My struggles with machine quilting (= more grey hairs)

Last weekend (yes, it’s taken me this long to write about it) I wanted to do lots of machine quilting on the pink quilt, having had the notion I’d like to finish the quilting before I go away the weekend after next (yet another ambition unlikely to be fulfilled, at least whilst keeping a grip on sanity, such as it is). Alas I seem not only to be in less control of the pedal than ever, but the machine is producing stitches of different lengths, some so tiny they’re not much bigger than a pinprick, and really tight. I tried refitting the bobbin like last time, but it hasn’t helped. I read it may be that the quilting foot isn’t compatible, but I don’t want to buy another and have done so much with it already I’ll just have to soldier on. When I’d done a few inches on one row and then saw how bad it was I pulled it out, but could barely get the seam ripper under the stitches. Here are some examples, bearing in mind the one I pulled out was even worse:

I’ve now got so many bad bits, in terms of wonky lines and other things that don’t look good, that I’m having to let go of my more perfectionist tendencies and get used to the idea that it looks like something a 5 year old’s had a go at (probably my sewing machine user age!). I think the most glaring is the pinwheel which I failed to notice didn’t meet the neighbouring square at the right point for the point of the pinwheel to be in the corner of the square. I only realised when I quilted over it and the quilting line was fairly straight but sits about half a centimetre, or more, away  from the central diagonal of the pinwheel. With pink stitching over a plain bright green fabric, this is more than a teensy bit obvious! Another goody is where I lifted the needle to shift a bit of renegade masking tape, and failed to put the needle back in exactly the same spot, which again I didn’t notice until it was too late. Coincidentally, that’s on a pinwheel too! The squares that were meant to be one of the best features are turning into the things that highlight the worst parts.

Last weekend I was almost a gibbering wreck, so must avoid that this weekend and accept I won’t finish it by self-imposed deadline, but will have finished it for when I need it in December, and that it will be distinctly amateurish. At least it’ll be okay from a distance !

The current state of things:

In the last 30 mins of my lunchbreak I am off to find aniseed balls, hooray! Shame I’ve done something to my toe, seem to have crushed it under me at a strange angle whilst hunkering down on a concrete floor labelling manuscripts which were resting on a 2-inch high box in the absence of any better working space, and now can’t bend it and it’s rather sore. This may hamper my aniseed ball hunt, so had best limp off now…

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