Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Slow and Steady

There are times in sewing where going fast does not pay off.  A few years ago, our Row by Row was Slow and Steady. Ruth designed the row thinking that skillful quilters go slowly and carefully through the process.
The popularity of our new Simply Sixteen long arm quilting machine has made this an important point.  It does apply to all sewing machines. The machine can go really fast; so can a Maserati, but you don’t want to drive it around at 120 mph.  I was quilting using the Pro-Stitcher , and it was taking a long time, so I pushed the speed up. I was so pleased with myself that this was going to just whip through the quilting. But as my block progressed, it was missing all the key places I had lined up. By speeding up, I was not allowing the fabric and batting to return to their place after the needle pushed them out.  Curves and points also begin to pull in at faster speeds.  If you see the top thread pulling the bobbin thread up and in around curves, slow down. On a regular machine, going too fast can distort the fabric when the presser foot and feet dogs push the fabric along for the same reason- it needs a chance to bounce back.

 There are also mechanical reasons for not racing your engine. This is a finely tuned machine we want to last us for years, so we need to treat it gently. I get aggravated at my husband for how many times he gets his oil changed, takes the car in for service etc, but his car is going to last. My little car…probably not since I have only changed the oil once and don’t get that little hesitation checked out.  There is an alarm that goes off when you go faster than the stitch regulator is set for.  At that point, you will lose your even stitches, but you really don’t want to run your machine close to that. 

I used to think it was a compliment when my quilting teacher said,"wow, you sew really fast." Now I know she was trying to tell me to slow down. 

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