When Linda and I were discussing our Mabry blocks the other day, she gave me a hint that helps her keep hers in line better. She and I both piece with Janome's and both of our machines have 7 feed dogs. Linda said that unless she manually lowers the needle (using the turn handle) it gets crooked every single time.
I got to thinking...and my older paper piecing is much better. Such as my dragon. So I turned to manual TRex machine and figured I would just use it from now on for paper piecing. It is what I used to use, and liked it, so why not again. I uncovered it, moved all my Mabry supplies over to it (all those itty bitty fabric scraps are a pain to move around) , turned it on and NOTHING. The light was on. But the foot pedal would not work. At all. Now why in the world??? This machine is only 3 years old. (or is it 4?). It sat for 6+ months because the timing was off, and I had to get that fixed. It sat in the repair shop for another 3 months, and now back home I've barely used it and the foot pedal doesn't work. A quick check online--new one is $45. So the Jeans Machine is going away again until tax time...at which time I will decide whether to buy the new part or throw it out of the window.
My husband and I both have agreed that I will not do denim on my new nice machine. I just won't. So all dog quilts are stopped until further notice. I am so frustrated!!! I do have another machine I got at a garage sale. I'll dig it out and see what I can do with it sometime. Just don't buy a Singer. Ok? Especially a CG 550.
Ok, now onto Mabry. I last left you with a very wonky water wheel and didn't show you my improved version.
This weeks blocks are EE thru EJ. I have put them in one photo, along with a couple of pins for size comparison.
The little blocks are small, but they are not hard to do.
The hard part is joining the blocks. They are so small even for the straight pins!
I did try Linda's method of manually lowering the needle and took the first couple of stitches that way, and turned my machine to it's lowest speed. That helped alot, and here is what the above blocks look like all joined together:
Not perfect--but better. There are almost 70 pieces in that small area.
Next was to join to last weeks blocks:
Like my wonky Hillbilly wheel? I am AMAZED at Linda's. Her's is perfection.
Notice the bottom half of mine is much better than the top half.
Thanks Linda for the hint.
I am thinking the pattern has a mistake and should have some black on that one block in the middle of the water wheel. It is not on the foundation, but it does not look right.
These blocks now need to be joined to some from before:
I look forward to seeing my blocks improve greatly now that I know the problem. But my desire is not great enough to go back and fix everything.
A final thought today: I have been very embarrassed about my Mabry blocks but I am a stick to it person. I really didn't understand why I was doing so bad. I didn't have this problem years ago on all the paper piecing I used to do. Hopefully we have found the problem, but if not, I did get to thinking that often times people are better at teaching something than actually doing it themselves. For instance, think about Olympic athletes. Often their coaches never made it to the Olympics. Yet their students went on to win gold medals. I am a good teacher. That I can admit. My sewing is not perfect. Never has been. I am trying to improve. But...I can still teach and a wonky water wheel will not keep me from doing something I love--teaching.
Of course, Linda, now this means that you have to become a world famous paper piecing designer or something. Just like those Olympians! Just kidding...no pressure. :0)