This could get expensive

I made a start on quilting the eye-spy quilt yesterday.  I didn’t get very far, unfortunately, because after about half an hour I suddenly seemed to have lost all my carefully practised skill at controlling the speed.  Now, no matter how gently I pressed on the foot pedal, I could only produce either dead stop or top speed.  And as successful free-motion quilting is dependent on matching the speed of the machine to the speed you’re moving the fabric, this was not a good thing.  After several more attempts to get it right, combined with a lot of fiddling with the primitive speed limiter on the pedal (basically just a screw on the underside that you tighten or loosen to determine the maximum speed, which didn’t seem to be making any difference either), I finally realised it wasn’t me but The Beast that had the problem.
I did a bit of Googling and diagnosed the poor thing with an extreme case of broken capacitor.  Which means I’m going to have to take it in to a sewing machine repair place and hope they carry such obscure parts as a capacitor for a 30-ish year old machine.  I suspect they may laugh.  Probably followed by offering to sell me an entirely new foot pedal for many many dollars (according to Google, such things are available for a not too exorbitant cost, as long as you live in America and (a) don’t have to pay the shipping, and (b) have the same voltage and plug shapes and stuff as America, which NZ doesn’t.  I couldn’t find any prices for the NZ equivalent, but going by the cost of everything else sewing-machine-related here, it won’t be cheap).  Plus the only shop I know of in Christchurch which repairs Berninas is way down Colombo Street somewhere, so several buses away, and I have a distinct lack of free weekends to make the trek in over the next few weeks.  Oh well, the lack of free weekends means I won’t have any time to do any sewing anyway, so I suppose it can wait.
The bits I quilted before everything went horribly wrong look very pretty though (I have discovered the joys of variegated thread.  This may become an obsession.).  The effect I was going for was that of vines climbing around the window frames, and apart from a few hiccoughs, I’m pretty pleased with how it was turning out:

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7 Comments

  1. Of all the features on a sewing machine I wish were mine… it’s the new ‘slow’ regulator that the higher end machines have now. I have long wanted the ability to make the thing go really slow so I could sew around corners with precision.
    Why do things so often boil down to ‘more money’?
    🙂
    Good luck on your repair.

    1. That’s the difference between sewing machines and cars – with one, you pay extra to make it go faster, with the other, you pay to make it go slower! 🙂

    1. I hope so! (I did think of trying to replace it myself, but it’s such an old machine I’m scared I’d break something else while trying, so better to leave it to an expert, even if it does cost me more)

  2. I like that “eye-spy”! It reminds me of a quilt I used to have when I was little (I still have it, upstairs). It had many pieces of printed fabric, perhaps from old calico dresses, from shirts and aprons. I used to make believe all sorts of stories about the pictures in the quilt pieces! I never learned to quilt, though. I’m sorry I didn’t.

      1. Wow, that is a treasure!
        And it’s never too late to learn to quilt – I only started learning a couple of years ago, and I’m amazed how much I’ve picked up in that time.

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