of puckering, really bad at seam intersections (though the stitches themselves look really awesome, front and back), and it is clear to me that the feed is not even. I have been noticing it even when just piecing two fabric pieces together without any batting, that the top layer is being forced forward more than the bottom. I've adjusted the presser foot pressure all the way to the highest and all the way to the lowest, sewing seam after seam, trying different needles, trying different stitch length, tension, etc., with no different results. I spent some time on the phone with my saleslady this afternoon and she said I should definitely come in. So I'll go early this week, unfortunately a 1.5hr drive away, but I need to sort this out! Either it's a bum machine and a new one of the same would work better, or this just isn't the machine for me and I'll need to look for a different option. I reeeeeally want to love this machine but if it just won't quilt for me, I'll need to reconsider. :( Wish me luck!!

Linking to the following:

Little Quilt Monday @ Pieceful Life

sew many ways

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations


Izzy said...

Boy what a bummer. :-(. Wishing you luck! By the way, the little mat for Max looks really nice.

Katie B said...

Cute mat for the kitty! So sorry about the machine. I know it's frustrating, but it's good you're figuring this out now!

Toni said...

Oh, that's no fun at all! So glad your sales lady was helpful and willing to take it back, though. Hope everything works out ok!

Wee Little Birds said...

Fingers crossed it will all work out well

What Comes Next? said...

yup, I think Max likes his mat! Real bummer avout your machine - I have a Pfaff, and I've had the same problems with the IDT so never engage it. Luckily, it's not my primary machine. Hopefully they'll get you all sorted out properly.

Debbie said...

oh NO! That is not good! Keep us posted....(what a bother for you!)

LesQuilts said...

actually, that overrun at the seam edge is from a few things
-pressure foot needs to be lifted a bit, it is pushing your fabric ahead and then over the existing stitching
-I suggest a better way of basting your layers. If you are using a puffy polyester batting, you will get this too
-If you baste more closely, ie: if you use pins or are sewing with long stitches, you need to do this closer together
-if you are using puffy batting, it is best to tie quilt it or hand quilt it or use a darning foot where the foot "jumps" up and down
-if you are using a denser batting, then you are not basting well enough and are using the wrong foot and the presser foot has too much pressure, moving the fabric ahead of the foot, causing the oversewing at the seam, the fabric doesn't have anywhere to go when it hits the cross stitching
-I would also suggest lengthing your stitches, if they are too close together, then this can happen too
I suggest:
-use of cotton batting, I like warm and natural. It comes in various thicknesses
-spray basting with 505 spray, making sure you are covering all areas with the spray. If you miss any areas, the fabric will move
-start in the middle of your quilt and work out to the edges. depending on your quilting design, if you are using straight stitched rows, start from the centre in each direction, at the same level. ie: if you start from the centre and go left, then turn around your quilt, find centre again and go right.
then turn your quilt again, go back to centre and stitch at another level and go left again
-repeat until are your stitching is the same way, ie: horizontally.
-then repeat all your vertical rows
-if you are free motion quilting, start at the centre, work your way out from the center to the edges, in quadrants, continuing your stitching to a corner.
-then go back to centre again, and repeat as above
-either a walking foot or a darning foot (where the foot jumps up and down and then doesn't push the fabric ahead) will also help. the walking foot holds both the top and bottom fabrics eveningly so the top fabric won't move
try a few of these tips on some scrap layers, see if any of these will fix your machine.
Good luck, Leslie

Unknown said...

OH no! You are not having good machine luck. :(
It sounds like you have tried to troubleshoot. I hope you get an answer, or a new machine, soon!

JanuaryT said...

Man there is nothing worse than machine trouble :( I hope you get back to sewing soon. The mat is super cute, love the design!! Max looks a little TO'd to me. I'm trying to eat, leave me alone! :) Cats are so funny.

Michelle said...

That is one lucky cat! His mat is really cute. I'm sorry to hear about your machine. Best wishes on getting it resolved. I hope they give you a loner or that you have a backup.

Svetlana said...

Oh, that's no fun, I hope you get your machine back soon and it will work wonderfully for you. I love the mug rug, I should probably make on for our cat. Great idea!

twelfthzodiac said...

Yikes, I hope your machine troubles are worked out quickly & easily. It sucks when new & exciting things let you down like that!
Max is a cute little guy! Definitely looks like he wants some privacy to eat on his new mat in that photo ...hehe

Bumblebee and Sophie said...

I understand about the machine...I hit a pin started to make some funny has been in the shop now for almost two weeks. I am so glad for my little Jem Gold!! Keeps me sewing. Good luck with yours.

CityHouseStudio said...

Oh, there is nothing more frustrating that problems with your sewing machine! Good luck getting it all worked out. It's just painful to spend time on something like this, isn't it?!
Super cute asterisks, and cat, too!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

Lovely asterisk rug - lucky cat! Good luck with getting your machine sorted.

Alli said...

Oh no! I hope they can fix your machine! That's so cute that your friend wanted a placemat for her cat, though. :D