This week my quilting machine had a major break-down for the first time ever. I hardly ever have quilts with a definite deadline but, of course, this time I did. I was stitching along one evening early in the week in stitch regulated mode when all of a sudden the machine's speed picked up to the point of sewing uncontrollably fast. Eventually, the machine would sew at full speed from the second it was turned on and would not turn off with the switch on the handle.
Bruce Brown, the Australian Gammill guru from The Finishing Touch, who unfortunately lives interstate, advised that I had blown my speed control transistor which would need to be replaced - this sounded serious! Bruce put a part in the mail for me and talked me through the instructions for replacing it. The part was a very small electronic component which lives under the motherboard and would require soldering in. I certainly can't solder, nor can my husband. Who to ask but my handy father.... My dad is a retired tiler but is generally a very handy person who has turned his hand to many trades. While he has done some soldering before, he had never worked with electronic components.
Friday morning, Dad and I opened up the quilting machine and were faced with the very scary inside of the machine - wires and plugs everywhere.
After carefully numbering all the plugs, we unplugged them, unscrewed the motherboard and found the part to be replaced. The replacement part was only about 3/4 inch in size with three prongs which required soldering onto three wires - work much finer than Dad is used to. Together we did manage to solder the wires on, re-attach the motherboard, plug the numerous wires back in and put the cover back on. We both held our breath as we turned the machine back on. The first signs were good - at least it didn't start stitching uncontrollably as soon as I turned it on. After some testing all apeared well - we had done it! We must have even put the plugs back on in the correct positions.
The quilt with a deadline was finished over the weekend and has already been collected by my customer Linda from Quilts in the Barn. Linda has made a stunning Dresden Plate Quilt which I have quilted with lots of feathers. The quilt is going to be published as a pattern in an Australian magazine later this year so I can't show you the whole quilt as yet. Here is a little sample - I will show the whole quilt once the magazine is out.
So, thanks Dad for a great repair job, Bruce for wonderful instructions and Linda for your patience in waiting for the quilt to be finished. I am looking forward to a less eventful week.