Day 73: Tension

I have been quilting for a few years now, 10 to be exact, and I do use the term "quilting" very loosely. I've never made anything really difficult, and only attempt things that involve me sewing squares or rectangles together, but nonetheless, I have created some beautiful things along the way.

I hated sewing when I was in high school and swore I would never sew again, much less actually ENJOY sewing or find it to be something that calms me. But I do love it.

Mostly I love it.

I absolutely hate it on days when my sewing machine is possessed. And by possessed I mean the bobbin eats thread, the thread constantly breaks (which is ESPECIALLY annoying because I am half-blind now and can't see to thread the stupid needle!), or the fabric won't feed, or blah, blah, blah, you get the picture. Usually when that happens, I just quit sewing for a while. Sometimes for the day, sometimes for weeks or even months.

I was sewing the other day and was having a "machine day" when instead of giving up, I decided to play around with the tension of my machine. I have always been content to set my machine controls right in the middle of the suggested settings area on the machine. I always figured that those blue squares indicating where I should set the controls were there for a reason, so I've just always used them. It never occurred to me that each machine was going to be different and I might have to "play" with what normal looked like for MY machine.

Turns out, the tension on your sewing machine is incredibly important. Too much tension and the thread breaks, too little and the extra slack in the thread causes the stitches to be messy and the thread to break (why does everything end in the thread breaking?!)

In my usual, "over analyze" everything way, I started thinking about how the tension of my sewing machine was a lot like the tension of my life. Too much tension and things break. Too little tension and things just get messy. Try to live in the "what's normal for everyone else" mode too long, and things don't work either.

All that to say, next time things get out of control, instead of giving up, I'm just going to adjust my tension.

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