Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quilting with Invisible Thread

 First off, a huge Mahalo to Julia and Janyce for all their encouragement and tips as I struggled with this thread.  I would've given up without you guys!

It's a pain.  After a few hours of fiddling with tension, changing needles, varying spool pins, trying a few different brands of invisible thread and playing around with my BSR foot, I finally got it... maybe.  Okay... I'm not so good at it yet, but I'm learning.  Here's what it looked like at the end of day 1.

Here's some creative threading...  If you look carefully, you can see that I completely bypassed the tension discs.  The thread is running across the front of my machine.  It left a mess on the backing, but at least I got it sewing. 
I gave up pulling out the threads to start over but had to stop doing that as the appliques were getting a bit frayed.  Here's the mess on the backing that I finally decided to live with.  
I've discovered that all I really need to do is sew faster.  Oh yes,  there are a few adjustments I had to make with the tension (like bypassing it completely), and I do keep my spool in a coffee cup with a thread net around it.  I used my BSR foot UNplugged, so I'd be able to use the clear plastic foot.  Need to be able to see what I'm doing y'know.  And overall, the stitching is decent.  I'm not good at it yet, so my stitches are uneven (which is something the BSR would've solved if I had been able to make it work).  But it's finicky thread and I just wanted to do SOMETHING....

So I enjoyed sewing for the rest of the day, got a few blocks nicely quilted and quit for the day.  Looking good eh? 


Then I tried again later...  And darn if I'm not having the same problems. I did the same thing, had the exact same settings, and still there's a mess of thread underneath. Everytime I changed direction, I heard SCRUNCH.......;WRRR.........WHIIRRRR... So I had to stop and found a mess of thread tangled up in the machine.  So this time, I thought maybe it's being finicky about the foot.  I removed the BSR and used my free motion quilting foot.  Unfortunately, I don't have one with good visibility yet,  (NOTE to self:  GET FOOT #24).  But again, darn if I'm gonna stop now that it's working again. 

Here's a pic of what was happening.  Again, I couldn't keep pulling out thread because the appliques were getting a bit frayed. So I left this mess and decided to go on. 

Eventually I got it working again and managed to finish the rest of the blocks without much incident over the next few days.  It appears the problem was with the foot.  I have no idea why I can't use the BSR unplugged, but it doesn't work like that.  I used my Foot 27,  free motion quilting foot with the teardrop opening.  It worked well... forward, sidewards and backward.

I'll post pics of the finished ones later... maybe even back AND front views.

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