Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quilting is strenuous business

Yep. I'm doing a lot of "still" today.

My back (wrenched during the strenous task of pulling laundry out of the drier) was improving, until I got careless while tidying my studio. My portable Juki machine is rather heavy (have you ever considered the idea that ANYthing is "portable" if you're strong enough to lift it?) and I discovered that lifting it to turn it over and eventually put it in its handy case was perhaps a bit much.

But the activities resulting in the need to turn the Juki upside down were interesting. Inexplicably, while doing the last free-motion quilting on a comfort quilt, the needle broke and I was unable to find the end of the needle. Hmmm. I pulled the bobbin out and undid all the screws to open the throat plate and dusted and even used the miracle magnet wand thingy that I love, but no needle-end appeared. I felt carefully around the quilt in case it was embedded, but no, it wasn't there.

I did, however, find a PIN sewn INTO the quilt, which I've never, ever done. That I know of. See? There's a reason not to pin seams.

So, after the long process of pin-extraction, and a bit of sewing to repair the hole I made to extract the pin, I gave up hunting for the needle end and figured it'd been disposed of in a ball of lint.

I proceeded to make the binding...but when I went to sew the binding on the now pin-free quilt, I found that the lever for raising the feed dogs back up was STUCK. Unmovable. Hmm, maybe that's where that needle end went?

With a bit of internet research, I discovered that the sticking-of-the-feed-dog-lever is is not an uncommon problem on certain machines. I found photos showing how to remove the bottom of my machine and shift the lever-part back into place so it'd work.

Which explains why I was hefting the machine upside down.

I unscrewed the various screws holding the bottom in place, and found the needle end rattling harmlessly around under the machine. Phew. And, gingerly removing one more screw, I was able to fix the machine lever thingie.

Using tools and fixing stuff is so empowering. I am woman, hear me roar. From a sitting position, that is.


Adrienne said...

"There's a reason not to pin seams." I second that! Plus, when friends see me sew and notice that I dont bother to pin some seams, they just think I am "that good" haha :O)

Lily said...


And yay to the internet for helping we wise women fix our own machines!!

Shelina said...

So glad you were able to fix your machine - hope you feel better soon.

Michelle said... I'm about 5 years late on commenting, but I just wanted to say that I quilted a pin into a quilt once and I held onto the pin tightly and pulled the head off the pin, then I pulled the pin out. I have a Hinterberg frame too, and a Juki TL-98E.