Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Bernina--We have a problem..."

*sigh*
So tell me.....what do you see missing from this picture?
Hmmmmm.......maybe you need to know that this is my location where I sew.....and that's the table I sew on......
all my sewing supplies are there...the little scissors, extra bobbins, my magnetic pin holder, even little 1.5" squares for my L-n-E Perkiomen Daydreams quilt......

but.....no Bernina.

I started the day very lazy and didn't get downstairs until 8:30. I pin-basted the Country Spirt quilt into two sections so I could start and hopefully finish quilting it today. By 10:00, I was quilting....

I ended up going with my brainstorm of concentric stars pulsating out from the center of the rail blocks. It was a bit tedious, specially once the stars were too large for them to be continuously quilted. Lots of stopping/starting/"knotting"/backstitching. I had three done, each taking about 20 minutes, and was working on the fourth. I don't think I heard a noise, but suddenly.... things were just "weird." My bobbin thread was breaking, so threw in a newly wound bobbin; things seemed smooth for a few minutes at least. Then, when I started a new line of the star, suddenly I realized that my needle was off-center. At least, that was the illusion, but I checked all my buttons and the screen....all seemed fine. ???? So, I sewed a few more lines. A few moments later, when I went to life the foot.......NOTHING! It wouldn't lift! After a moment of tinkering, I got it to lift, but then.....it wouldn't lower. So finally, enough was enough. I took the cover off to see if a spring or screw came loose, but I couldn't see anything. And not wanting to take any chances and do something STUPID on a machine that costs as much as some used cars, I went upstairs and googled for the nearest Bernina dealer to me. I called the shop where I bought the machine, but I'm sure my daily readers remember that it is THREE AND A HALF hours away, so THAT was not an option, but I wanted to ask her what her advice was. In the end, the nearest dealer to me is near 70 miles away.........
Ten minutes later, with machine and girls in tow, we were making our way down to Eau Claire. The trip was uneventful, just long. I was able to get a front row parking spot (woo-hoo!), so Caitlyn and Cass chose to stay in the car to continue watching their movie on the DVD while Candace came in with me. The shop is very small and quaint. There was a nice group of ladies sewing up a storm, and after 20 minutes, I was back on my way home, no machine in hand. *sigh* It will remain in the shop until the technician can look at it on Monday. SO, no Bernina until next weekend when I make the trip BACK down to pick it up.

I called my mom on the ride home to share the day's events, and she sarcastically, jokingly said..."How are you going to survive??! You'll go into withdrawal----one week with no quilting??!?!?!"

"HA!" I said......little did she remember that I still have my Brother....... Shortly after returning home, I headed downstairs to take the Brother our of her case. Gave her a good oiling and actually did the 1/4" "test" that Bonnie suggests on her site. My GOODNESS! It was no WONDER I had so many difficulties with accurate piecing in the past! My Brother's 1/4 foot is WAY off! A good 1/8 off---seriously!!!! So......

I'm bummed, but yet, everything happens for a reason!
The PROS of this "situation"....
i) My quilting class begins in 3 weeks, so I needed to practice on a "not-so-good" machine anyway so I knew how to assist my "students" (BTW--I was just updated yesterday that I have 3 people signed up so far. If I don't get anymore, I really won't mind! It was marketed as a Beginner's course, so I may have individuals who don't even know how to USE a sewing machine!"
ii) I can continue working on the Scrappy Irish Chain and the Oklahoma Backroads quilts to try to finish piecing the tops
iii) The Bernina was requesting a tune-up last weekend anyway, so......it's due!

The CONS...
i) I don't have my baby, my pride-n-joy!
ii) I wanted to finish the Country Spirit to get it mailed out to Alycia's QOV project by Monday.
iii) I was in the quilting mood and wanted to also tackle the Lake -n- Lodge wallhanging tomorrow.

*shrug*
whadya do?

Happy Saturday!

10 comments:

Andee said...

I hope you waved at Eau Claire for me! My mom is there visiting my grandfather and not enjoying the cold! Did you take it to the store on Clairemont? I heard they had an awesome group of ladies sewing there but never did find time to join them. John over at John's sewing always serviced my machine, but I don't think he did Berninas. Hope it is fixed soon and back at you without making you broke!

Cornfield Quilter said...

Man, if you lived closer you could use my Bernina, I am busy making hexagons! :-{

Amanda said...

How irritating. At my class two weeks ago I was having problems with my Janome, it just wouldn't sew an accurate quarter-inch, which played havoc with my first mariner's compass, so it went to be fixed and serviced and was away for a week, during which I had to use my old Silver - the quarter inch was accurate which was good, but such a basic machine was infuriating. But the joy of getting my Janome back, purring away like new. The cost though, that's another matter - bread and jam all round for the next week or so I fear!

Patchwork Penguin said...

Hmmmmmmmm that sounds like what happened to my Bernina once. I took it in and the 'doc' said 'well, have you taken off the top side panel and cleaned it out???? Top side? He never told me to do that. So I left it and when I went back I was told I was *#(&$# lucky I didn't totally fry the machine.... he could have knit a cat with what was in it. So now every once in a while I unscrew the side panel and blow it out.

Live and learn....... unfortunately it it sometimes the hard way.

Alycia said...

Oh I hope it is something simple!

Laurel said...

How awful! I went to a quilting retreat last fall near Ripon and took my two machines. One of them I hadn't ever used before (bought it used) and the other the machine I bought 25 years ago when I was right out of college. I took the new one in to the retreat sewing room, set it up and no go. It purred, but no up and down. Went out and got old faithful and the case came unhinged 18 inches from getting to the table, dropping said machine onto the floor at a listing angle. It didn't want to work either. So, I went into downtown Ripon (pop 10,000) where there's a K-Mart. Bought the only machine they had, a $100 Singer. So now I have three machines, all 3total cost under $400 (no, no Berninas, no Pfaff, no Jarome).

So I guess the question I have is, are you going to buy a new machine to get you through your tough week without your baby?

Julie said...

Oh my, I am so sorry to hear that! But I have to tell ya, I am still laughing at Nancy's comment above saying he could have "knit a cat" with the fluff inside the machine. Too funny!! I hope yours is something simple and inexpensive.
By the way, been on the treadmill anymore? I have been out walking (weather in upper 60's here) and experimenting with tofu!!

Helen in the UK said...

Hope it is something simple (& cheap) to fix and that you'll soon have your faithful Bernina back with you :)

quilting forum said...

Pinning is the most difficult part for me.

scraphappy said...

If your Bernina is going to break, at least it did it while under warranty. I had mine in three times during the first year, all for very minor things. The one that sounds most like what yours did was a thread wound around the motor. I could hear something going on and knew not to mess with it. I'm trying to remember all those quarter inch tricks for non quarter inch machines, mole skin or a stack of post it notes come to mind. Very lucky that you kept you old machine -- now I guess we know why people keep two or three on hand at all times.
OH, btw, those concentric stars look great -- very patriotic.