Education Troubleshooting

Remain Calm When Troubleshooting

Calm Approach

Remain calm when troubleshooting a problem with a sewing machine not sewing as it should. The calm approach gives you a chance to fix the problem.

Undoubtably at some point in everyone’s sewing machine experience, there have been occasions to troubleshoot. I have a theory: chances of fixing the problem decrease proportionately with the increased level of frustration. In other words, being frustrated when troubleshooting works against finding the fix.

Can You Relate? – Do You Remain Calm?

Can you relate to this scenario? This is your dream day. You have the entire day home alone. Comfortable sweats, tv marathon watching, and piecing a quilt top are ingredients for a perfect day. Your beverage and chocolate are within reach. You sit down, thread the machine and insert the bobbin. Let the sewing begin!

Just minutes into listening to the tv and feeding fabric through the machine, you sense something is off. You pull up your chain several units long and hanging floor bound from the back of the sewing machine. You find messy thread nests where perfect quarter inch seams should be. Why today? All you really wanted to do was get the quilt top finished. Your calm approach is beginning to fade away!

Next, a handful of chocolate rinsed down with a sip of your beverage beats the deep calming breath you should take. Feeling sorry for yourself is not going to get the machine working properly.

You’ve Got This! Or Do You?

You’ve got this! Or do you? A newbie asked how to fix a similar problem on a blog you follow. You could use the advice sharing quilters love to give.

Some more chocolate and top off the beverage. Let the “fix” begin. Rethreading with a different spool of thread was a common suggestion. First you do that. Secondly, not wanting to forget anything, you tighten the upper tension a lot and gave the bobbin case a little screw nudge to the right and a different bobbin, too. Might as well change the needle. Where is that needle you saw the other day? Could be your current needle is bad. After looking in all the reasonable places a needle should have been, you spy it at the bottom of the “junk jar” (like a kitchen junk drawer)! Different junk jar needle inserted.

You should be ready to sew up a storm now, right? Quick review and you don’t see anything else you can change.

You have just wasted half of the morning troubleshooting. Now you have it fixed! Or do you?

Where is the Frustration Level? Has Logic Left the Building with Elvis?

I’m wondering where the frustration level for you is at this moment. You haven’t missed anything on the list you could change. That is where your logic left the building with Elvis!

After all that work changing things, you are ready to put the pedal to the metal and make up for the time you have been fixing “insert here the name you have given your machine“! You start off feeling confident. The thread breaks! Rethread the needle and start again. Next, the thread shreds. Frustration now shoots through the roof! You spew unrepeatable words and not nice names at your sewing machine. Your frustration is out of control!

There Has to be an Answer

You know there has to be an answer. Most importantly, eat more chocolate and think. The repair costs may be high. You are no longer calling your sewing machine by her name. This is serious! Money for the big sale next weekend at your favorite quilt store gone on repairs. Slight rise in frustration, you are thinking trade-in. The new machine would give beautiful stitches and would be under warranty. It looks like you will shop the big sale! Afterall, there won’t be a repair bill if you get a new machine. I would love to be a bug on the wall when you explain this to your spouse/significant other who knows how illogical you can be when frustrated.

Emotion versus Logic – Troubleshooting 101

Thoughts and conclusions based in emotion do not resemble logical thinking except to the one drawing the conclusion.

Why do you think the troubleshooting failed? Women with years of experience gave good advice. Troubleshooting frustration is a shared situation by many sewists and quilters.

To Be Continued – Because You Didn’t Remain Calm

“To Be Continued” – Did those three words just add to your frustration? Look at it as a chance to de-escalate your frustration and find your calm/logical self. In /logically-troubleshoot-sewing-problems/, find out hat and why the troubleshooting in this post didn’t work.

Additional posts will be written looking at problems individually, how to identify them, and how to fix them.

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