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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/09/2015 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Enchanted Quilting

    Catch Me If You Can

    This is a pattern by Jacqueline De Jong and paper pieced by my customer. Not all of the areas fit together nice and flat and there were a few pleats. My customer bought the variegated thread in Paducah...I was relieved when I saw it was So Fine... 40 wt, but would have preferred a lighter weight. In the body of the quilt, I used Nemeshing for the first time in the black areas. No quilting shows whatsover in the black and silver area, so a good spot to try this out. https://flic.kr/p/u5kjw1 Lots of pix on Flickr if you are interested.
  2. 3 points
    And here''s my I Spy quilt with its recipient! (I added a few Star Wars blocks.) What a Blessing!
  3. 2 points

    Quilt labels

    I bought a charm pack of solid white just for labels. I use freezer paper, iron on back of charm square. I print straight from my tablet to printer. I take the freezer paper off, fold over about a 1/4 of inch or more depending on the size I want, iron that 1/4 inch down all the way around, then hand sew it into the bottom right hand corner. I now do this before binding since I read about some people are taking off labels and claiming they made the quilt. Non of mine but it was a news story I read about. Other than the charm pack, I didn't have to buy anything extra for labels. Ok ok I might have had a few extra charm packs laying around lol.
  4. 1 point

    New Led Lights for Zelda

    For any of you who are interested in my on going up-grade project on my Ult, Zelda, I'm proud to announce that I've built an LED light for her. I bought a number of LED components on line and just finished fabricating a light consisting of three Cree XTE - 3-up for her. The light assembly mounts on the bottom side of the head, and straddles the presser foot/needle bar assembly. The light platform is made from 16 ga aluminum sheet stock, and also acts as a heat sink for the LED's. The wires are strung through holes I drilled in the platform and come together on left side of the head and are routed up and under my Intellistitch "hood". The driver for each LED star is located under the "hood". The light assembly is attached to Zelda by way of a number 10 bolt. I originally intended on drilling and tapping a mounting hole on the underside of Zelda's head, only to find out that there isn't enough room to get any drill I own in place to drill a hole, as well as insufficient room to turn the tap. Fortunately APQS provided a hole on the underside of the head close to the presser foot bar. and I managed to match it's position on the light platform and drill a corresponding hole. Taking the side cover off allowed access to the upper side of the head base and I simply fed the small bolt through the holes, put a lock washer and a nut on it, and tightened it down. Since the base plate straddles the presser foot/needle bar assembly the single bolt holds it in place. I positioned one LED star assembly on each side of the presser foot/needle bar assembly, and one in the center behind it. To direct the light where I wanted it (I hope it's where I want it, I haven't actually sewed with her yet), I added a Carclo 3 up frosted wide optic (lens) to each Cree star. The unfocused light disbursement of the Cree XTE stars is 140 degree which seemed too wide to me. The options available were between 12 degree narrow lens through the 37 degree wide that I chose. The narrower ones seemed way too focused to me. I also like the fact that the optic sits atop the LED's and offers a bit of protection for them. The optics sit in holes in the star assembly and I set them with 5 minute epoxy to make sure they stay in place. The needle now seems to be well lighted. Each star is advertised to produce 300 lumens, so the three of them produce a lot of light. I originally intended on either wiring another switch for the LED's, or using the original light switch used on the Intellistitch up-grade. But after thinking about it, I've decided to use the switch I installed for my vertical channel lock instead. I recently installed a vertical channel lock on my Gammill Classic, and I used a wireless remote switch to power it. It has worked out so well, that I've decided to install one on Zelda. The remote switch will allow me to eliminate the wires that run loose under Zelda, which I've never really liked. They've worked flawlessly but I don't like the way they look, and I am fearful that someday they might catch on something and cause me a problem. For the time being I'll keep the original florescent lamp that the Ult2 came with. I might discover that having two lights is good or that I don't really like the LED's (heaven forbid!). Maybe a black florescent would be good. If I finally decide I don't want the florescent any longer I'll then disable it. The LED's I chose are 12v DC lights. When I built the magnetic channel locks, I installed a remote 12v DC power supply. It has adequate power to drive the lights as well as the channel locks. I've got several wires running for various power supplies (the 120v AC, for the machine, 12v DC, for the channel locks and LED's, and a 5V DC for the bobbin/pantograph cameras and monitor), and I'll try and clean up their routing one of these days (I've got them taped together now) The parts I bought including the remote switch (which hasn't been delivered yet) cost me about $85. Not cheap, but not too bad. I had a scrap of aluminum that I used for the base/heat sink, and the 12v DC power supply was already in place. If you had to add those, it would push up the cost a little. If I stop using the original florescent light, I'll eliminate burning myself on the bulb (not really burning-just uncomfortably warm). I look forward to getting the new switch and finishing up the wiring. If anything turns up that I'm not happy with when Zelda is up and going again, I'll let you all know. Jim
  5. 1 point

