Well, I spent a couple hours or more marking my quilt top and pin basting it to the batting and back. I had my reservations about quilting it myself, but since my husband had purchased me the Sapphire 835 with the bigger harp space, and everyone was saying I should do it myself, I decided to give it a whirl. I was actually all psyched up about it.
First I got a little frustrated with the marking. It was tedious at best. But I marked the main lines that would be hard to do without a guide, and then figured I could use them as starting points and go from there.
The pinning I ended up doing on my breezeway floor, where it was cold and hard on the knees. But I got it done and headed to the sewing room with my large bundle.
I threaded my machine with the carefully chosen thread from the LQS (that means local quilt shop in quilter's lingo.). I carefully positioned the quilt under the needle, folded up all the edges (or bunched it up), donned my quilter's gloves and off I went - or so I wish it would have gone.
Immediately, it got hung up. I quickly stopped and awkwardly pulled the quilt off the machine. Better do a practice run on a mock up of the project.
I cut some backing from the extra fabric, some batting and a piece of leftover top fabric and made a sandwich.
To save you the grief of having to read about it, and me the grief of reliving this nightmare, I will give you the short version.
After three different needles - a sharp, a quilting needle and a topstitch needle; three different brands of thread (and one trip to JoAnn Fabric in the next town to get said other two brands of thread); rethreading the top thread and the bobbin several times; taking off the darning foot and replacing it; trying every setting of tension numerous times; reading my owner's manual - three hours later, with nothing to show but five sandwiches with the top ecru thread showing through on the brown bottom fabric, I decided to take all the pins out and hire someone to just do a meandering star with their long arm.
I am not happy with my Sapphire 835. I am still debating on trading it in. I'd like to be able to FMQ (free motion quilt), because ultimately, that was the purpose of this machine. It is great at other sewing, but that's not what I wanted it for.
I am disappointed and relieved. I should have listened to myself. I really thought a full size quilt was taking on a bit too much with my full-time work and other projects to do. Everything happens for a reason, right?
But now - what to do about the Sapphire......