Craft – March Stitched Journal

March has been a craft month devoted to crochet again.  After February’s play with shell crochet stitch didn’t yield the results I’d hoped for, I spent most of March deep in granny stitch to finish the baby blanket I was making for a friend.

I threw in a few different stitches to make it a bit more interesting and I was pretty happy with the result.  Not your ordinary set of baby colours in this blanket!  The mum-to-be has decorated the nursery with red and grey, in a very stylish and Danish design kind of way.  So naturally, this little baby girl will need a sophisticated blanket to match.  The colours remind me of lipstick, pearls and sprinkles – all the makings of a great dress-ups tea party, don’t you think?

When I popped this little number in the post last week, I though I should spend the rest of March tackling my patchwork quilt project.

Before we left on our little adventure, I bought the most beautiful Amy Butler fabric, aptly named Gypsy Caravan.

Isn’t the fabric entirely gorgeous?

Well, there is one thing standing in the way of my plans to run up row after row of Gypsy Caravan patches.

You guessed it, my sewing machine.

She is a baby machine.  The entry-level Singer.  The perfect machine for someone like me – a sewing novice.  Plus, she weighs a lot less than most sewing machines – so in theory, she was perfect to take on the road.

Unfortunately, the only stitch this machine has given me on the road has been thread nests.

It seems that the culprit lies somewhere in here or here:

I’ve pulled the machine apart and put it back together and I can’t, for the life of me, work out what is wrong with her!

I would be ever so grateful if the more experienced sewers out there could tell me what I am doing wrong, or what my little machine wants from me?  I’ve tried various tensions and nothing seems to help.  I’m quite tempted to throw her out in frustration.  Then I look at that beautiful fabric again and I want to try to make her work for me.  Hand-stitching such a large blanket seems beyond my patience.

In the meantime, a friend has put me on to this wonderful Stitch and Embroidery Picture Dictionary by Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials and I’m inspired to experiment with embroidery for April.

This post is part of Lola Nova’s Stitched Journal project.  You can see other bloggers’ March journal pages on Lola Nova’s blog as they are uploaded, if you click here.  There are some super talented and creative people joined up to this project.

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  1. Some ideas to try – Check your threading for bobbin and upper thread. Check you’ve got the right bobbin for the machine… Check the manual. Email singer. Find a machine repair shop on route?

    Love the fabric!

  2. Great granny blanket…and I love the Amy Butler fabrics too..she uses such pretty designs…I made some paper copies once and then made paper flowers with them…worked a treat
    Hugs x

  3. Peta herrling says:

    Great blanket, loved the edge and colours. I agree with Pedita. Check machine is threaded correct. Bobbin is most likely the problem. Place a bobbin in the bobbin holder with the thread running off counter clockwise. Guide the thread into the notch centre front of bobbin holder. Draw the thread to the left, sliding it between the tension spring blades. Continue to draw the thread lightly until the thread slips into the notch on left side. Pull out about 6 inches of thread (15cm) lower needle to pick up bobbin thread. Good luck! LMx :)

  4. Can’t help with the sewing machine I’m afraid, but I love your blanket, that is going to look so good in babies room and I have crochet envy again!

  5. I love the colours of your blanket for a baby blanket. I’m not sure why so many people think babies only like pastels. I can’t add any more to the sewing machine instructions, but you must get it fixed (or start a long job of sewing by hand) because that fabric is going to make a beautiful patchwork quilt. A very inspiring post; I might even go find my crochet hook :)

    • I couldn’t agree more Anne – I think it’s much nicer that the blanket is a bit ‘ageless’ and then it’s likely to live a bit longer in the house :)
      I’m convinced – I’m going to get to the bottom of this sewing dilemma. x

  6. lazydaisyjones says:

    My friend has this machine and this has just happened to hers too, the problem was the bobbin and the machine needed a bit of a clean too!
    hope that helps, just over from the project myself and yours is the first entry i have viewed…good luck with the machine!
    bestest daisy j x

  7. Gorgeous blanket! And I have fabric envy too! Sorry about the machine trials, good suggestions above. It will be beautiful once you get it sorted.

