Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mistakes happen

I have been longarm quilting for over 10 years now.  I would say in those 10 years there have been only few customer quilts where something bad happened.  A crease in the back, wrong color of thread in the bobbin (forgot to change it), thread that just wouldn't cooperate and left loops or just kept breaking, etc.  But last week was the first time that this ever happened.  I was moving the machine across the quilt when all of a sudden the needle went up/down.  It did it with such force that not only did a rip a hole in the quilt, but the whole machine came off the track!  I was shocked!  This was such a large quilt that there wasn't much space on each side so getting the machine back on track was really difficult.  Then I went to see what damage was caused in the quilt.  There was about a 1/4" hole ripped in the sashing border.  And of all places it was in the solid colored fabric.  If it had been in the printed fabric, after a repair job you probably never could have found it.  To repair it (while still on the machine), I fused some fusible interfacing to the back side of the tear.  Then I used seam sealant on the raw edges.  That should keep it from every fraying.  When I came to that part in the quilting, I put a leaf design around the hole.  It will have extra stability and hopefully never get any larger even when washed.  Finally, the customer got a discount on the quilting.  Here's a couple photos of the quilt and an upclose photo of the hole.  Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen to any of you longarm quilters.  It would be fun, though, to share horror stories -- let me know if you have one :)


The Michigonians said...

I could hardly tell...had to look really hard after I read your post. You do such beautiful work. Thanks for sharing your talents with us via blogging.

Denise said...

GOOD JOB! Yep, I have been long arm quilting since 1994. I once had a needle break in the center of a Radiating Star quilt. The "Chaw" was huge (well it seemed huge) and due to the bulk of the fabric seams and being in the middle, there was no chance to quilt over the problem. I called the client, consulted about the problem, got some fabric and hand appliqued over the hole. Then continued the quilting. It did not look repaired, but this "learning experience" caused me to have great respect for the speed of the machine and the power of bulk.

You are one of my regular blogs I enjoy. You are very talented. Thanks for sharing.