Adventures in machine quilting... sort of.

So, as those of you who occasionally read my blogs know, I got a new Grace frame with a new Juki machine. Today was the trial run. I attached the cloth leaders (ouch the tips of my fingers are still sore from doing that). I turned on the machine and immediately broke the little piece that threads it for you. I have some serious talent, truly. I wound bobbins, I threaded the machine.. incorrectly the first two times then I figured out why it kept breaking. I attached a cute little baby quilt and got started.

And then that's when the real trouble started. Apparently when you have the feed dogs down, you have to start moving the machine right away or it bundles up a truck load of thread up around the feed dogs and pretty much anything else it can wrap around and if the speed control is up on high instead of on low, this takes approximately 5 seconds.

I am now familiar with the inner workings of the new Juki, after removing the sole plate and the feed dogs, I was able to unwind that truckload of thread and try again. This time, the bobbin was not fully in place (pet peeve note, it is a bit difficult to get the bobbin in and out, though extremely easy to thread the bobbins, ya win some ya lose some) So, unwind another ball of thread, though not nearly as severe this time. Thank goodness my serger came with a set of super long tweezers.

Finally!, I can start quilting. Nope, wrong.. forgot the side bungees still in their wrappers. Attach those and try again. Sewing right along completely unaware that the bobbin thread has done that half unthread thing and so I'm getting nice little bundles of thread under the quilt. Stop, fix, try again. Turn the speed up just a bit, my swirls and curlicues are lovely..the machine falls off the track. I SWEAR I leveled that thing. I do so once again, and clean and oil the rollers.

Time to try again. It's all good now. I stitch along beautifully, something is wrong with the thread again, the needle breaks, can't move the machine the bottom layer of the quilt is trapped.

It's definitely lunch time. Tomorrow is another day and this little baby quilt is not giving it's life for nothing. I will get machine, frame and myself working properly in tandem after I'm no longer so annoyed I'm ready to take a hammer to the works. On the plus side, what I did get sewn properly has beautiful even stitching. It's time for ice cream and a movie.

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Comment by viki hagan on September 21, 2012 at 12:26pm

pat, that would make sense or's really a pretty basic machine, no bells and whistles. But I might do that to see if there are any tips. I'm going to take today off and go buy me a new tv. I told the bf I needed one and he said, get some money friday and go get one... since he's paying, I'm going shopping, lol.

Comment by patbruck on September 21, 2012 at 12:18pm

Viki,have you gone to utube videos to see what your machine does?

Comment by viki hagan on September 21, 2012 at 12:04pm

Riana, yes I definitely need a seat to rest while I argue with the machine...but I'm hoping I was just having a bad day and now the problems are behind me. I'll have to measure the throat space, it's not as much as a 'true' longarm machine, though there is plenty of room.

rogue..I think we should just go ahead and get that party started.

Comment by Riana Noyes on September 20, 2012 at 10:04pm

Just much room in the throat of the Juki? Also ,it may be a good idea to put a barstool (  if you have one)near your rig to give you a place to perch &rest your legs between "bouts". 

Comment by rogue quilter Queen of the WIVSP on September 20, 2012 at 8:08pm
we'll all come sit w ya and sing bawdy songs! by the time we're done, you won't mind those truckloads of thread bundles.... and, hey, we all got trucks, so no problem! right? right.
Comment by viki hagan on September 20, 2012 at 8:00pm

lol.. thanks ladies, I may need the alcohol and drugs tomorrow after I try again.

Comment by rogue quilter Queen of the WIVSP on September 20, 2012 at 7:54pm
well, carla, i did put some dark rum in w the cherries etc when i chopped them up....d'ya think that would help with the bourbon & zanax?

doan ya worry none viki, we got the chocolate, spirits and all the help friends. can give. we'll get ya thru this!! yeah you betcha!
Comment by Ethelda Hillsman on September 20, 2012 at 7:28pm

Vicki, I admire you persistance. I would have had some ice cream and a big piece of dark chocolate! lololo

Comment by carla j walton on September 20, 2012 at 7:24pm

i would have had to pour bourbon on that ice cream and put zanax sprinkles on it. whew!!! that's a ruff day.

Comment by viki hagan on September 20, 2012 at 7:09pm

uhmmmm... because I wasn't smart enough to make a test quilt? lol that would have made sense or something

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