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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/01/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points


    With all batting, the scrim goes next to the backer---so it faces down. With that said, most scrimmed cotton batting has the scrim buried within the layers. The fibers are needle-punched into the scrim (a sheet of very strong and very thin polyester) and the key to placement is the direction of that needle punching. Your machine needle should go through in the same direction as the needle punching. So look at the batting---one side is smoother and has tiny visible holes (dimples). The other side will be rougher-looking and a bit raggedy (pimples). So the rule is "show your dimples---up---and hide your pimples---down". Another way to tell is most batting is folded with the "good" side out, just like fabric. That good side goes up and the uglier side down---look for the center crease/fold line. Make it a mountain instead of a valley when it's loaded. Poly batting may have a chemical scrim---an application of a chemical that bonds the poly fibers on only one side. That side feels much rougher and it will be placed next to the backer. Hope this is helpful.
  2. 5 points

    How is your quilting business?

    The number of quilters with longarms and mid-arms has risen like crazy in the past four years in my area. If you can spend the five to seven years left to sharpening your skills while taking a few customers here and there, go for it. It hasn't impacted my business, but I do primarily custom and have little competition. My quilts come from those who save the big ones and the special ones for me---I do 4 per month and sometimes struggle to get them done. Mine is a different situation so if you are able to analyse the competition, see if you can figure out a niche market. Are there lots of overall/e2e quilters so you'll be competing with them? Are there Modern quilters looking for a kindred-spirit longarmer? Is the custom market fully covered? Also, would you be happy to purchase a used machine to start out and upgrade to a new w/computer later? Please remember as well, the longarmer who advised you only has her best interests at heart---not yours. Though her advice may be spot-on, don't be deterred until you do some more research.
  3. 3 points

    Baby Quilt

    Baby quilt I made for a friend. Nursery is done in these colours and theme is sheep
  4. 3 points

    Labyrinth Walk for friend

    This is one I just finished for a friend. She pieced the quilt and I quilted it. I thought it turned out really well. I used Quilter's Dream Batting, and light gray thread on top with white on bottom.
  5. 3 points

    Batting storage

    Have you tried searching this forum? There have been many storage ideas throughout the years. Here's my favorite, easy to move and fairly cheap to make:
  6. 3 points

    Ruler work

    I still find it amusing that folks think stitch in the ditch is an easy and cheap way to get their quilt quilted.
  7. 3 points

    Ruler work

    Custom work using rulers - this is a highly specialized skill that take months, if not years to perfect. If it were me, I would charge by the hour, not by square inch. Don't underestimate your time and skills. I rarely do ruler quilting for customers because it's so expensive. I find other ways to quilt, or I choose to use minimal amount of rulers and then freehand the rest (combination) Find the going rate for custom heirloom quilting in your area, or ask other quilters in your area what they charge for ruler work. If I were doing ruler work, I would charge at least $35 per hour. For estimates, you could guess that it takes 40 hours and give them a quote. I'm not giving my time away for minimum wage. No way! I've had many customers ask me to SID their quilt. I kindly explain the costs and time involved and I offer other solutions for them.
  8. 3 points

    Pink Halloween Quilt

    Look what I got to quilt! It's a pink themed Halloween quilt, to display at our local hospital during the month of October. Pink because it's breast cancer awareness month. The Jackson Hole Quilt Guild rotates a quilt display every month at our local hospital. The nurses and patients really appreciate it. We've had a hard time in years past trying to find a pink quilt for the October display. So we had the bright idea to make a quilt just for that. Different people made the applique blocks, others sewed them together with sashing and border. I quilted it, and just handed it off to another member to attach the binding. A terrific collaboration. Last May I took a few classes from Judi Madsen in Salt Lake City. I just LOVE her work. So, you will see that she inspired this quilting. The bat bra block is the one that really got me started with the quilt designs. The lady who made it drew a spider in a web on the cleavage, so clever and so easy to quilt that design! Judi had just posted an applique quilt that she'd finished that had bugs in it. She gave the bugs motion by quilting a swirly design under them. I thought the ghosts need that swirly design too. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?! I used a wool batting, glide thread with magna glide bobbins. Love those magna glide bobbins! Angela Huffman is a great source for them and her delivery is super fast. Thanks for looking!
  9. 3 points
    IMHO, when they changed the forums, several years back, it got MUCH harder to post photos and follow threads - we lost a lot of followers at that point. I know there are those who will NEVER be on Facebook, but FB doesn't have the restrictions that this forum has - and those of us trying to help customers on the various APQS pages get instant notifications when someone needs help, instead of needing to check in here several times a day (although I try to do that anyway!). I love Facebook for the ability to follow my family, both close and extended, and the ability to help my customers quickly, easily, with links to files and photos. If you don't do Facebook, then it's up to you - and the rest of you that don't do FB - to make this the forum that you want!
  10. 2 points

