carriebehlke

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About carriebehlke

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  1. I would really like to get into the ear of the powers that be at APQS. I've had a bee in my bonnet about wasted space in my frame for MONTHS. I can't let it go! FYI, I have a 2015 Lenni. I think it is a CRYING SHAME that there is a LOT of wasted space inside my quilting frame. It is especially important to me because I'm short (5'0"), but it applies to us all (eye sight!). I removed my quilt top belly bar, because I float ALL of my quilt tops. I have NEVER rolled a quilt top, and never want to. So, since my quilt top belly bar is absent, it's all the more obvious that I've got, like 8" of wasted space, right at the FRONT of my arm reach. It doesn't matter whether the quilt top roller is there or not. It would still be wasted space. In my opinion this is a design flaw. I'm stretching to reach the back of my throat space and squinting my eyes to see detailed quilting, and then I've got miles of prime real estate at the front of my frame just sitting idle. I've talked about some ideas on how to get around this with Matt Sparrow (APQS Canada), and have never come up with a solution that I feel is practical. I tried putting my belly bar that holds the backing into the top roller holes, but it was too high, and when my hopping foot came to the front of the throat space it hopped so violently on that higher quilt that I couldn't really even see where my needle was. I tried turning my roller end-for-end and putting it in the quilt top holes, but it sucks the fabric down into a crevice as you advance the quilt - hard to describe, but if you tried it, you'd see exactly what I mean. I considered purchasing new arms for my frame - ones that were manufactured for the new "Larri" model - this was Matt's suggestion. But they cost several hundred dollars and only give you, like 1.75". I also considered upgrading to a Luci head, but keeping my Lenni frame. The lovely couple from Dragon Heart Studio in Pincher Creek, Alberta, even came to my house and brought a Luci and put it on my Lenni carriage to see if it would work. The problem was that the Luci machine head is JUST a little, tiny bit longer than the Lenni carriage (or maybe it's that the take-up roller doesn't stop Luci soon enough, I can't remember exactly). The point is: if we wanted to do that, we would have to machine some kind of bolt to put in place that would prevent the Luci from rolling right off the back of the carriage. So then, we're modifying the setup, and actually not using the entire throat space of Luci, and spending thousands of dollars, and I felt like it was just too much to risk and hassle. APQS ENGINEERS PLEASE READ: I really don't know why APQS doesn't just manufacture an optional set of arms for each model, for people who float their tops. I know LOTS of people do - I would guess a MAJORITY of quilters float tops. I can't be the only one who's had these thoughts. If they just subtracted, like 6" or so off the length of my frame's arms, I'd be in heaven and all my pet peeves would be gone. Okay, rant over! If anyone knows of something I'm missing or has any advice, I'm all ears! I would love to find out that there's an obvious solution! Attached are photos. I laid my measuring tape out along the front edge of my quilted space. It's just about 7.5" from the back of the belly bar to the front of the quilted space. Completely wasted!
  2. carriebehlke

    MQS was disappointing

    Helen, it's so nice to hear your perspective, as a sort-of insider. I proudly received YOUR teacher's ribbon, which basically saved my experience. I attended MQS this year, and it was my first time to a quilt show. I just got my longarm last August, and I cherry-picked THIS quilt show, because I read that they have a rookie category and it fit my schedule. I emailed the show organizers before registering, to confirm that I qualified as a rookie (I had been quilting on my domestic machine for a couple years previously), and Laura Wertwign assured me, via email, that I was indeed a qualified rookie. This was the actual factor that convinced my husband to agree that I should go this year (even though the expense of airfare from Canada, etc. wasn't in our budget). It would have been smart for me to save my pennies and go some future year, but then I would lose my rookie status. So I registered online, checked all the necessary boxes, booked myself solid with classes, purchased airfare, lined up childcare for my two toddlers, and shipped in my quilt! I made sure to plan my travel so that I could arrive in time for the awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, because I was anxious to see the winning rookie, to see the work of my contemporaries. To my disappointment, they did NOT award a rookie prize. I emailed Laura that evening and asked why they skipped that prize, and she told me that they didn't have a single rookie entry. And I pointed out to her that I MYSELF was rookie entrant! I checked my online profile, and I indeed was listed as a longarmer for less than a year. I reminded her that I had received her confirmation of my rookie status through email ahead of time. I even referenced being a new longarmer in my little paragraph description of my quilt. And her response was "we have had issues with the entry program". (What a shame that I should be penalized for it!) She then told me that she would be returning my quilt through Postal Service, rather than FedEx, after the show, because FedEx is more expensive to Canada. And I replied to her that I had also checked the box during my online registration process to indicate that I would be picking up my quilt in person. Apparently the registry system messed that up, too! I assured her that I had arranged my travel plans to keep me in Cedar Rapids through Saturday evening, so that I could pick it up in person. But when I arrived on Saturday I had to wait quilt a while and got a few exasperated looks from the gals staffing the quilt-pick-up, because they had to go dig my quilt out of the pile of to-ship quilts. A third gripe, I had an overlap in class scheduling. On Thursday evening of MQS, I pulled out my class list to remind myself what I had signed up for the next couple days, and only then did I realize that I had accidentally forgotten to remove a Krista Withers class I had temporarily considered and scheduled it right on top of a Sue Patten class. I was scheduled for two classes at the same time. I took the opportunity to say hi to Laura Wertwign in person after the banquet Friday evening and told her about this. I admitted that it was my fault for forgetting to remove the unwanted class, but that, gee, it would have been nice if the online registry system would have stopped me from doing this. It seems like this would be one of the important benefits to HAVE online registration. Laura said that the registration system was supposed to have caught that and again told me that there had been lots of screw ups with it, but that was it. No offer to refund my $53, not actually even an apology. I've been an event manager before for organizations I belong to, and I didn't want to make waves and cause a big stink, because I know those ladies had lots on their plates. But all these technical glitches were a real spoiler to this event for me. Particularly the Rookie category. I remember seeing some of my heroes' photos of themselves with rookie ribbons. I would have been so jazzed to show it to my family and friends, and especially my husband. And the seeming lack of concern by organizers added insult to injury. I'll save up for a couple years and try an MQX next time.
  3. carriebehlke

    Poor stitch quality

    My biggest symptom right now is usually a thread break that actually fixes itself after a few stitches, before I can actually even get stopped. But this time( I will try to post a photo), it didn't quite break completely. It looped up the top thread for several stitches (where I'm pointing), then continued on normally. And you can look above where I'm pointing to see earlier stitches. When these earlier stitches were made, they were perfect, but when the break/loop-up happened it snapped the top thread tight, like a slingshot, and distorted those previous stitches.
  4. carriebehlke

    Poor stitch quality

    Hi, everyone! Reporting back. I was hopeful that the wd40 bath in the bobbin area had fixed my problem. It did indeed improve it, but my problems have been creeping back up and no amount of wd40ing can make it go away now. Jim, I'd like to try your idea. Are there any videos or illustrations available for clueless people like me? I have a feeling you are more experienced than me. Like, when you said to make sure the spring isn't damaged... I don't even know how to tell whether or not it's damaged! Ha!
  5. carriebehlke

    Poor stitch quality

    Thanks, everyone! I'm going to work through your suggestions and report back later. Wow, Jim, yours was especially intriguing. I'm going to start with wd40 bath. And then go from there.
  6. carriebehlke

