Saturday, March 8, 2014

Penelope Day 1 - Again!

You may remember my Not feeling the love post from 6 weeks ago. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Well I've been waiting all this time for the local repair guy to come and take a look at Penelope and see if he could figure why she has been behaving so badly.

Yesterday, just before lunch he called that he was on his way and after a lot of this and that, adjusting and leveling, totally taking apart and reassembling the tension assembly and a bit of other tweaking, he was able to get her working. See!
The tension wasn't perfect but it was pretty close. And the fact that she was actually stitching was more exciting than worrying about a few pokies coming up from the bobbin. Unfortunately right after he left, I had to go pick up the kidlets, get Sunshine to gymnastics and then we all went out to dinner to celebrate the 4th anniversary of her Adoption Day.

This morning after breakfast, I turned the switch on and did a little bit of testing myself. It isn't nearly as smooth and fluid as his stitching was but at least I was stitching. I can see that getting used to this is going to take a lot of practice. Just getting accustomed to the weight and movement of the machine will take some time.
So I advanced the fabric to a totally blank area and began playing, again trying a few different things. The tension is still off and I had some problems with thread breakage, but I got the feel a bit more for the machine and its movements and saw just how really bad my technique currently is.
My brain can see the nice smooth patterns; now I just need to get that translated to my arms and to get better at controlling the machine to produce nice results. As everyone says...Practice, Practice, Practice!

Yesterday he was able to quilt using both the manual mode and with the stitch regulator and today I wasn't able to get the stitch regulator working at all. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or not so all of this play was done in manual mode.

My goal will be to get in some practice time each and every week so that by the time I get to MQX East in 4 weeks, I'll be ready to absorb all that my classes will offer. And then hopefully soon after I'll be able to load my own projects and actually get them quilted...ALL BY MYSELF. (Sorry, I hear that statement a lot from Sunshine). I'm excited about the possibility becoming my future reality.

9 of you added your own colorful comments:

  1. hope the long frustrating wait will turn into lots of practice and happy smiles x

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  2. I think you're doing some great stitching as a newbie. I'm sure you will advance pretty quickly now that the machine has had a check up. Have fun playing!

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  3. Keep at it, does sound like Steve has to still come, but you can get some practice done!! SEW excited for you

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  4. Your practice isn't bad for just starting - you'll get there!! I seriously thought I had made a very expensive mistake when I bought my long arm - even after a few months of daily practice!! It's not only practice, you LITERALLY have to build muscle in your arm that wasn't there before. You're using your arms to move a machine in a way you never have before! I can't wait to hear all about MQX - I didn't make the deadline so I am going to enter my quilt into MQX Midwest (barring it is accepted). Fingers crossed! ;)

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  5. Michele your practice stitches are better than my every day ones! :) blessings, marlene

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  6. Your stitching looks good Michele and that is great that you'll be taking some classes to really learn how to use that machine. I can imagine how frustrating it has been.

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  7. I'm so glad you finally got some assistance with it. Practice, practice, practice!!

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  8. It really won't be long and you'll wonder what the 'fuss' was all about!!! You'll be quilting just like you envision!!! There are many things to get the 'feel' for and having patience with yourself is the hardest part of the process!!! Although I have a fixed mid-arm (Sweet Sixteen), I can relate to the "foreign-ness" of the experience. Muscle-memory/coordination is what's happening so.....practice, practice, practice........hugs....

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