Modifying George

george-corners-01My blog has been quiet lately because I have been fully focused on a secret project. The worst thing about secret projects is that I can’t share my step-by-step progress with you. Suffice it to say, I had a short deadline, so I was highly motivated and, therefore, highly focused.

There were a few hurdles I had to conquer with this deadline. First, this quilt is 83″ square, which is huge for me! Most of my quilts are 40″ square or less. Next, while I had a few weeks to piece it, I found out at the last minute that I needed to quilt it, too, and I only had about a week available to me!

That leads me to the next hurdle: George. It’s time for confession. I’ve owned George for a few years, but we haven’t become friends yet. I was frustrated with thread breakage, horrible tension issues, and a presser foot I could not control. In fact, I had not quilted even one quilt using George. He and I were not on good terms. I emailed Beth Schillig, my own personal George expert, a few times to work through my problems. She got the presser foot replaced, gave me a supply of smaller needles, and recommended that I use a different thread: Magnifico by Superior Threads. This thread is specifically designed for high speed machines.

I suppose, for me, it helps to be put in a pressure cooker. I had to get this quilt done, and I had to quilt it on George. It was time to face my fears. So I pulled out every trick Beth taught me and sat down and busted it out! Hooray!!! I finished last night! And I think I’ve conquered George! This machine worked beautifully once I implemented Beth’s suggestions.

I only had a few problems while I was quilting. One, there was an annoying squeak coming from under the cover. Sweet hubby took it off and oiled the pulleys and solved that problem. Another was a few areas where the tension is still not the greatest, but I’ll probably tear those out and restitch those few areas.

And the last problem leads me to the real reason for this post. One day I noticed my right hand a cut on it. The next day there was another. Did you see the photo above? I finally realized that as I rearranged my quilt under the needle, I kept bumping my hand on the sharp corners of the mounting bracket for the LED lights.


Once I figured out what was happening, the solution was easy. I asked sweet hubby for a metal file and in about ten minutes, every sharp corner on that bracket was gone.

Ah, relief! I finished quilting last night, got it blocked, and today I start binding. If it weren’t for deadlines, I wouldn’t get anything done!

3 Responses

  1. Susan Ritchie Voegtly

    thank you Dear Heart for your post!!! Deadlines!! I have similar issues with a Handi!! Maybe I need a deadline! Yea for teamwork with Beth!!!

  2. Connie

    I agree, Beth is the best. I’m still working slowly on one of my monsters. Glad you’re friends with George. Beware of the oil wicks on top of him; I finally realized the oil spots on my big pieces were coming from those wicks, and covered them with plastic taped in place. When I bunch a big quilt while quilting, it sometimes touches the top of the machine. Really slows you down when you spend a day removing oil stains. If you don’t like the shiny effect of Magnifico, try the matte So Fine #50. George LOVES it. And I use a Magic Genie washer in the bobbin, so I don’t have backlash problems.

    • Maria

      Thanks for the tips, Connie! I have So Fine, too, so I’ll give it a try next time. I also have some of the Magic Genie washers, but I’ve never used them. My Janome didn’t seem to like them. I’ll give them a try in George. Never thought about the quilt rubbing on the oil wicks. LOL! I’ll be happy to learn that from you instead of first hand 🙂