Have any of you ever seen a Western Melodrama? In my hometown back when I was in high school, they had a drama society which would stage them each year. They all have charming names, such as "Pelican Pete's Amazing Feat" and then a subtitle, such as I have used for this blog post. Melodramas have a heroine and as she appears, the audience sighs, "awwww," and when the hero is on stage, everyone cheers. The villain is always fun as he is booed and hissed at and the audience also throws peanuts at him. The are great fun to watch!
I thought I would name this blog post as if it was a melodrama because, as you know, I've already had some melodrama with making my Clover Schnibble, and it continued. However, the "heroine" (the quilt) was saved by the "hero" (my new friend) and the "villain" (the curse) was vanquished!
About my friend... I first need to share a bit of background. I love, love, love my Bernina and the way it sews and "feels." It is a 1080 and there is a bit of a cult following for the 1080/1090 by their owners. Bonnie Hunter had one that she plum wore out a couple years ago and she was broken-hearted about it. When it happened, I remember thinking "what am I going to do if I lose my baby?" About that time, I decided I wanted a smaller machine to take to bees, etc. and also to have so I could still sew when my Bernina was in the shop. I got a Janome Jem, and it is "okay" but doesn't feel like my Bernina. It feels a bit stiff and slow in comparison.
Last summer, a shop down in Virginia Beach began carrying Jukis. I have read about Jukis in the blog world, and so I wanted to check them out. A few months ago, I sat down to one and fell in love! The power! The speed! The way it sews! I was truly smitten. I wanted one! But, I had a little chat with myself with the gist of it being that I already have 2 great machines and I really don't need another. I managed to walk out of the shop without one.
Several weeks later, the topic came up at our Bee. One of the other ladies mentioned that she had a Juki that she bought and never took out of the box and if I was interested, she would sell it to me. Again I was tempted, but again I said no. And then my Bernina went away for its adjustment (for 2 whole weeks!) I caved. I emailed her and she named the price and I accepted. It was a very good deal: I got a new machine for a "used" price.
I brought it home Wednesday evening, but was unable to try it until Friday morning. I wanted to read the manual first and I had some busy days, but when I tried it on Friday, I was so thrilled with it!
It is a Juki TL-98Q
I spent Friday morning oiling it (the directions say to oil it everyday!) and then learning and practicing. I will use this mostly for machine quilting. I practiced free-motioning for a while until I was confident I could control the speed. Then I picked up Clover so I could finish it.
Remember that I had begun to quilt it with my Bernina. Plan A was to quilt it with a serpentine stitch along all the diagonal seams. I did two complete ones and then looked at the back and it had pleated the backing! So ripped all of that out. Next I fell back on just doing a free motion meander over the whole thing, but that was when the Bernina started skipping stitches, so I ripped quite a bit of that out. Now I was finally going to finish it on the Juki! I put it under the machine and quilted away. When I had gotten a nice chunk done, I stopped to rearrange it and smooth it out, as I periodically do while FMQing. Only the left edge wouldn't straighten out! What on earth? I looked underneath and couldn't believe it! I had quilted it in half! Instead of quilting through 3 layers, I did 6! Because the Juki is so powerful, and I still don't know the "feel" of it, I hadn't even noticed! That is how powerful this machine is! So I had to rip all of that quilting out. I got going again and it was all going great and then I noticed that the backing along one side had gotten turned under and I quilted over it, so I needed more ripping. I have never ripped out so much machine quilting ever! I'm just about convinced that naming this project after a seam ripper has "borrowed trouble" so to speak, and created a curse! Finally, though, I finished the quilting, and got the binding on and it is finished. Whew!!
I had told myself that I couldn't begin on the new Schnibble until this one was complete. When I saw the selected pattern for next time, I immediately got a great idea and I couldn't wait to get started on it, and indeed, once this was finished on Saturday I plunged right in on the new one.
As many of you know, while quilting I like to listen to audiobooks. I have a new favorite! Do any of you "know" Flavia DeLuce? She is the 11 year old protagonist in a series of books by Alan Bradley which begin with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
The books are set in England in 1950 and are mysteries. The character development is wonderful. My favorite part? The writer knows a lot of facts and the reader/listener can learn many tidbits about music, literature, and chemistry (in particular--poisons!) in a fun way. I'm nearly finished with the second one and plan to stop at the library today to see if the next one is "in."
I have a really busy week! There is something going on every day. I won't be posting tomorrow--it is election day and I'm working. It will be an early morning! I have to be there at 4:45 AM.
Have a great day!