Just Step away from the Sewing Machine

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems or seams to be going right? Today is one of those days. It was supposed to be a simple day – piece a backing and load the quilt onto my longarm. Piecing should have taken me about 10 minutes to sew to pieces of fabric together….

I carefully folded my piece of backing fabric in half, so I could cut it in half. Then, I trimmed of the selvage. I picked up the fabric, sewed it together and ironed the seam open. It all seemed to be going well, when I realized the I had sewn the wrong ends of the fabric together. Instead of a nice square backing, I had a really long backing – almost like the piece I started with!

Right then, I should have known to stop, but I was determined not to let one small mistake stop me. I ripped the seam out and tried again. I was successful, kind of… That is when I realized the quilt back looked a little small. Being a conservative quilter, I laid the quilt back on the floor and placed the quilt top over it. Sure enough, I was about five inches shy on the twin sized backing. What to do???

Thankfully, I typically buy extra fabric for occasions such as this. I had an extra 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric. If I cut the fabric in half lengthwise, and pieced it side by size, I would have an extra 18 inches at the right width. If I put it in the middle, it would be a decorative touch and no one would be the wiser (unless they read this post). That would work and give me a little wiggle room. Perfect. I cut as described and tentatively went to the sewing machine. I would love to blame the machine for the previous oops, but this was simply user error. I put the fabric on the machine and began to sew.

When I finished piecing together my extra fabric, when I realized that I did not put right sides together. I had one right side to one wrong side That would be perfect if I were doing an applique, but not for piecing. So I went back to the seam ripper. We were now on a first name basis – his name is Jack! I quickly corrected the mistake and the insert was ready. One minor technicality, I would have to rip out the first seam I made in order to insert the additional fabric. Back to Jack…

Now, I was ready to insert the additional fabric. The first seam went well. Things were beginning to look up. The second seam was interrupted, when the bobbin ran out. It was a good thing, because that is when I saw the second seam didn’t have a proper 1/4 inch. It would rip out by itself if I didn’t fix it. I resign to resew it with a 1/2 inch seam, which is probably better for a backing anyways. I try to wind the bobbin, but it isn’t going as planned. The bobbin won’t wind because the thread in the machine was tangled. I untangled it, loaded the bobbin and put the bobbin in the machine.

With the fabric in place, I started stitching – or not! My machine gives me an error message that the there is thread caught under the plate. Alrighty then, I take the machine apart and cleaning it out. Today is definitely not going as planned. I should have walked away from the machine when this first started, but I was determined to get this done!

After I cleaned the machine, I said a little prayer and started stitching again. I set the fabric at 1/2 inch and started stitching the second seam again, Or so I thought. Turns out, I was stitching the first seam again. I took a deep breath finished the first seam again and then successfully finished the second seam as well. I pressed the seams and checked the length – it was perfect. Three hours from the time I started, I had my backing loaded onto the longarm.

This series of mistake could have resulted in a bit of cursing. I may have been cursing if this was cutting. I would have stopped much earlier as that would have cost me valuable fabric. In this case, the mistakes just gave me some unplanned quality time with Jack.

So dear readers, when would you have just walked away from the machine?

Laureen

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