Sunday, August 26, 2012

Joining UFO Sunday - hosted by Leah Day from The Free Motion Quilting Project

The last few weeks I've been beating myself up about the number of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and WIPs (Works in Progress) I have on the go, but it hasn't stop me from starting more!  Let's face it - they are all UFOs in my house.  I'm pretty sure I suffer from QAD (Quilter's Attention Deficit). I'm putting a moratoriam on starting any more, unless they are a gift for a specific person for a specific date.  After all, I proved I can do that by making baby Brayden's quilt in just two sittings!  

Then last Sunday, I came across this post by Leah Day.  I think she was reading my mind. 

I love Leah's blog, The Free Motion Quilting Project.  I found her when I was searching how to free-motion quilt on my home machine (not that I've really tried much yet!).  She has terrific videos, goes into great detail and shares so much of how her mind works as she comes up with designs.  She also shares her personal history and how quilting has helped her, and as someone who also has had a difficult background, she has given me some great insight.

I've challenged myself to learn how to set up a new page (yay! done that) so I can list all my UFOs and I'm committed to UFO Sundays! And I've set up a separate page so I can list them all in one place, have links to their related posts, thereby tracking my progress and celebrate my finishes.

See my page here!

 Eventually, I want to have links on each name so I can go back and just see the posts related to that quilt.  I think might have to stop putting so much in to one post, and start posting more regularly with just one or two subjects.

This week's project - get my precious new-to-me Featherweight up and running! 

(Accomplished! and work done on an actual UFO - full story below if you want to read on!)

I purchased it six months ago, but have been afraid to use it until I dealt with this:

I'm scared of anything electrical (my sister lost her home to an electrical fire), and this was the original wiring, and there were exposed wires where the tape ended.  Major confession here - I have not even plugged it the machine since I bought it. So last Sunday, after making my UFO list, I put in a new light bulb, bravely anxiously plugged it in and flipped the switch.  NOTHING HAPPENED! OMG, what have I done?  Thrown away over $200 on a doorstop? I started googling and found out the switch only turns on the light, so obviously power wasn't getting to the light.  (PS: The Ebay seller was upfront and said she had no idea if it worked as it was her grandmother's and she had no idea how to use it.)

I googled some more, and decided I could handle looking inside the plug, after all I couldn't make it any worse. It was a mess, so what harm could I do?

 I got all the wires cut back and rewired in the right places (photos are so helpful at this point).  Plugged it in, and lo and behold the light came on!

I gingerly stepped on the foot controller and....NADA!  Still nothing.  I figured I would have to hunt for a new foot controller so back to Google I went.  I couldn't believe my luck - there was a Featherweight maintenance and repair workshop being held just 45 minutes from my home, across the border in Lynden, WA just 5 days later.  It was being put on by Tangled Threads and the teacher was none other than Dave McCallum from Featherweight RX, the author of "The Featherweight and I" and "Those Fantastic Featherweights".  According to everything I read, this is the guy who knows everything about Featherweights.  The only condition of the class was you had to have a running Featherweight.  I emailed Dave, explained my problem and asked if it would still be worth coming to the class.  I was surprised when he personally phoned me, and after talking, he assured me that it would definitely be worth my while to take the class, and even if it was full, to come anyway and he would get me up and running. I registered, went to the class on Friday and Dave plugged a new foot controller into my machine and just like that, my machine is running as smoothly as a brand-new machine.

It turned out I didn't even need to replace the foot controller - I just had to replace the power cord at a cost of $13.50!  If you own a Featherweight, I encourage you to buy his bundle which includes the book and DVD set.  It has everything we learned in the class and more, and well worth every penny.  You would never have to send your machine for service again, and I even learned some tips for my newer machines.  (No affiliation or compensation - I was just so impressed with the class and with Dave and his wife).

I was so excited I went home, pulled out the first UFO I could get my hands on (dating back to 2008), went to my friend's home and started sewing.

This is the first Thangles project I signed up for.  My LSS does one every year, and for $2/month you get 2 strips and the instructions to make one or two blocks.  I finished the flimsy of one in July and have two more to do.  This one is pink and green, the other one is black and rose.  I didn't participate this past year, because I had 3 unfinished.  I've promised myself if I get them all done this year, I could join again next year if one appeals to me (or not!).

Thanks for reading! 


  1. You're brave! I have a Singer 15-90 from 1930 that needs to be rewired, but I'm terrified to do it, and also terrified to take it to the local repair shop to get an estimate on fixing it. I think it'll be steep!

  2. Terri, my featherweight is my favorite machine. She has a beautiful stitch and performs like a champ when free motion quilting! Hope you have the same experience with your new purchase.

  3. Terrific Terri! I'm so happy you're joining us for UFO Sundays. I can't wait to see where you go with those half square triangles!


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