A few skipped stitches...

...is apparently enough to turn me into a cursing sailor. I spit out quite the slew of expletives yesterday, as I attempted to use my Sapphire for some simple piecing. It was as though the top thread tension would get weird and off every 5" or 6", although the bobbin thread tension was completely unaffected. New needles, new thread, new bobbins, re-threading, de-linting, I tried a bunch of things to fix it, to no avail. Thankfully, my dealer was very supportive and has taken it in for servicing free of charge, since it just came back from a service with a clean bill of health. Hopefully it will come back to me, in one piece and functioning, shortly.

Wtf, sapphire??? I've changed the needle, the thread, the bobbin, even the fabric I'm sewing with, and every six our seven inches of stitching i do, i get one our two of these poor stitches. Thoughts??

In the meantime, I've been pressing and cutting like a machine, getting a couple of new projects started. One of them is a new Hip to Be Square quilt, for the pattern that I'll be releasing later this year. This quilt pattern was originally in an issue of Quiltmaker back in the beginning of 2012, and makes for a fun repeat as you put blocks together. This new Hip to Be Square quilt will be featuring one of my current favorite fabric lines, Patty Young's Textured Basics. These prints are so darned vibrant and perfect for stash building!

I also cut into a fun mish-mash stack of Art Gallery prints this week, whilst watching this weekend's episode of Downton Abbey. I ultimately had to put the iron and rotary cutter down and get a box of tissues. Talk about heart-wrenching! Fortunately, I had these lovely fabrics to cheer me up afterward.

I've still got one more stack of fabric to cut into, but first, I need to work on oodles of Art Gallery HSTs. I've promised myself I can press and cut more fabric after I finish all 320 HSTs for this quilt I'm working on. I'm finding that more and more, I'm actually enjoying pressing and cutting, which is funny, because I used to hate that part. I wanted to just hurry up and get to the piecing, but these days, I'm enjoying having some quality time with my fabric and my iron before I cut it all up.

Stay tuned on Friday - I was planning on sharing an FMQ tutorial, but after my Sapphire drama, we'll have to see whether or not I can get the hang of FMQ on the Juki today and tomorrow first. Wish me luck :)

I think Betsy 2.0 and I are friends now

Did you ever type up your notes from your classes?  Or was that just me, the ubergeek?  I always felt like I remembered things better if I typed them up.

I spent six hours this past weekend getting more familiar with Betsy 2.0.  I think it's no secret that I've been a little intimidated by this new machine.  It's only my second sewing machine, and my first was a total entry level machine that I used as a workhorse, but never fully learned.  My local dealer held a class on my new machine, a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire, over the weekend and I must say, it was definitely worth every minute.  Reading the manual only gets you so far, especially for me, with this being my first computerized sewing machine and all.

After sitting through this class, I feel a lot more comfortable with all of the computerized aspects of my machine not to mention all of the crazy feet it came with.  I know what all the buttons mean, and better yet, I feel like I know how to use them.  I think I can officially say that Betsy 2.0 and I are friends!

I now no longer think of this foot as a scary mystery foot...

I've learned it's an automatic sensor buttonhole foot, and I even know where to plug it in.  Best of all, I used it to make my very first buttonhole.  Buttonholes are so pretty when they're made in aqua thread, aren't they?

I also learned that when I get nasty thread spit-up on my the back of my work it's caused by one of two things - either my top thread tension is funky (not the bobbin thread, like you would think) or I need a new needle.

I made my first blind hem...well, I attempted.  Definitely not perfect, but I was pleased with how it came out, and I was excited to learn the process in person.  I'm not much of a hemmer, but when I told my husband that I had learned about hems, his response was, of course, "Now you can hem my suits!"

The dealer attempted to teach me to use the automatic needle threader, which I never bothered to learn on my old machine, but I didn't get it.  At all.  It's okay, I'll stick with threading the needle manually, I don't mind.

And get this - my machine has a different way of winding a bobbin that is apparently better for the tension of the bobbin...while the machine is threaded, I can actually wind a bobbin.   Isn't that cool?  It's apparently the best way to do it on my machine, so I'll have to remember that.

Oh - and I have decorative stitches on my machine, too.  That was a lot of fun to play with.  I have three fonts, a block font, a Russian font, and a Japanese font.  I'll have to play with the Russian and Japanese ones, I suspect they may make some cool symbols that could be pretty awesome.

There are several other little titdbits that I fear I may forget if I don't type them out, so here they are, in particular order.
  • When threading the bobbin, make sure to click the bobbin thread in place.
  • Change your needle after every full 6-8 hours of use.  Mental note: change needle more often!
  • Wind your bobbin at a slow or medium speed, not high speed.  There are no prizes for winding a fast bobbin!  
In a nutshell, that;s was how I spent my weekend.  How about you?