Monday, 11 March 2013


Well this weekend I have to give Hortense my long arm machine a pat on the back.  In spite of my errors she did an excellent job on a small wall hanging.    The spring colours of the hanging will give a bright spot in the kitchen.   I was trying out the software for Hortense and a finer thread from Aurifil.  The software is really nifty and the thread is lovely.

But my errors were the same one repeated multiple times and a pretty basic one at that.  I threaded the machine and the thread broke.  I adjusted the tension and rethreaded and the thread broke.  I repeated this.  I won't say how many times.  It was not like I had not done this before many times.   In defense of my stupidity I am half way between cataract surgeries and my sight is still a bit restricted with fine things.  After some repeats and adjustment of the tension I had a look at the bobbin. Fine.  Ok.  This is not going to defeat me.  But what had I done to the top tension?  And what about my body and mind tension.  Then I had to laugh.  Here I was talking to a machine which could only talk back by breaking the thread.  But that is quite a talk back.  It certainly stops all progress. Does this remind of the toddler who you want to do something like eat and all they say is NO!!

So back to rethreading.  The Aurifil is 50 weight and the same colour as the machine.  So start from the beginning; one do each step and check; two pull the thread to be certain it is not caught which it was around the front of the tension disks; three cut off the long thread that can get caught and lastly thread and put the foot down and pull to be sure it is actually going to feed thread.  It worked.  I adjusted the tension back and hoped for the best.    I think in future when threading fine thread that is the same colour as the body of the machine I will take a quilt marking pen and colour the tail of the thread so it is easily seen against the machine.  With such a big machine the thread course is like a very intricate obstacle course with many hurdles to go over before going on to the next one.  But the result is very nice.

Hortense then behaved like a lady.  She stopped and started her robotic self where asked to by the software designs I had made.  She allowed me to test the designs to make sure of fit on the area of the quilt without stitching.  Her tension was like mine was after laughing i.e. spot on.

In the end it was fun.  The software had allowed me to make a design for the body of the quilt of the outline of the kettles and teapots in the fabric.  It makes a change from standard quilting designs.  Three alternating rows was just enough.  

So laugh with me or at me but laugh.  Sometimes we take the simplest and most basic things for granted and are sure we are right. Well sometimes we are not.  Our certainty can be our downfall.  And each and every day and every event can be one of learning.

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