Friday, February 18, 2011

Well, that screwy saga is over...

My sewing machine is basic.  We're talking bottom of the barrel here.  So, of course, when I decided I wanted to make a quilt, one of the first things I realized was that I needed to buy a walking foot for my machine (a walking foot feeds the fabric from the top and the bottom, which makes it really great for sewing things with a lot of layers - like quilts).
So I googled.  My machine was so dinky though, I wasn't even sure I could find a walking foot that was compatible with it.  But I did!  Yay!  Ebay to the rescue!
The day it came in the mailbox, I ran inside, installed it, and started sewing a test scrap.  That was when disaster struck.  The needle fell right out of the machine as soon as I started sewing.  I tried again.  Same thing, only this time I bent the needle & had to get a new one...  um, uh-oh.  Turns out, my foot doesn't really work with my machine after all.  But why?
See that little screw sticking out on the right?  Well, pretend your walking foot has a claw that needs to grab onto it.  Now pretend that screw doesn't stick out at all, but sits right against the black part.  Yeah.  That's what I had going on.  
I went to three sewing machine repair places.  One told me to bring in my machine another day.  One told me to go to the hardware store and tell them I need a screw like mine, only longer.  And one told me I was screwed (pun intended) and had to buy a new sewing machine.
Well...  I wasn't really taking any of those things for an answer.  I went to the hardware store.  Actually, I went to a store that was just for screws.  Really, it was called "Tacoma Screw".  And the good people there screwed me for free gave me the screws for free!  But that didn't work either.  The needle still fell out.  However, with the powers of the Nest and Ebay combined, I found that brassy beauty you see above!  A "spring loaded" needle clamp screw.  It cost $8.  Seriously.  The other screws were free, but this one cost EIGHT dollars.  
It was worth it.  I can quilt things now.  Things with many layers.  Things that need a walking foot.  I am no longer screwed, woohoo.

On another note, see what I have going on in that picture up there?  Applique!  I just learned how!  I thought it was really scary, but it turns out it's actually easy.  Although, I just realized while looking at that picture that I have a straight-stitch foot on still, even though I was using a zigzag stitch... big no no...  um, oops.  I think I got lucky that I didn't break any needles...

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