Tools I am blaming you

A good workman never blames her tools right? Well that makes me a bad workman but I was right, it was all the tool's fault! I have been working on the piece above for a while and whilst I am really pleased with the quilt top the quilting has had me flummoxed. The design of the quilting (the stitch and not the pieced fabric top) is a huge part of my work. Generally I make whole cloth quilts where there is no piecing of fabric on the top, instead I use just white fabric and my designs are built through the quilting. Trying to reconcile that approach with this pieced top has been a struggle. A struggle which was not helped by how badly the fabric kept moving about while I quilted. Then last week my sewing machine took a violent dislike to this quilt and the stitches went CRAZY.

Jumping stitches, slipping fabric, followed by breaking 5 needles. Yes you read that right five. It was the fifth needle breakage when I started to suspect my sewing machine foot was the issue. And here is where I am starting to blame my tools. It seems that this quilt has been cursed by my walking foot. I'm not sure how but it has become a bit deformed and skewed. The foot doesn't line up with the needle so it strikes the metal of the foot and not the proper hole. Also the walkingness isn't so much walking as limping hence the fabric slippage. A quick ebay purchase and five days later - success! The quilt is coming together at last.

An unexpected side effect is that my new foot is a tiny bit off centre. By tiny I mean really tiny, the needle sits maybe 1-1.5mm to the right of the centre. Not a lot I hear you think but for me this is massive.

I am not a big fan of measuring, my quilts are done in human proportions. The grids of my quilts such as Called Control are based on the width of my sewing machine foot, the size of my lap quilts is defined by the width of the fabric I have. This disregarding of both the metric and imperial system isn't a conscious attempt to be obtuse but more indicative of my instinctive approach to making. I'm just starting a new densely gridded piece, so the change in being able to use my foot as an easy guide is a challenge. I'm having to concentrate a lot more, but this more mindful approach is starting to click.

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