Friday, March 25, 2016

If it's not one thing, it's another...

So yesterday I was sewing along, minding my own business, trying to piece a couple of the 365 Challenge blocks, when suddenly my sewing machine made a 'chunk' sound.
'Uh oh,' I thought.  'That didn't sound good.'
I pressed down on the pedal to resume sewing.  Though the needle was going up and down just fine, the feed dogs were not moving.
'You have one job...' I said to them.
Figuring there might be lint caught in the mechanism somewhere, I started taking things apart.  When I unscrewed and removed the bottom part -

 something fell out.

It's a plastic gear that was the thing that turned the thing that made the feed dogs go.
Now this is the machine I bought back in 1987, and it wasn't an expensive machine even way back then.  The chances of even being able to repair it are slim, even if the cost wouldn't be more than the machine is worth.
I was very sad.
Then I had a thought.
What's the one thing you have to do first in order to start free motion quilting?
Lower the feed dogs, right?
My feed dogs are as low as they're going to get.  Pretty much dogless at this point.
I swapped places with my two machines  - putting the 'new' machine up on the table where I'm going to be quilting, and bringing my 'old' machine (the Singer I bought back in 1971) down to my piecing desk.
I'd been trying to practice FMQ with the old Singer, using a new darning foot, but I'd been having all kinds of troubles with skipped stitches.  And I mean really skipped - not one or two stitches, but for inches at a time.  I put the darning foot on the 'new' machine and took it for a test drive.
No skipping.
This is going to be great.

I think Making the Best of Things may be my superpower...


Cathy said...

Yes, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" is my motto too. However, I got sick and tired of the darned tension problems on my machine and the fix it guy telling me I sew too much for that machine so I went and bought a new simple one of a different brand from a different store. And now I'm happy.

So now you have a machine made for FMQ. Perfect!

Shasta Matova said...

You may be able to find a replacement for that little part. I have an older machine that needs repair, and I wonder if it will be worth the money, but those machines are sturdy and long lasting, unlike things that are made today. It looks like your machine wanted to do FMQ. Maybe it got bored of piecing.

Vireya said...

Making the Best of Things sounds like a great superpower to have - it's a recipe for happiness!

Libby in TN said...


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I agree with Libby - make lemonade!

Scrap and quilts said...

Sometimes things come to us in mysterious ways. You wanted to FMQ and you've been served. lol. ;^) Enjoy!

barbara woods said...

great! wish i could fix all of mine but changing jobs is a great idea

kmkat said...

Great save!

Remnant Quilter Kimberly said...

All my 'plastic' machines (only two now, and one cost in the low four figures) are sitting under my frame with dustcovers. My stable of all-steel, vintage, colorful, work-horse machines occupy various places in my studio - each waiting to come out to play, and each costing $20 or less on craigslist. If you live nearby I'll actually give you one; they are an addiction.