Thursday, April 7, 2011

What a Difference a New Needle Makes

As I said before, when I bought my new baby, I spent over two hours in the store getting to know her. I thought all systems were good to go. As new moms can attest, it does not always go smoothly after you bring that precious baby home. In my case, I took my Lil Sista out of the box, followed all the set-up instructions, wound a bobbin with my favorite thread for piecing ... Aurafil 50/2 ply 100% cotton ... carefully followed the instructions for threading the machine that first time, pulled up the bobbin thread, plugged her in, put her in gear, put the fabric to the feed dogs, pushed the start button and I was off ... to brighter and better quilty days! ... ah ... no ... not quite. When I took those first chain pieced units off and snipped to press ... rut-roh! The bobbin thread was showing on the top and the stitches were a loose mess. Very disappointing.

After a frustrating time of trying to adjust the tension that ended in tears, I switched to a thicker weight thread and was able to get the tension right. I have been using that 35 wt thread for the last month with good results. But ... I really prefered the thinner thread for piecing, though. My seams were nice and flat ... it did not break easily ... and a spool would last almost three months of daily sewing ... in the long run, is less expensive, too.

So I got some help from the lovely quilters on the Janome Yahoo list and they suggested that I needed to get rid of the "universal" needle that the salesman had recommended. After a visit to buy a few different size and types of needles, I felt ready to put it all to the test. I inserted a new Microtex 80/12 sharp needle today, threaded it with my favorite Aurafil thread for piecing. My first run was just random strips from my scrappy strip box. No problems with the tension. Yay!

Then to further test the new set-up, I played around with the stuff in my scrap basket and here is the mug rug size creation of the day. Pretty nice for just checking the tension of the stitches ... ;)

So I am off and running again with my favorite thread. :)

These are the Fruit and Veggie Happy Blocks I stitched up for the next swap on the Scrappy and Happy Group. The theme is summer fruit and veggies with a summer tablecloth border. I am sure hoping to get lucky and win these next month.

I have a few Quilty Auntie Baby Blocks to make and then onto the last Round Robin border I need to complete from last year. This one will have piccies in my blog, since it is not in the non-peekers album. More pictures soon.

I am such a happy quilter again these days. I hear my machine calling ... see you later ... happy stitching! ... :) Pat


  1. Pat, I'm so happy you finally got your problems squared away and can be happy sewing again. You do such LOVELY work! Eager to see pictures when you share them.

  2. Pat, I'm glad all is now well with your new baby, & she likes Aurafil again. I think that is the best thread around.
    Wonderful mug rug & happy blocks. Love the plaid fabric.
    Hugs to you,

  3. gurl, i hear you on that tension mess! with mine, i had to get the thread w8's right. honestly i never thought it would make a difference....WRONG! so glad you baby is in proper working order :) go get your sew on gurl friend!! (ps, LOVE the veggie blox and what a great find in that box of scraps:)

  4. Oh, yay! Wonderful that you figured out the problem. Also, I like that there mug rug. That's quite the scrap basket you have. :)


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