    New Hand Wheels for Zelda

    I know a lot of you aren't interested in my continuing modification of Zelda, my APQS Ult 2 longarm system, but for the few that are, I want to share my latest upgrade. For the last four years, I've been turning Zelda's rollers by gripping the roller itself, and turning it. The rollers are about 1.5 inches in diameter, and don't give you a lot of leverage (Zelda's rollers turn very easily because of the ball bearing pillow blocks they're mounted in) to move the machine and the quilt back and forth, and with the take up and backing rollers unlatched, they want to unroll all by themselves. Gripping the roller themselves, especially the backing roller over the years wore some of the paint off. I got tired of this situation, and decided to try and install a set of hand wheels to turn the rollers with. The Gammill Classic I have came with a set of hand wheels on it. Gammill way over did it. Their hand wheels are about 8 inches in diameter (actually I think the take up roller's hand wheel is 10 ") and made of cast iron. You certainly don't need that kind of leverage to turn the rollers. They are too large to grip with your hand like you would a door knob, so you must grip the rim of the wheel and turn it a portion of a full rotation. So I decided that I wanted smaller hand wheels that I could grip like a door knob. I began searching my catalog references, and found several different sizes offered by Grizzly International, the Washington based tool manufacturer. The shafts on Zelda's rollers are 5/8" diameter, so any hand wheel with a larger bore was dismissed. The other problem I have is that the roller shafts are not long enough to pass through the pillow block mounts, and still provide enough length and clearance to mount hand wheels. I needed to lengthen them. I could have removed the rollers and welded extensions on them, but that seemed like a lot of trouble, and would have required disassembling part of the table, so I decided to simply bolt extensions on. Because I knew it would be very difficult to center everything on thr roller shafts, I decided to make the extensions from 1/2" stock instead. Grizzly has 1/2" bore plastic hand wheels that were 4" in diameter, so I ordered 3 of them (delivered they cost about $20 total) Each hand wheel is also bored and tapped on the rim for hand wheel handles. I passed on the handles figuring that thy would just catch on my clothing as I walked by the end of the table. (my quilting room is a little snug). While I was waiting for the delivery of the hand wheels I built my roller shaft extensions. I cut three 1/2" bolts off using the 1.25" unthreaded shaft as my extension stock. (I think the bolts were probably 3" to begin with) I drilled half inch deep holes in each end of each shaft, and tapped 5/16" threads on both sides. I then cut three 1" pieces of 5/16 threaded stock, screwed each in on end of the extension stock, and wended them secure. Next I drilled and tapped corresponding holes in the ends of the take up roller, the backing roller, and the top roller. I the screwed the extensions on to the roller shafts. My concern about centering the holes in the roller shafts was warranted. In spite of my best effort to center, and starting with a small drill to bore the shaft, none was in exactly the center. However, each is close enough that they will slid through the pillow block without problem. I used thread setting compound to secure the extensions to the shafts. A couple of days later the Grizzly hand wheels arrived. The hand wheels fit perfectly. After using them some I decided that the handles I had passed on might be helpful. But rather that buy them, I set about building myself a set that were both compact and easily removable. They work wonderfully. It is much easier to manipulate a loaded quilt now. When I load a back, I roll roll it from the backing roller to the take up roller, and back to straighten and equalize tension. It's a breeze. I'm adding a photo to show them. BTW, the 4" plastic hand wheels are exactly what the job calls for. Jim
  6. 1 point

    Help!! Stitching on applique

    Sometimes the best thing to do is admit we can't do something. I recently returned such a project to a customer. She should have anchored these pieces on her domestic machine. I will never accept another project of this type...ever. Too much time and too much trouble..and too much stress over the results. No other profession is expected to do the impossible. Why should we?
  7. 1 point

    Stitch Lengthq

    I agree with Heidi. You need the tiny stitch length for tiny background fills so that the shapes are smooth. Bigger stitches would make the tiny shapes more blocky. At least that is what Sue Patton said in my class at MQS. She also suggested we turn off the stitch regulator for the tiny work. I tried it and liked it!
  8. 1 point
    I'd try sewers aid and a bigger needle.
  9. 1 point
    If you are getting a new Lenni it will arrive with the new style table and the brakes already on it.
  10. 1 point
    Quilting Heidi

    Stitch Lengthq

    Charlotte, I don't know that there are any specific rules on stitch length but this is what I use - Panto - 10 - 12 depending on density Feathers or curvy designs - 12 - 15. The smaller the feather the smaller the stitch. micro work 15 or smaller depending on design, fabric, threat etc. If you aren't in SR mode then you slow down the machine enough to be able to do the technique well while keeping your stitch length consistent. I often go to non-SR for fill work.
  11. 1 point

    New Led Lights for Zelda

    Trinity: Here are the pics of Zelda's installation. I finally got them in my computer where I could find them. The first one is of the LED light itself. The second is of the wire routing on the machine.
  12. 1 point

    New Led Lights for Zelda

    Jim.... WE HAVE TO SEE THIS To add pictures just click on the "More Reply Options" lower right, next to the "Post"... Now you can use the "Attach Files" under the reply text box... Find your picture on your computer You now will see your picture "Done (uploaded...)" Click the "Add to Post" it will add the attachment "code" into your message And last "Add Reply"
  13. 1 point

    New Led Lights for Zelda

    Jim... Can we see some pics? Sounds awesome! I replaced my fluorescent on my Millie and added an adjustable "back light" just under $100.