According to the Bible, the Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday night. And at this time of year, that's pretty early, around 4:30. The hours of the Sabbath are sacred, so I don't quilt or do business on the Sabbath. So I wanted to make sure I got an early start on the quilt and finish up in plenty of time for the Sabbath to begin. As a matter of fact, on my way in, I was praying that the Lord would not allow the devil to keep me from finishing the quilt before the Sabbath began.
I don't use a long arm quilting machine often enough to feel comfortable loading the quilt myself, so I asked for assistance. Unfortunately, the person who was assisting me was not a quilter and had just taken the training herself. She changed the needle for me and wound my first bobbin. I scratched my head over some of the things she did, and it seemed to be taking forever to get it loaded. Finally we had backing, batting and quilt top loaded on the frame. Then she left me, while I got the pantograph set up and then I was ready to begin, about 10:30. Not a good thing. This is a LARGE double quilt - actually large enough to fit a queen, and I was going to be quilting a rather dense pattern, so I was rather concerned about my time constraints. And, as it turned out, I was not ready to begin. When I started trying to baste the layers together, the machine wasn't cooperating at all. I couldn't pull the bobbin thread up, the needle got stuck and the thread broke. I went to get help and eventually we had to get someone who works in the store that actually owns one of these machines (HQ Avante), so she fiddled with it a bit and thought it might be my thread (Aurilux). She switched threads and still had problems. And then she finally noticed that the needle was in backwards! Switched the needle around and it seemed to be working fine, so we switched back to my thread and I tried again. Started to baste across the top but it kept skipping stitches. <sigh> By this time, it was 11:05. They had offered to allow me to leave the quilt on the machine if I didn't finish and come back Monday night when they're open until 8:30. But I had had more than enough frustration for one morning and decided to just take the quilt off the frame and leave. I really didn't want to drive back again on Monday night in the dark. I'm not fond of driving in the dark.
So once again the pixel quilt is not finished. And I'm not sure how I'm going to get it finished. My scheduled days off always fall on a Friday, but I don't think I will try again to do a quilt on a Friday at this time of year. It's just cutting it to close to try and get it done before the Sabbath. And I have no more vacation to use until April, unless I borrow from next year's vacation. I've even used up my floating stat. I wish there was a longarm studio that was open on Sundays and then there wouldn't be a problem. Ultimately, I really need to get my own longarm machine. I just have to figure out how I'm going to afford it. And I need to de-clutter and finish the rest of the basement. In the meantime, I have found the Getting Started: HQ Avante videos on Youtube. Before I go next time, I intend to review them thoroughly and then I should be able to change the needle, wind the bobbin and load the quilt all on my own. One thing I will say about Central Sewing Machines, they actually clock you in on a time clock when you rent their machines, but you don't clock in until you're ready to sew. They don't charge you for the loading and set-up time. The other studio I rented at charged twice as much per hour and did include the loading/set-up time. Ouch! I could have saved a lot of money if I'd been renting at Central all along.
All was not lost on my trip to the city, however. I was able to stop at McGavin's Bread Basket and pick up some Silver Hills bread. Silver Hills is my favourite bread. Made of all whole grains, mostly organic, it has body, it has texture, it has substance. Not like that doughy stuff you usually find at the grocery store, even the whole grain stuff. Silver Hills, however, does not usually come cheap. $4-5/loaf, or more, if you can find it. However, the stuff they sell at McGavin's Bread Basket is closer to the best before date, so they sell it cheaper. As in 10 loaves for $14.99 (or something like that), but you have to buy 10 loaves. No problem, I have a freezer. So I was really happy to make that stop as I was running low on bread.
Next stop was Payless Shoes, where I was actually able to find a pair of shoes that fit me and were comfortable (till I wore them for the rest of the day, but that's me and my bad feet). Stopped at a mall for lunch and then hit the Fabricland and purchased some fabric to console myself after today's disappointment.
First I found this panel. It has the Beautitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), Amazing Grace, the Prayer of Serenity, the Prayer of St. Francis and some mini panels that have Christian symbols on them. Not sure what I'll use the mini panels for. Some of them look like they're supposed to be bookmarks. I'm sure I'll figure out something.
Next I found this train fabric. I took what was left on the bolt, less than two metres, I think.
While I was waiting in line at the cutting table, I spied this Stonehenge fabric. I'm not a big brown/beige fan, but my basement bathroom is beige and black and I thought this might make a nice wallhanging in there. Again, I bought what was left on the bolt.
All of the fabric I purchased was on sale, which makes me even happier.
On my way back into town, I stopped at Walmart to pick up tahini and see if they had miso or umeboshi paste. Nada. Not even the tahini, at least not that I could find.
And no more warning lights for my tire. It remained (over)inflated.
The Sabbath has begun now, so I wish you all a happy Sabbath.