Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Giveaway

And this one is a beautiful bandana blanket by Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda. It's part of a tutorial for how to make your own, which I would try myself if I hadn't broken the needle on my sewing machine yesterday. Twenty minutes to check the threading and twenty seconds to bend (then break) the needle, don't know what I did wrong or how to take the needle out. This is why I don't sew. Anyway, leave a comment to win the one she made, or make one of your own. Or both, which is what I intend to do. Some day.


Michelle said...

I generally find that needles break when either it is no longer sharp, or when the fabric is too thick for the needle. Needles have different gauges for different fabrics, so you just might need to buy something heavier duty. The packages will tell you which needle to sue for which fabric. You won't want to use something designed for denim with a silky fabric because it will damage the fabric, but usually I opt for heavier duty just to avoid breakage. And I keep a stash on hand, because some fabrics, no matter what, will tend to break needles. Each machine is different, but most have a screw or some other device that turns to hold the needle in place. Loosen it, and the needle will come out. Needles have a flat side, which points to the back, so notice that when you put the new one in.

Nicole Stallworth said...

Thanks for jumping in, Michelle...I was thinking that I didn't have the foot in the right position, or the material was too thick--the fabric is not, but it was perhaps layered awkwardly. And I saw the screw but it doesn't give easily; I'm a little afraid of breaking it in my uncertainty. Oh, and the tension was almost certainly off. I have had four people try to show me how to work a machine, and I think it's just time for a class where I have somebody at my elbow correcting my mistakes rather than a "lesson" where someone shows me by doing it all himself. I've never spent more than 10 minutes in front of a machine (actually operating it).

Michelle said...

A class would be great. I took home-ec way back in middle school, and am so grateful for those lessons. When I got my machine about 10 years ago, I could have had free lessons, but I had a bunch of little children and just didn't think I could commit. There are so many things that I don't really know how to do - blind hems on pants for one - that I hope someday to learn, one way or another. You Tube is also good for at home lessons. My daughter and I were watching one on quilting, and I said, "Look, she folded her fabric in half before cutting it so it actually fits on her table." I had been struggling with cutting 44" wide fabric into 2 1/2" strips, and it's pretty tedious when only half the fabric fits on your cutting surface. Things like that are demonstrated in classes all the time. Don't know why I didn't think of it, except lack of experience. One other thing to check is that your bobbin is threaded correctly. It actually does matter if the thread is spinning one way or the other, and frequent bunching on the underside of the fabric is a clue that you did it wrong (it took me years to learn that!). And for any learning, the Army has a term: left-seat/right-seat. This means first you watch someone who knows what they're doing, then they watch YOU and correct mistakes. That part of having an expert watch you is the part left off most often when someone shows you how, but I think that's where the most learning occurs. We learn by doing.

Nicole Stallworth said...

Exactly! I need some time in the right seat, then, right?


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