Friday, March 12, 2010

A simple solution to an annoying machine quilting problem - “eyelashing”

You do know what I mean, don’t you? Or is it just me? OK, just me.

So here’s the thing. I’d be happily machining away on the front of my quilt, swerving this way and that, creating these pretty loops.IMG_3361 But when I’d turn to the back I’d find this nightmare! Eeeeek!IMG_3362 (See why it’s called eyelashing?)

I know, I know. Those of you who are experienced machine quilters will be nodding your heads sagely and saying “Adjust your tension, dear”, but I’ve already adjusted this (till I’m quite tense myself).

Finally, at a hugely enjoyable class I took with machine quilter Amanda Daly last week, I found the answer. Amanda recommended a little product that looks like a plastic tap washer (but is actually slippery Teflon), slips into the base of your machine’s bobbin case, and stops the backlash in the bobbin when you change direction in your quilting at speed.

I won’t name this nifty product because I’m certain it’s excellent. Just want to say that I’ve found a faster and cheaper short-term solution – I’ve made my own bobbin washer using a piece of Teflon applique mat, a bobbin and a hole punch.IMG_3350 You need to punch the hole before you cut out your circle, otherwise it’s very tricky getting the punch to find the centre.


Then position your empty bobbin exactly over the hole.


Trace round it with a sharp pin.


This scratches a guide-line into the Teflon. Cut out your circle.


Then pop it into the base of your machine’s bobbin case and pop your thread-loaded bobbin in on top, and proceed as you usually do.


Now the back of my quilting looks like the front, using my little Teflon bobbin washer. Look, no eyelashing!IMG_3366

I just need to work on stitch length and all those other variables, but for now I’m happy!

NB This works well in my Elna 6004 machine which has a drop-in bobbin. You might want to check with your machine manufacturer first before trying this on yours.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Di,
    I love to follow your Blog - you are an inspiration to all quilters xxx
    c u soon.
    hugz from me.


I love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment.