Okay, I thought I'd have to give free motion quilting a go. So, once I'd put borders on my pink and green squared top I thought that would be good to start on - I didn't care too much about it so I wasn't worried about 'ruining' it. DD is going to camp at a music festival next month so I thought she could put it in the tent. So there I was, stitching away merrily (but not very evenly - hey I'm still learning). I remembered what Anne, at Quilting Bebbs had said about starting in the middle and moving to the edges. I thought this could be like one big practice piece.
And then THIS happened. The needle broke into 3 pieces and the actual plastic part of the foot sheared off. I don't think I hit a safety pin so I have no idea why this happened. Maybe it's a cosmic message ~stick to stitching in the ditch~. So I have no idea whether it's a faulty foot or whether it was something I did wrong. Either way, the quilt will now have to wait until I can order another foot. I haven't tried the machine with another foot yet, so I hope there is no other damage to it.
One thing I did find out when I was doing the fmq - my machine always stops with the needle up and you can't set it to stop with the needle down - kind of annoying when doing this. Other than that I love my machine, it's a Brother star 230E and has lots of features that I like such as a top loading bobbin so you don't have to put it in a seperate case and pull the thread through.
And, best news yet, it's raining, what a relief!