Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Problem with Being Backwards

My Gramma Cartwright made beautiful hand-sewn quilts. She taught me to quilt when I was young. Part of my interest in quilting was that my Gramma did it. Of course my Gramma Latimer knitted and crocheted, but I never quite mastered those arts. Gramma Latimer was right-handed. I am left-handed. We had a hard time figuring out how to translate her patterns. I didn't have this problem with quilting. A stitch was a stitch and my hand preference didn't matter. 

After Dad died, I took some of his t-shirts and button down shirts to make a quilt. About the same time, I opened the front door to find a big box with my name on it. My wonderful husband sent me a sewing machine for my birthday. I gave in to time and wrist issues when I decided to start machine quilting. I've long dismissed machine quilting as the easy way out, but reality has shifted that opinion.

I was able to complete the first quilt in time to wrap it for Mom's Christmas present. I cut off the long sleeves and used those for her quilt. I told Mom it was the only way Dad could stil wrap his arms around her. The quilt was spread on a couch in the family room. Mom said she doesn't want to use it as much as she wants to look at it.

Recently I pulled out the sewing machine to make another quilt. I spent many frustrating hours trying to get it to work. I knew it wasn't the machine as I had just made a quilt. It had been a few months since I last tried to turn on the machine. I simply couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.

I finally gave it and took my machine to a sewing store. I explained the problem and asked for help. The woman spent a few minutes with the machine before she started unscrewing the needle. She said, "Oh, the needle is in backwards."

Yes, I did feel really stupid. First, I couldn't figure out how a backwards needle fit into the space. It is shaped like an "n" with one side rounded and the other flat. Still, I did manage to put the needle in backwards.

I took my machine home and have been happily quilting for days now. It's a lot easier to make progress when everything works as it should. 

1 comment:

tesstimoan said...

Your 1st quilt idea sounds wonderful. I would love to see an image of it. That is if you believe that imitation is the sincerist form of flattery. :0)