I picked up Ms. Kitty from the spa Friday night, eager to get quilting. She, however, was not ready.
First I tried piecing. I set her up in my usual settings. I thought it was a little weird that she didn't want to have the needle in a position slightly to the right. I do this to make that scant 1/4 inch seam even easier to accomplish. OK, Ms. Kitty, fine. I'll put on a different foot and let you have the needle in the 0 position. All is well. After I completed piecing a block, I thought I would see how the free motion quilting would go, and all H-E-double hockey sticks broke loose. It was the same group of problems as before. Enormous looping of the top thread on the bottom side of the fabric. I tried everything - feed dogs up, feed dogs down, darning foot, free motion foot, NO FOOT, needle to the left, needle to the right, needle in the middle, tension low, tension high, new needle, old needle, top thread in upright feeder, top thread in sideways feeder, low speed, medium speed, high speed. Nothing worked. Even at her best (needle to the left, tension at 5, darning foot, and high speed), she still had little loops on the underside every 30 stitches or so and even some loose stitches on top. And I was just doing straight lines in the same direction as the fabric normally feeds - this should be her best direction. Anything resembling stippling, resulting in even greater problems.
I tried again last night, just to see if a rest would magically fix things. It didn't. My trash can is full of samples and A LOT of thread!
This morning, I made a practice sandwich and set about documenting the settings so that I could take it back to the shop. I did about 20 lines or so at all different settings. Of COURSE, nothing was as extreme as the results I had the last two nights, but there was still looping here and there. I even brought samples of my previous free motion quilting so they didn't think I was just trying it out for the first time and getting these results. As luck would have it, it was a completely new lady at the shop that I haven't met before. She looked at me like I was nuts, took my samples and Ms. Kitty, and quietly filled out the paperwork to send my machine back to the mechanic.
Pray that he figures it out. I have got to get that Hands2Help quilt done by June 2nd!! Brother Bear has decided he doesn't like to quilt through the adhesive in the appliques and my tension goes all haywire whenever I do. I know they don't expect these quilts to be perfect, but I simply can't give a quilt away with THAT going on.
So Ms. Kitty went right back to the spa. Although maybe I should start calling it "rehab" considering, and change her name to Lohan??