Once again the National Day of Calendar gave me the opportunity to talk about what I want. I finished this t-shirt quilt yesterday. It is my great-niece’s high school graduation gift. It fits nicely into this blog post because I had to thread and rethread the needle on my new mid-arm quilting machine (still free-motion) because it was skipping stitches and the thread kept breaking.
I have a lot of experience with sewing machines and the first thing you check when your machine is skipping stitches is your needle size and whether it is inserted all the way. Neither of those seemed to be the problem. I threaded and rethreaded countless times, and even called my old boss, the owner of a quilt shop, and picked her brain. I was ready to use one of my other machines to finish the project but decided to check one more thing.
In the box of goodies that came with the machine there were complimentary packs of needles. Low and behold, two of them were like the needles I already owned, but the third had a different style number. I got a needle of the same size out of the two different style packs. Sure enough, the style that was new to me, was about an eighth of an inch longer than the one I had been using, with a noticeable longer scarf (the indented area above the eye). I replaced the needle in the machine with the new style, and happily, my skipped stitches problem evaporated.
Sewing machines have their own idiosyncrasies. Sometimes learning them is harder than making the project you have chosen. I’m wondering why the place I bought my mid-arm gave me two different styles of needles. Now I know what style is the correct style to use, I will buy more of them to have on hand. They are a specialty needle so it will be fun to look for them as I visit quilt shop after quilt shop; because that’s what quilters do.
Next time I use my mid-arm, I am quite certain I won’t have to repeatedly thread the needle.