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ffq-lar last won the day on August 15

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About ffq-lar

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  1. For accuracy and stability, foundation-piece a piano key border. Use thin muslin for the foundation, mark two-inch increments and a quarter-inch outside edge (like with paper piecing) with a blue wash-away marker, and add your strips, sewing on the line. Be sure the outside quarter inch is covered. Trim the edge on the line when your strip is dne. The lining fabric will stabilize the border. This can also be done with paper, removing it after stitching.
  2. I'll jump in here with some info. It spans and sits on the rollers so one made for a Millie won't fit a Lenny. The span between the rollers is different and since it snaps on the leveler roller for stability, the roller diameter must be the same. If it has the wheel, you can make many sizes of concentric circles from the front. If it doesn't have the wheel, it's a holder for pattern boards (blocks only) and allows you to trace the boards from the front. The arm attaches to the head without drilling any new holes. If she doesn't have the original instructions, we can send them to the new owner.
  3. My favorite is Essence by Filtec. It's super-thin, inexpensive, and fairly strong. I don't change the needle, but reduce both the top and bottom tension. Pull the top thread through the needle and reduce the tension until when you let it go, there is little curl. (I've used Monopoly and Madeira invisible and much prefer Essence.)
  4. You might need to have the wheels adjusted if the machine is super-sluggish. But take a deep breath and allow yourself to be bad until you practice enough to be good. The X/Y set up of wheels running horizontal and vertical means your machine LOVES to go horizontal and vertical. It's easy--just a push will move the head and it will stay on course until it stops, never veering off the line. Now diagonals? Not so pretty. You must overcome the natural tendency of the head to go h-and-v. This requires training your muscles. Boring...but necessary. It becomes automatic when you put in the hours. Your brains sends the message that "now we're going in a circle. That will mean a tiny nudge this way, another, another, another"---you'll have four spots in a circle where you will need to apply that little smidge of extra force/speed needed to make a nice curve. Practice (arghh) will do the trick. Make circles---just like learning cursive years ago. Practice big "O"s-- it may take 400---or 4000---but they will get better with every one you stitch. Do overalls of loops, making them as big and as round as you can. Another good practice is curvy stencils. Staying on the line will become ingrained. Good luck and you'll see improvement very quickly.
  5. Don't be afraid! These vintage tops are being quilted/finished all the time. Inspect the fabric for open seams and thin spots. Back with muslin if it seems delicate, float it, decide on an era-friendly quilting plan---and go! I rescued this one from a local antique mall. There was evidence that it had been sandwiched and hand-quilted along one end. The buyer must have realized the top itself would sell better if the quilting was removed. There are still "ghosts" of the hand-quilting left and because of that it's very dear to me.
  6. I wonder if they want three pieces for the back because they have it figured so the embroidered designs miss the seams that way. Basting it on the longarm will be much easier than pinning. There are several methods, but use a thicker and slippery thread (like a poly) in a contrasting color. I'd remove the stitches after hooping but before embroidering. The stitches will remove very easily. Here's my map for basting---a fake grid with lines about four inches apart. This allows you to avoid long verticals. Don't plan to baste on the diagonal.
  7. Carbona Stain Devils formula for ink removal got gel pen out of a vintage top in the same situation. It was my item so I advanced through all the usual remedies and this one worked. Apply, back with a paper towel, and pat it with your finger to push it through the fabric. Repeat. It works best if it's just the fabric and not the batting and backer as well. It will need to be washed when you finish because it does have a solvent residual smell. It can be found on the laundry aisle in a rack of little yellow bottles and Joanns used to carry the line as well. Good luck!
  8. Thermore by the Warm Company comes in two weights and is normally used for garments and bags. It's quite dense but thin.
  9. I float all tops. This allows me to keep the top square on the frame all the way. I mark the edges of the top on the top, unused leader and hit the mark as I advance. I use lots of pins to stabilize the top, but many quilters now baste the entire quilt first. Pinning is faster and I feel I have more control. You'll find what works best for you and may do a combination of techniques on different quilts.
  10. I think 30" is overkill unless you have a computer that can fill that space. I assume the frame will be wider, requiring more square footage in a studio. Freehand can still be done of course. Not for me, but maybe for others.
  11. You can dampen it but not disable it. Open the hood, find the "chirp box" and wrap it with electrical tape. It's a safety feature but I used mine for about six months after it lost its voice. You train yourself to look for the front light or the bars to see if it's engaged. I prefer the chirp and had it fixed at a spa treatment.
  12. Just like last year with Bonnie's Tuscany quilt, I get the fabric together and download the steps. But I wait for the reveal before I start. If I don't like it, I don't make it. Last years was lovely and it's on my list to make. I like this years colors and will pull fabric for it. As a matter of fact, I have a customer's Allietare on the frame right now.
  13. If the other suggestions don't work, I used Carbona Stain Devil formula for ink and crayon to remove a large amount of gel-pen ink from vintage fabric. Available in the laundry section and at Joanns. Good luck!
  14. Scrolls. Hoping you can see the triple curls in each section. https://www.flickr.com/photos/larech/15798056596/in/dateposted/
  15. No good deed goes unpunished! Don't let your wife write checks that you can't pay! Cliche' advice is over.