broken needles and omens of various kinds

I like to think I am not terribly superstitious, but when I break needles I worry. Especially when I break a large number in a short amount of time.

Usually it is a mechanical problem – I am pulling or pushing the piece around too hard, and the needle gets bent slightly and hits the throat plate when it goes in. That indicates I should make the needle go faster, and move the fabric slower.

Every once and a while I get too many layers in one place, and the texture is too stiff to get a needle through. I remember in an interview with Dierdre Scherer, a woman making astonishing protraits in fabric and stitch, she said she stitched until needles broke; then she knew that area was finished. I don't generally have this problem, but I am aware of it. 

And yet, even when I am careful and the layers are about as usual, needle breaking goes in runs. I think it might be related to my level of tiredness. Since I didn't sleep last night until way too late (foolish brain!) and rode two horses again today, I think I am going to blame the last 5 (five!?!) needles in five minutes on tired. 

But it means I have nothing to show, because the needles broke before anythig interesting happened. So I will get some new trees cut out and ironed down for the foreground, and I will think about a frozen pond and a rock with a layer of snow on it, because neither of those things will break another needle. 

One thought on “broken needles and omens of various kinds

  1. wanted to say the recent work is exquisite. really interesting.
    now about those needles, you probably are too tired, but perhaps you have some bad steel. all from the same package? could be bum steel that, when stressed quilter uses, they can’t take the heat.
    now, how were the horses when you were done?!


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