Unforseen (is that a word?)

So last night, after mowing the lawn (which totally makes up for not going to the gym in the last few months – it was so hot, and the quantity of sweat and the length of time it took me to recover… who needs a gym membership?) and finally cooling down, I got back to work on my shower curtain. Tuesday I had sewn the two pieces of fabric together and pinked the edges, but that’s all I had time for. I’m doing French/Princess seams (can’t remember which is which at the moment), so there are no exposed raw edges (it was either that or fully line it, and that didn’t sound like fun), so I’m only halfway done with the one (and only) seam.

So I set to work last night to prep the seam for a second trip through my machine, ironing it appropriately and so forth. After three attempts to sew a plain, straight line with my [insert explicative here] machine, I gave up. Tension was off and my attempts to fix it were not working. Since I was dealing with $40 worth of fabric, I decided to give up on sewing for the moment, and that as soon as I had a chance (Sunday afternoon), I would drive down to Creative Sewing Center and start shopping for a new machine. Because it should not take that long, and should not be that hard, to sew a straight line.

Instead, I ironed the top hem down and then again for reinforcement where the grommets are going. That (trying to sew the seam, ripping out stiches, repeat ad nauseum, and then some ironing) took an hour and a half. So you can see why I might have been frustrated.

Then, this morning, as I was lamenting this situation, I realized the potential urgency of the situation. You see, there’s a mini quilt I need to make for a swap (due… July 10th – yikes!), and then the quilt project I haven’t had time to mention yet but am super excited for (more in a bit) that is due July 20th or so. Hrm. I am definitely not able to keep dragging my feet on picking out a new machine. That’s OK – motivation is good, right?

The cool quilting project that I haven’t had time to mention yet? Well, let’s just talk about the benefits of using Twitter (etc), shall we? I’m not a huge Twitterer, but (follow carefully now) I do use a Twitter plug-in on my iGoogle homepage to tweet each morning, which in turn updates my Facebook status. The iGoogle plug-in also shows me the recent posts of everyone I’m following (the other week I passed a surprising line – I have more followers than people I am following! how did that happen?), which includes a few business websites, including Sew Mama Sew [link removed] and Robert Kaufman Fabrics [link removed] (you should really follow those two if you’re a crafter and like free things, because they both announce giveaways frequently via Twitter and no where else; if you’re interested, I have several more crafty sites I follow on Twitter – just ask). RK happens to be the manufacturer of a good 1/3rd of my fabric stash, so apparently I’m a fan.

Last week, RK announced that they were looking for someone to test out a beginner quilt pattern for them. I contacted them and traded emails. They announced again on Monday that they were still looking for someone, so I assumed they did not love me enough, and that they wanted to pick someone by the 24th. Just before leaving work on Monday, I got an email telling me they had selected me! They will be sending me the fabric necessary to make the pattern, and of course the pattern. I will make the quilt and send them feedback about difficulties I had, and I get to keep the quilt, and get some additional fabric in return. How cool is that?

The really frustrating thing about this is that my machine is just so tempermental. Last weekend I got 38 9-patches sewn up for the quilt-along with absolutely no problems. Same thread, same type of fabric, and now for the shower curtain it’s completely incapable. That’s just not right. (It’s also not right that the tension dial must be turned up to the highest point in order to sew, and that the stitches have to be super-small in order to sew, and that I can’t use any of the decorative stitches on my machine because of the tension issues.)

So, Sunday afternoon, I’m driving to Apple Valley! (But not buying anything, because Sew Mama Sew told me to go do my shopping, evaluate my options, and then go home without making a purchase. Do some further thinking, and then you can spend the several hundred dollars on a machine. Good advice. A sewing machine should not be an impulse purchase. Nor should it be one on which you cheap out, as evidenced by my current machine woes.)