Education Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Sewing Problems -Part I

Troubleshooting – Logic or Frustration Driven

Undoubtably at some point in everyones sewing machine experience, there have been occasions to troubleshoot. I have a theory: chances of fixing the problem decreases proportionately with the increase level of frustration. In other words, troubleshooting frustration works against finding the fix.

Can You Relate?

Can you relate to this scenario? This is your dream day. You have the whole day home alone. Comfy sweats, tv binge 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 already 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.

Next, a handful of chocolate rinsed down with a sip of your beverage beats the deep calming breath you probably 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! 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 draw)! Different needle inserted.

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

You have just wasted half of the morning troubleshooting.

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

After that, 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

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. 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.

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

I will be doing a series of specific troubleshooting articles after I address what and why the troubleshooting in this post didn’t work. Therefore, if you are interested in reading more on this subject,signing up to receive post emails is simple. See the sign up area in the footer below.