It looks like quilting took a break on this blog for a bit. Actually, the long arm quilting machine had to go to the hospital. At some point the mechanics of the machine had deteriorated to the point that starting and stopping the needle involved running around the 14 foot table and pulling the plug out of the wall. Not only was the stop and start button not working, but the main power button finally gave up as well. I should have seen the signs coming, but I find it easy to deny problems when they slowly (vs. quickly) compound to catastrophic levels. It turns out also that the motor brushes were sending sparks and flames out the back of the machine while in operation, but I didn’t notice because I was too busy managing the needle end of the operation. (Perhaps flames should be painted onto the side of the machine to commemorate its history.)Luckily Russ at California Quilt Machines noticed. He overhauled the whole thing, replaced the motor, the power button, tensioning stuff, and a whole lot of other things. He marveled that I’d finished so many quilts on the machine with all that going on, and sent me back home with a machine that turns on and off and doesn’t spit flames out the back.Totoro is a friend to all. I made a Totoro quilt for my daughter, then made one for me (and the dogs) experimenting with Totoro colored corduroy I had left over from a clothing project.
I made another one and finished it just yesterday. This one has more intricate quilting on it than any other I’ve ever made. Totoro is surrounded by leaves, ferns, a few bugs, and squiggles. All of which is better seen on the plush side than on the pieced.
A big benefit of having a machine that starts and stops at the touch of a button!