...guess I'm missing something borrowed?
Last weekend I got off to a great start with my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. Though I'll be honest, I truly struggled with whether I wanted to continue this quilt. I know it's going to be amazing in the end, but the blocks are all strange, the template sewing is going not so well and after just one month, I'm not very excited about it any more. Usually my interest doesn't drop off this quickly and I'm not sure if the blue squirrel last month killed it or what, but I talked myself into just doing it.
So I made the first block in purple, #10 forest park:
Not perfect, but I'm still struggling with the template piecing, but I think it's okay enough.
This will also forever be known as the block that forever broke my trusty sewing machine. About halfway through the last seam it just stopped. I tried to turn the hand crank and it would barely move. I figured there were threads jammed up somewhere and pulled the block out. Took out the bobbin. Took out the top thread. Still little to no movement.
Take off the plate covering the bobbin case. No obvious problems.
Well, let's see if we can take off the plastic cover. If it's broken, it can't be made any more broken, right? The hubby came to help - he heard the naughty words emanating from the sewing room and knew he was probably needed.
Ever wonder what the inside of your sewing machine looks like?
It did not catch fire, as my mom thought. There was just a LOT of lint in there, in places you'd never be able to clean without actually taking it apart like this.
We cranked on the hand wheel until it popped off a dozen or more times. Still little movement. We looked and looked for a thread snarl or something. There is nothing obvious. The wheel that goes over the hand crank to make it look tidy is now stripped.
I purchased this machine maybe 10 years ago for less than $200. It's been a wonderful machine. Sadly, Brother no longer makes this model. So I downgraded. No, seriously. I want something that sews straight and has no computer. Do you know that's not so easy to find? I bought a fairly basic model, but it's not the lowest of the low, as I wanted one that had an adjustable stitch length (paper piecing ya'll!). It cost less than $100. (I also wanted another Brother so my walking foot and such would be compatible.)
And look, it's purple! Perfect for our color of the month! I joke that I've named it "Not Broken" but right now it's being called "what the heck is wrong with the tension that every seam comes out just a touch puckered?"... (I'm going to pull out the bobbin case next time I get into the sewing room and adjust the tension there because the top tension is about maxed out and since thread pokies are on the back, that tells me my top tension is too loose. So if I loosen my bottom tension that's kinda the same as tightening the top, right? One can hope...)
But not to be deterred, and I had to sew something to decide if I actually even like this machine...
On to block #11, clock tower.
It's this wonky in person. I used templates and have no idea what's going on. I'm hoping I can ease it and the pattern has sashing between all blocks, so maybe it will be okay? Maybe it's the new sewing machine's fault?!
Not to be deterred, the next few blocks looked easier, so I forged on. I'm not going to get that tension straightened out by worrying about it, right? Sew!
Much nicer, but the puckering became more obvious with the strip piecing I had to do here. But as you can see, you can't see the puckering. You can run your fingers along the seam and it straightens some. Also pressing helps. But that's not fixing and how are longer seams going to look...
Onward...block #13 parking garage:
This one is not as wonky in person. It didn't want to lay quite flat (some of those pieces finished at 1/2"!) and I just said whatever. Again adjusting the tension and getting it better, but not perfect yet.
Next up, block #14, airport
This block was quite wasteful, as you create a rectangle and then chop a diagonal rectangle out of that. I failed to center it quite right, but we're calling it good. Again more tension adjustments, but also a bonus project...
A tiny pincushion! (measured 3.5" before sewing and filling) I love that the word iron is centered there. That was nowhere near on purpose!
And finally, block #15, skyline:
At this point it was getting late and I was getting fed up with tension issues. Every adjustment seemed to produce no change and I knew it was time to quit. Or throw the new machine off the roof.
Since finishing this block Sunday, I haven't touched my sewing machine. That tension issue has me frustrated. It's sucking my sewing mojo right out of me. What if it never gets adjusted right? Can I live with this? Maybe I should take my old machine to someone who repairs them and hope they don't laugh at me because it will cost more for their hourly fees to work on it than it cost to purchase.
I feel lucky that I don't have a pricey machine. I've had friends debating whether to spend $2000 on a new motherboard for their machine or spend $4000 on a whole new one. (I try to hold my jaw up off the floor when they talk like that so they don't see my disbelief.) I feel lucky that I live close enough to a store that sells inexpensive machines that I like (or, well, liked the last two) so I can just stop by and pick one up. I feel lucky that my hubby and I are financially in a place that I can just replace a machine, even if it's not an expensive one, when it quits.
But I don't like change.
It's inevitable, but I think with all sorts of crazy going on at work (change, change, change, change, change, change, change), this is just the last straw. And I think that's causing my lack of sewing mojo and my lack of interest in figuring this out and my general apathy towards sewing this week.
But hey, let's look at a photo of all the purple stuff together! Because it's Friday and my hubby has to work this weekend, so I'll be able to sew all I want!
See I'm also working on the tiny stars? More leader-enders there!
And only three more blocks to go for purple. They're the largest ones, and there are some templates involved, but I keep telling myself I'll get better if I do it more. Maybe I'm right? (But I do know for sure that templates are NOT my strength and will not be something I choose on purpose for future projects!)
I did do a little other sewing, but have no photo. I'm working on the Bird Seeds quilt by Tula Pink and last summer made all the "birds" but stalled out on the "seeds"...I sewed four more "seeds" last night. I made a goal to do two per week and I haven't done my allotment for this week yet, but I'll get there. It's a pretty awesome quilt, so I'm going to enjoy making it and not rush. (Ha ha ha...that's how you say procrastinate in a really sly way!)
In other news, we got about 43 inches of snow today. Okay, really, more like 6. But it started about an hour or two before I had to go to work and quit an hour or two after I got home. Not funny, Mother Nature. Our driveway plow hadn't been here when I got home from work, so I gunned my little station wagon over the street-plow hump and snow drifted down into my garage. The hubby had used his tire tracks (all wheel drive on that baby - my next car, man, my next car!) as guides and shoveled a half-path down to help, but the 90 degree turn at the end to go into the garage I went a little sideways. Totally under control and on purpose to keep momentum, but the traction system was beeping and flashing and trying to not give me power to the wheels. (Apparently traction control does not like you to attempt donuts...not in your driveway, not in the intersection near your house...no fun at all, this little car...but at least I wasn't stuck in my driveway like before I got good winter tires! And hey, little car has an awesome sound system, so you can totally thump the ground while sitting at intersections and make the young kid next to you wonder what that "old lady" is doing listening to music like THAT?! (but really, even turning Mozart that loud you can sometimes get a thump...I was listening to Imagine Dragons, tho)) Anyways, safely to work and safely home and now that the snow has ended and the street plows can catch up and the driveway plow has been here (I beat him by about 30 minutes), I have nowhere to go. To bad, so sad, guess I'll go sew!
PS The other projects (UFO Challenge, Philip's quilt) are also on the list for this month still, but I feel like the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is the least fun and hardest, so if I get it out of the way first, it's all downhill from there! So maybe with only three blocks to go on the RSC, I'll get some UFO sewing done this weekend?