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Thursday, October 23, 2008

!%&!!@$%! TENSION!!!!!

grumble grumble grumble....

I bought a quilting machine several years ago, when I first hung up my shingle as a machine quilter...

From that time to this, the %#^$#&$%# thing has NEVER had proper tension.

First, I brought it into the shop to be adjusted. Didn't work. Then they sent me a new bobbin case. That was better than the OLD bobbin case, but it still didn't solve the tension problem. Then I took it in to be adjusted again.

Same old same old. Stitches look fine on the top, but turn the work over and it's an ugly mess. Enough to make me swear loudly and profusely. Enough to get me throwing things around the room. Enough for my poor hubby to slip me a sleeping pill, but that story is for another day!

So, yesterday, there I was in tears AGAIN over the #$*@##$! tension on this machine, and hubby decided to risk his life. He came into the room and politely tried to help me. He stood over the machine, I was sitting. He said "your tension is set at 2. Why don't you put it to 3 or 4?" I told him (loudly) that he was nuts, that the tension was at 3 already. I moved it in the "increase tension" direction according to the marker I could see. There followed a few more sharp exchanges between us before we both realized, at the same moment, that we were looking a two different parts of the tension dial. He grabbed the knob and spun it all the way around about five times in a row, whereupon I exploded, since I was sure he'd just BROKEN the knob....

And then I learned something. My machine has a tension adjustment that can go around in complete circles. Eight of them, to be specific.

Hitherto, every single machine I'd ever worked with had exactly 180 degrees of movement for the tension to go from "non at all" to "last stop". Or, in layman's terms, from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock, end of story.

So, for three years, I'd been using about 1/32nd of the adjustment possible on this machine. Holy cripes! No WONDER none of my adjustments ever worked!

In no time at all, I had it working perfectly. And hubby looked at the other machine and exclaimed loudly "Holy Cripes! This one only moves 180 degrees!"

A few minutes later we were sitting together, me in his lap, sobbing about all those wasted years...

I mean, I'm the one who yells at HIM to read the manual! But I didn't need to read the manual about adjusting the tension on this machine, did I? I mean, who doesn't know how to adjust @^#@&#!! tension!?

All those awful quilts with loops on their undersides!

All the anger and frustration at a perfectly good machine!

All the wasted hours!

Geez, you'd think the manufacturers could have put a sticker on it, or something! "Hello! You can spin THIS tension dial 4-EVER!" Something to like, draw attention to the fact that it's different from EVERY OTHER MACHINE ON THE PLANET!

Hopefully, this time I've learned - there's is no simple operation that a machine performs that cannot be f***d-up by some geek who makes a new one. There is no such thing as "I don't need to read how this machine performs that function."

Not even to adjust tension.

I wish I could adjust MY tension...

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