Adventures with Zippered Leaders

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The reason I haven’t posted for the last two weeks is that I’ve been extremely focused on tax reports and sewing …more so on sewing!

I finally finished my American Hero Quilt that I started quilting last August, but it still needs the binding.  I don’t have a picture of the full quilt right now because I also pulled out a UFO that is made of of LOTS of half square triangles, and they are taking up the majority of space on my design wall where I normally take my pictures.

On Sunday, my fabulous friend, Verna, came over to motivate me and lend a hand with getting the canvas properly cut for my new zippered leaders.  I’ve been avoiding it due to the fact that this has to be pretty precise and dealing with the 4 yard length of fabric presents its own set of challenges.

It took a couple of hours to get the fabric cut out properly, and I realized that I’ll need another 4 yards of fabric to make the 3rd set of leaders that I want, but I’ll have two of them for now, which is great!

It is, however, taking an inordinately long amount of time to get this project finished!!  Sunday night I was up past midnight because I was serging the edges of the canvas.  I remembered someone saying they had color coded theirs, which I think is a great idea (I had red thread in the machine already and loved my test run!)

So, I serged red, then blue and then decided I was going to go for just plain cream/white on the pickup roller.  Changed thread and the tension was a mess!!  So, I dutifully tried to adjust it (I have a wonderful Pfaff 4785 electronic serger that I NEVER have to adjust the tension on!)…and I spent over an hour messing with it (DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!) with no satisfactory results…and yes, I turned the machine on and off several times to get it to go back to its default settings.

FINALLY, I decided that hey, the tension on the other colors looked great, just change the thread again.  And, voila! the tension went back to being beautiful!  Well, mostly…I used the 3 matching dark colors I had left and 1 light color in one of the needle positions, and the light color kept skipping a few stitches, then would catch again, then skip later so that it left large stretches of thread on top of the fabric.  So, I put in a contrasting dark color and it worked just fine.

So, why would light colored thread suddenly become my evil nemesis??

Less confident that I would actually finish, I again took up the task again last night.  I added another straight line guide down the middle of where I will be attaching the quilt to the leader, then ironed down the edges.  That went very well!  I went to sew it down with a straight stitch and half way through this long 128" trip, the thread broke but I didn’t know it.  So I fixed that, not especially happy with the way it’s looking, but OK fine, will address that later.

Then I couldn’t remember what my zipper foot looked like so I had to look it up in the manual (it’s not the usual "half-foot" for the Pfaff) and then had to find in the manual how to move the needle over left and right so I get a tight seam.

Then it was time for bed, and I actually went!  No more staying up until midnight, I’m exhausted!  So, they are STILL not done!   And this is for the FIRST SET!  AARRGGHH!

Now to get the binding completed by Thursday night (guild night), finish the leaders so I can get this other American Hero quilt mounted, and finish my tax reports for the accountant. 

That’s what one calls blessings, huh?

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