  8. I love your blanket… I have a similar blanket on my sofa which once belonged to my Grandmother :)

  9. Your blanket is lovely and I love your sweet fabric colors.
    I’m not totally sure what the problem is with your machine but will tell you some things I have found in the past the fixed my problems.

    This seems simple but…You must change your needle all of the time. I was quite surprised at the mess I had one time and it was totally fixed with a new needle. Make sure it is the one for your specific machine.. You will find so many hints and fixes on the Internet just put in your make and model # which you will find somewhere on your machine.

    If you have a manual you will want to get it out for this next fix. If not I will try to give you the best instruction possible now.
    On your bobbin casing is a tiny screw and it can make a world of difference if it is not the done right.
    You will need the little tiny screw driver that comes with your machine or something else that will turn the screw.
    Take the entire casing out of the machine..just like you have in the first photo of it and hold it straight up and down. Now take the thread in your other hand and gently let go of the bobbin casing while holding on to the a yo-yo kind of. It should fall slightly when you let go of the casing and if you jiggle the thread lightly it should just go down a bit but not fast. If it falls too fast, out of control like then it needs to be tightened and if it doesn’t move down at all even when you bounce it gently then it needs to be loosened.
    You take your screwdriver and turn clockwise to increase the tension and counterclockwise to decrease but only turn the screw 1/4 of a turn to start with and try the test again.

    You will be surprised how this helps and hopefully you will be all set to go.
    I am no way a fixer of all but do know that once I found this out, it was such a help.
    Please feel free to email if I didn’t explain this well and you need more help. I will then try to find a place online to help you out.

  10. Hiya, loving all those fab colours in both the blanket and the fabrics. I was going to give you loads of advice about your machine, but I think most of it has been covered here. Handy tip though, if you look inside the bobbin case you will see a slot cut in to it that the thread will come through. It usually runs bottom left to top right. The thread needs to be coming off your bobbin in the same direction as this groove. Also just check you are using the same thread on top and bottom. Good luck with it!

  11. I have sometimes had that problem when the machine was not threaded properly at the top or the bobbin thread was catching a bit. Rethreading has always worked for me.

    If you can’t fix it then you can send the squares to me and I’ll piece them for you and send it back for hand-quilting. It would be no problem at all and far better than wasting fabric (which I’m sure is an offence in some states).


    • Oh my Tara – that is the most generous thing to offer. Thank you. I’m going to persevere. I really do want to make my machine work for me. I’d love to be able to whip up cute dresses and things for people like you do. Hopefully, I’ll be posting a machine success post soon :)
      I suspect if were an offence, ACT and Victoria would be leading the way – don’t you think Tara? 😀

  12. Love love that gorgeous blanket and the colours are stunning together. I am sure your friend will love it. The fabric is gorgeous and good luck with your machine. All of the suggestions are great ones. I was going to suggest changing the needle and rethreading the bobbin. Hopefully it works as rows and rows of that lovely fabric will be lovely therapy for you when it is all in working order:)

  13. cat@thatbettiething says:

    Hi Heike,
    Love Amy Butler. I had a machine do this and it was the thread tension. I fiddled with it so much that I ended up having to have it serviced. There should be a dooby for thread tension….

  14. Hello, another stitched journaller here :) You’ve obviously had lots of advice re. the machine, there’s nothing I can add, but as Anne said I do hope you can get it fixed as that is going to be a gorgeous quilt!

  15. While i hope that the answer is the bobbin, as everyone else is pointing in that direction, i sometimes have to rethread the top thread as well. Don’t aks me why, but rethreading the top thread completely, i.e. even taking the reel off the machune and starting all over again has had good results for me in the past.

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