    Poor stitch quality

    I've been fighting with my Lenni for several days - well, weeks actually. I'll be quilting along and every 30-60 seconds it loops up the top thread. The thread doesn't get pulled tightly. Occasionally it's just a single stitch, other times it's several stitches in a row, which really creates havoc. And when it's not looping up random stitches, it's just breaking the thread. I mainly use glide on top and magnaglide bobbins. I've also tried So Fine and Magnifico by superior. It's happened on several different quilts over the last week. I'm in a very dry climate, and I've started using sewers aid, which seems to help a bit with thread breakage. But this poor stitch quality is driving me bonkers! Please offer suggestions!
  7. Lemon Tree Tami, did you ever go through the re-timing process? How did it go? I'm scared of it! I have a strange grinding noise in my Lenni (always have) and I also can't stitch from R to L without shredding/unwinding/breaking. APQS sent me a new hook assembly to combat the grinding noise, and I also wondered about re-timing, since I'm having the R to L problem. Did you find the emery cloth they recommend in the re-timing video. What grit? Where did you find it? I think I actually may have conversed with you a while ago about the R to L problem. Your handle (name) sounds familiar. Hoping I can learn from your experience! CarrieOnThePrairie in Alberta
  8. Anyone know if APQS makes a "texas hold'em" bracket for the Lenni frame? It's a bracket that allows you to completely remove the quilt top roller bar on the front (I float all my quilt tops). On the APQS website, it makes it sound like the Texas Holdem brackets are only available for the larger frames. Anyone know something about this?
  9. Tami - did you have nesting of the top thread on the bottom of the quilt when this happened? Like I did? See my post for photos of what I mean... http://forum.apqs.com/index.php?/topic/38207-right-to-left-shreddinglooping/
  10. OMG - Tami - I absolutely love your work-around, taped-on safety pin. That is SO hilariously priceless! We have these super pricey machines and a safety pin is keeping it all running! It reminds me of so many things on my family's farm that are duct taped together. Our symptoms really sound similar - about shredding when going in long lines from right to left. I'm gonna try your approach tomorrow and see. Fingers crossed!
  11. carriebehlke

    Right-to-left shredding/looping

    This is just stupid. I'm really getting exasperated. Still happening after playing with top tension (not bottom) a LOT. I figured out that it's not really "shredding" I don't think. It's UNWINDING. Somewhere around the tension disks. But I don't think that's really the cause, more of a symptom. I also noticed that the top thread is being pulled down to the bottom and making a rat's nest down there when this happens. And I also feel a "shucking" sound/feel in the handle. It happens when going right to left and especially when I slow down near the end of a block. If I'm going really fast, it doesn't happen all that much. Happens in stitch regulation and manual, both. Someone please help! This is just ridiculous.
  12. Tami - did you ever get this figured out? I am having the same issue. I think it is ridiculous if we really can't use our machines going from right to left. That's just not practical! Hoping you found the answer!
  13. carriebehlke

    Right-to-left shredding/looping

    I have had my new Lenni for just over a week. Just started having really frustrating issue. My (Glide) thread keeps shredding and/or looping on the top when I'm going right to left, in straight-ish lines. Also common when going from bottom to top (pushing away from me), but not as bad as right to left. No problems at all when I'm doing swirls, meanders, etc. Top-to-bottom and left-to-right straight lines are fine. But going right to left, major problems with loops/skipped stitches/shredding. REALLY FRUSTRATED! Here's what I've tried... - new needle - bigger needle - turned needle from straight-on to 6:30 position - turned cone of thread upside down on the spindle - different thread - re-threaded top and bobbin - loosened/tightened quilt sandwich on the frame From my new owners class, I understand that the machine runs better from left to right, but I feel like I SHOULD be allowed to go from right to left if I need to. I'm doing a woodgrain effect across a 14" block. Do I really have to tie off at the end of every line and re-start half an inch away again. How does anyone do cross-hatching, matchsticks, etc.? As a brand new owner, I'm not sure what "normal" is, but I really hope this isn't it! Here are photos of my problems, along with the blocks that I did right before this block and right after I decided to leave this block and come back to it. Same EVERYTHING - thread, needle, bobbin, etc. With other styles of quilting, no problems!
  14. carriebehlke

    Side clamps

    I have ordered a new Lenni. Will it come with the clamps on bungie cords that pull the sides of the quilt outward? Or do I have to purchase those separately? Where do you recommend purchasing them?
  15. carriebehlke

    Batting storage?

    Reviving this topic. I have ordered a Lenni with a 12' frame. Will this accommodate an under-table batting bar? I think it would really suit me to store my batting horizontally down there and cutting it off the roll on the floor. Does anyone have the batting bar from APQS? Can you snap a few pics of it - especially how it's attached to your frame. I'm having trouble envisioning it.