Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just call me "Drama Mama" AND halfway-through-the-month progress report

It's been a wacky month here in our neck of the woods. Until this weekend I have not spent much time in the Bottoms Up! Studio. Due to the lack of air conditioning, I have to schedule my time in the studio in the mornings before it gets too hot. Last weekend I wanted to make a lot of headway because it was cooler due to a lot of rain we had that week and I scheduled a vacation day for Monday.

Life has a funny way of slapping you in the face every time you think you're on the right track.

I already mentioned that the A/C is out. We're working on it. On Saturday our internet router decided it only wanted to work with a couple of devices and not all of them, so entertainment went out the window. But I was ok with that--I could sew!

So Saturday afternoon I happily quilted along on the Christmas half log cabin. I decided to finish the quilting on Sunday. Sunday morning I headed downstairs, got the quilting completed and off the frame, and immediately set off to piece a backing for the baby bullseye quilt.

And that's when the other shoe fell.

I have a Pfaff 7570 that I have loved and it has loved me back for 18 years. The machine has been a work horse. I turned the machine on and the screen was BLANK. Well, a couple of dark lines at the top of the screen, but otherwise, it was blank. Turned it off, waited a few seconds, and turned it back on. Blank screen.

I felt like I had been shot in the head.

I grabbed my owner's manual and diagnostics book and headed upstairs to the hubster. We couldn't find anything that fit the issue and I looked at my husband and said, "Oh, please, don't let it be the circuit board." I replaced one of those in my old Singer Athena 2000 about 20 years ago, not long before I bought my Pfaff. I remember how much that circuit board cost me 20 years ago--$300!

After a couple of hours of surfing the web for sewing machines (on one of the devices that was able to connect to the wi-fi), I came to the conclusion that I need to get my grandmother's sewing machine (a grand old Singer Rocketeer circa 1960-62) oiled and cleaned. Sturdy, solid, mechanical; no circuit board, no chips, no lights except the good old light bulb. Knee pedal! I sewed a lot of clothes on that machine during my teen years. It came to live with me after my cousin who had been living in my grandmother's home passed away.

Meko's sewing machine behind the lamp - better photo later
I returned to the studio and sat down in front of my machine. Turned it on; same blank screen. I left it there for a while and piddled around while trying to figure out what to do. About 10-20 minutes later I came back and GASP! An image on the screen! Upon closer inspection, it was a stitch sequence with an odd pattern number, and I couldn't adjust the length or width. I started arbitrarily pushing buttons and finally was able to get one of the menus to appear. When I pressed the main menu button, I noticed it was stuck. I loosened it and there was my what-I-see-when-I-turn-on-the-machine screen. I grabbed a piece of fabric and she sewed.

Talk about an emotional roller coaster to Hell and back.

On Monday I called the Pfaff dealer that gives my 7570 her annual checkup and explained everything that happened and asked him what he thought might be going on. He, too, said it's probably the circuit board and that he did not have the part and you couldn't get a part unless you found another 7570 and what's to say that if it was replaced from another 7570 that it would last 30 days or even 30 minutes?

But she's working now, and I'm going to sew on her until she stops. I know she's living on borrowed time, but I'll make the best of it. And get Meko's machine in shape.

Ok, enough of the melodramatics; I don't want to be known as a diva. So let's talk about what's been accomplished:

As of last weekend, the Christmas half log cabin quilt is quilted!!! I'll piece the binding strips this weekend. I'm using the left over fabric from the striped border:

There will be much fussy cutting.

I decided to use a vacation day this past Friday because it was supposed to be a cooler day. Got started racking the quilt and had problems on top of problems. Finally got everything worked out by Saturday afternoon, and now the baby bullseye quilt is quilted! I'll have photos of both quilts in a post later this month.

I am ready for some calmer waters. Over the next few days my plan is to make the bindings for the Christmas and baby quilts and get them stitched on. I already have the label done and stitched into the Christmas quilt, and have designed the label for the baby quilt (waiting until the last minute for that one because it will have Lane's birth date on it).

Next project: United we Stand.

I am taking the afternoon off from quilting and am now sitting with the hubster as he watches reruns of Band of Brothers. We're going out to dinner tonight in celebration of Father's Day with two of our sons and their beautiful girlfriends.

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend--go quilt!