Let this be a lesson to you.
If you take a machine anywhere for away-from-home sewing, do NOT leave without a small maintenance kit including things like small screw drivers, machine oil, a spare rotary blade or two, some extra bobbins and NEEDLES OF DIFFERENT SIZES! My problem could have been easily solved if I had remembered to stick a couple of extra items into the featherweight case.
Quilters to the rescue!
I showed up for the morning Oklahoma Backroads workshop in Laurens, SC and some sweet soul who read my plight the night before here on the blog handed me a multi pack of Singer needles that had been given out at a function as a freebie. LIFE SAVER!
I had read on several sites while searching for what the problem might be that Featherweights do NOT like the more recent Schmetz needles that are being manufactured in China, where they used to be manufactured in Germany.
Singers should like Singer needles, right? Made in BRAZIL! Interesting! Nice to see something that is NOT made in China when it comes to sewing machines.
I gave it a try the next morning before heading out to Columbia to meet up with Jason for lunch.
((There was no time between the workshop and the evening lecture and I was too toasted to try it when I got back to the hotel that night))
It looks great from the top!
But the proof is on the paper side:
Yippy! NO Skippy!
I knew it could not be a timing issue. It sewed perfect with 2 layers of fabric ---nothing wrong there. The problem only came when I tried to sew through the same two layers of fabric PLUS a layer of paper. And the skipping was intermittent and not at even intervals, which is another indication that it could NOT be a timing issue.
Thread, re-thread, change the kind of thread were all things I was able to do, but it wasn’t until I had other needles on hand that I could really blame it on the needle. In this case it was the needle that was the culprit.
What size did I put in? Size 14. Perfect stitch, no skipping with the addition of paper. Wonder of wonders, size 14 is the size I recommend in my books and here on the blog for doing any kind of stitching through paper. I honestly have no idea what brand or size of needle was in the machine to give me the problems it was giving.
When in doubt – NEEDLE OUT – and try another one!