So I almost quit quilting yesterday. Like completely. Like the day got so frustrating (and I’m thinking 105-degree temperatures weren’t helping) that I couldn’t see being a quilter any more. Which is funny, because I got the whole quilt ironed down and I think it looks pretty good…so that’s just lame. But I was so frustrated with machines. And electricity. And motors.
So my machine was acting up a couple of weeks ago, and I just took it in this week to be cleaned (late…I usually do it once a year, and I was about four months late). I told him about the issue, and he determined the drive belt was loose and tightened it, no problem. I picked it up Wednesday.
So I finished ironing the hair yesterday morning…
And then I had to piece the background…so I set everything up, ironed the fabric, and sat down to sew…and I got about 10 inches down the seam, and the needle froze and vibrated again, just like last time. Fucker. Dammit. I stared at it for a while (brain works slow in heat). Restarted everything, and it sewed the rest of the seam. Damn. What am I going to do? I know I want to sew for hours over the weekend, but I’m not going to be able to if it keeps doing that. I don’t want to wait until Monday for him to try to fix it, so I call. How fast can you be there? Fifteen minutes.
Well of course we can’t reproduce it…probably because he has air conditioning and I don’t. But he says he’ll work on it later, after the AC goes off, and see if he can get it to do it again. He does notice the fly wheel getting tighter, which is the other thing I told him.
So he keeps it. OK. I got this. Think about where you put the old machine. I checked one closet. Not there. Garage? Yeah probably. Takes about 10 minutes, but I find it. Bring it back up, plug it in, light works. Well that’s good. Then I spend 30 frustrating minutes trying to find and then put on the foot I use for quilting. It’s funny, because it really is only the last two minutes that count. I must have been doing it wrong the rest of the time. But just as I’m finishing up screwing the foot in, I hear crackling noises and smell burning plastic. Oh crap. I pull the plugs, but there’s already smoke coming out of the back of the machine. Killed it.
I did manage to iron the whole quilt together before I burned out the 6460.
Bloody hell. Machine circa 1977, used to be my workhorse of choice until about three or four years ago. I think only the girlchild has used it in those years. Burned it out. Don’t even know how or why. So I sit there, smelling plastic fumes for about 10 minutes.
Call mom. Mom has machines. So she offers me a Pfaff, but has no free-motion foot. Maybe the Viking foot will work? Nope. Call Jimmy, and he says nope (Jimmy’s the sewing machine guy). Mom says she’s bringing over her Epic. Well that’s what the girlchild and Simba have to say about that…
So this thing is a beast. But it has a lovely large harp (the space between the needle and the right side of the machine. Now I’m sure this is a lovely machine. She shows me how to thread it etc, but it’s got a computer glitch at the moment.
It’s convinced that I have a straight-stitch plate in there, so it won’t let me zigzag. I need to zigzag. I really need to zigzag. It won’t let me zigzag unless I take the plate out and mess with the computer-y bits until it gets tricked into thinking that I switched the plate (I didn’t) so it can try to sew zigzag. But then if anything goes wrong (thread issue, whatever), it resets into straight-stitch-plate mode and I have to go through the whole remove-the-plate, fuck-with-the-computer-y-bits thing again until it wants to let me sew.
I do that seven times. And then I leave the room. I turn the lights out so I’m not wasting electricity, and I go sit in front of the fan on the couch and consider becoming a painter. Or a sculptor. Bronze I’m thinking. Or anything that doesn’t require electricity or a motor or thread or any of that shit.
Yeah. It was a frustrating day. So I pull the sketchbook out. If I can’t sew until I get my machine back, then I can draw the next quilt and get started on Wonder Under for it, right? Oh my. Sketchbook is evil and steals my brain (at this point, it’s after 8 PM and still over 90 degrees, and my brain is fried). I realize I already did this drawing and it’s pretty reasonable. It needs stuff and it’s small, but if I enlarge it, I think I can make it work.
I go to Fed Ex at 8:57 PM. Boychild is a little surprised, but hey, this is how I roll. Fed Ex is delightfully air-conditioned. I should admit that I had problems with the damn copy machine too…it wouldn’t fucking GO a few times until I banged on the Start button about 7 times. Maybe I should stay away from technology completely.
I copy the original at 300% (it was pretty small to start)…but when I get home, I can’t handle anything until I have some tea (I realize in the heat that I wasn’t drinking caffeine, and that would explain the headache) and a big glass of water. Then my brain wanders back and admits it can tape stuff together. So I do that.
I also email a friend of mine who has the same machine I do. My original. She also has a 6460, but I don’t want to kill another one of those. She’s not sewing much, and I pick it up from her this morning. So. (Kathy looks up at the Goddess…yo! Hey! Can I have a high 5 or something? I troubleshot. I improvised. I used all my resources. I did not give up and move into a convent. Can the rest be trouble-free please? Seriously?)
We’ll see how it goes. I have hope.