Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

An "oops" moment, and how a pin saved me $800.00

I'm working on my second block for the Fat Quarters Star Quilt Along . It's a fairly easy one. Large pieces, and not a lot of them. Easy, peasy, done in the proverbial shake of the stick. Hah, that's what I thought, but I should know better by now, than to think something is easy to do, which means I don't pay close attention to what I'm doing. I got everything cut, and all the individual components sewn, and took them to the ironing board for pressing. And that's when I discovered it, an oops moment.

I'd sewn a couple of the units together wrong. Drat, some ripping to be done. But, not to worry, I have a ripping tool that reduced the task down to, literally, seconds. It is my handy, dandy $10.00 Walmart mustache trimmer. Someone showed this to me at a quilt show once, and my jaw dropped with being so impressed with the simplicity and the speed of it. All it takes is to gently pull the two pieces apart, and gently touch the blades of the trimmer to the threads, and presto, it quickly cuts those threads, without getting close enough to the fabric to cut it. I had 2 of these to rip out, and it literally took less than 30 seconds. So, I was able to get that done, the pieces sewn together the correct way, and finish my second quilt along star.

I've noticed lately, that my sewing machine hasn't been working the way it should. It wasn't doing its part in the "let your sewing machine do the work" for feeding pieces through the feed dogs and presser foot. I was reading on someone's blog that they were researching for purchasing anew sewing machine, and asked if she could pass the info on, since it looked like I'd be needing a new one. The last time I was in a store that carries machines, I was looking at a Bernina, on sale for $800.00. I clean my machine, and get all the dusties out fairly frequently, because we sew together, a lot. I use a small paint brush to get at the places that are hard to reach. Last night, as I was sewing away, and getting more and more frustrated because the fabric wasn't feeding through properly, I had one of those sudded "aha" moments. I took the throat plate off of my machine and looked at the feed dogs. Where there should have been space in between them for them to come up  into the throat plate to grab the fabric, there was lint. So much lint, that the paint brush I use to clean them with, couldn't budge it. I had to use a pin to get in there and get the lint out. Then, I put the throat plate back on, started to sew, and worked....... the feed dogs grab the way they should, it's not getting snagged in the seams, and it's working the way it should. Phew!!!!!


  1. A Walmart mustache trimmer, huh?? I'll have to remember that -- I sure do have enough 'oops' moments to warrant having such a handy tool! And good going on the pin to the feed dogs!! How are you feeling today? Hugs! :)

  2. I use a rotary cutter to rip out, but it is a bit awkward. I have never seen a mustache trimmer used. Next trip to Wal-Mart I'm going to check it out. What a great tip!

  3. Great tip on the mustache trimmer - who knew! Glad to hear your machine troubles are solved! When you so alot it can be very frustrating when it isn't working properly.

  4. My husband has an attachment like that for his razor. I am totally going to swipe it when I have mega frogging to do!

    I had a bit of panic with my machine today. It was making this really odd noise. I though, "Oh man, I don't have the money to take my machine in." Then I looked up and saw that the wheel on the side was rubbing against the cover of my serger. Whew! Don't you love the simple solutions?


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