Monday, May 22, 2006

Stitches and sobs

Up we went on Friday to my parent' s in Penrith ready for me to take my two pieced quilt tops to the class at Morceau. I had saved the work to do there becuase when I first got my machine it chewed up the backing on a quilt when I attempted to machine qult. A replacement walkng foot was sent and on a small area on a bag it appeared to me fine but I was still nervous. So, with 'teacher' The basted quilt was examined and we decided to go for one long curved line down the length of the piece in a gorgeous variegated 'King Tut' thread in shades of gold and brown which I bought at the Trentham Gardens quilt show.

As soon as I started the machine jammed, the needle going up and down in place, no material being taken through the feed dogs. 'Teacher' was called and I was given a beginners lesson in how to straighten the fabric, not to pull or push it and a demonstration line of beautiful quilting was done for me. Personally I couldn't see what I was doing any different. So we swapped places, I sat down and within seconds of 'teacher' going to another student the machine jammed again.

A second request for help lead to what I percieved ( I may be mistaken) to be a rather over patient 'OK let's deal with the idiot attention seeker' examination of my machine. Needles need to be changed. I have done. Yes, but When? At the start of class. Well put a new one in anyway. And machnes need to be cleaned. I know, I did it last night - and oiled it. Well, lets just look at it anyway. Oh yes it is clean isn't it? She had another sew. The end verdict - the machine is fine, it really is.

By now I am very frustrated and annoyed and also embarrassed. This is a small class and it is clear that I cannot achieve the most basic of practical tasks. So 'teacher' is merrily sewing along and I am trying to be nonchalant and telling everyone that I have christened the machine Damien when - lo! ( isn't that a good word?) - the machine jammed for her, makes a neat but unwanted knot on the back of the quilt and reduces it stitch size to minute and probably unpickable.

YES!! It is not me! I should I suppose have been happy but mortifyingly I burst into tears and had to go and stand on the stairs and regather myself. On return it was sugested that the next week I write a letter and see if they would swap the machine.

Next week?
A letter?

I went outside at once, rang, demanded, quoted the Sales of Good Act and was met with scepticism that it really was the machine and not me. Deep breath and an explanation of the evidence I had which could be produced (' the quilt it has just chewed up that I spent hours on' and the numbers of witnesses to such chewing and a slightly better attitude was forthcoming. ("Well, I wouldn't take a barrister to the small claims court."). Unsurprsingly the best attitude came when I said that I didn't want another machine the same I wanted to upgrade to a better one as I'd bought a basic model to see if I liked quilting and now I am as addicted as Tomy Docherty perhaps I should get a better one at this stage.

The next problem - all the people with authority in the company were in the Ukraine on a charity drive for Chernobyl kids. But ifI ring back on Wednesday having chosen a new model it shouldn't be a problem for them to collect the old one and deliver new at the same time.

I should have been happy and I did get a certain satisfaction from the amazed look on everyone's face when I went back in with the news but by this time I had wasted a day and spoiled a quilt. So there was only one thing for it - retail therapy in the shop downstairs. except that when I went to the patchwork section I realsied that the shop owner was in Loch Lomond at a show.... with most of her stock.

Not my finest day. Oh and did I say it was raining too? Still, the day after, I got to come home via Kennedy's chocolates shop, a new discovery of mine in Orton ( see picture). I haven't actually eaten any but knowing that the bag is in the fridge is cheering in itself. Oh and did I tell you I am getting a nice new fancy sewing machine .... :)

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