    Minkie/Fireside back problems

    I use glide thread top and bottom not problems. Do you ask your customers where they bought the minkie? There are some really terrible copycats out there. I have problems with the cheap brands. I prefer "cuddle" over minkie, it comes out perfect every time.
  11. 2 points

    Needle hitting

    Hi - Thought I would update - I spoke with the Amazing Amy and it might be I can just do a belt adjustment ! She sent me videos, and once I find Allen wrenches and do a little Yoga to slow my heartbeat down, I'll be doing this chiropractic adjustment on my machine …
  12. 2 points

    Take up roller brake

    You have several things to look at---it doesn't have anything to do with the brake. First, make sure the backers you load are perfectly on-grain. This can be done with tearing the fabric instead of rotary cutting. If it's always on one side, your rollers may not be perfectly parallel or level. Just a small bit high on the right side will cause that side to roll tighter, which magnifies with every advance. Use a long level to check for horizontal level. Then adjust the bolts that attach the roller to the frame until the roller is level. Unfurl your leaders when you check for level so you are on bare metal and not the canvas. The front roller can also be off as far as distance between the take-up rollers. If the right side is farther out, it will roll tight on the right side. The solution is looking at the bolts that fasten it to the frame. You need to count the bolt-threads on each bolt, left and right. If the numbers are off---make them match. You can also count the bolt-threads on the back roller attachments if you don't have a long level. Finally, your leaders may be un-square/off. There are lots of tutorials that show how to fix warped or saggy leaders. Usually having (or making) a straight edge, then pinning the leaders together works well. Pin them, spritz them with plain water, tighten them, and let them dry. Hoping this is helpful!
  13. 2 points

    3 at once

    I mounted 3 baby quilts at once. I used the same length of backing fabric for all 3 but used different battings. Used my faithful 2002 Millenium.
  14. 2 points

    COVID 19 and Quilt Intake

    I have my customers put the parts in a seal-able bag (like a big Zip-loc) and drop it in front of my garage. I put out a wire bin on a small table that is under cover. We may talk at a distance. They put any instructions in the bag. I wear protective gloves, wipe the bag thoroughly with a disinfectant, then it goes into an un-used, un-heated shop for three days (or longer). I phone to discuss choices of thread and quilting. After quilting, she picks up in the same way and she uses whatever method she's comfortable with to assure it's safe. I'm in Washington State where people are advised to disinfect anything that comes into your living spaces. And I have a hubby with some lung problems so I'm not taking any chances. So far no one has balked and everyone is dropping off. I do four quilts a month so it isn't a parade of customers. One thing that stuck with me was a statement that "if you overreact, you'll never know if it was the right decision. If you under-react, you will know immediately". Stay well and safe. And if you decide it's necessary to stop all contact, provisions are in place to provide benefits to self-employed workers.
  15. 2 points
    Update,..... I did point out mistake to customer and we both decided it needed to be fixed. so,... spent an afternoon picking out stitches, and 10 minutes to restitch the Feather,... I was happy to do it as it was my mistake,.... I always point out mistakes if any,.. big or small and let the customer decide,.... this one I knew she would want fixed,.... She is very pleased with the end result!!! and so am I!!! Thanks for looking ,.... Happy Quilting,... Laura Love the combination of the two,... Simple,.. with a pop!!! I used a double Cotton Batting on this one,.. wanted the feathers to stand up and take center stage,... Matching Glide Threads in the Grey, Burgundy and White Areas,... Thanks for looking,... ** can you see the mistake? Found it after I pulled it off the frame,.... :0)
  16. 2 points

    roller brake

    Yep as Sharon says. You need to release it to advance or roll the quilt. I did some adjusting of mine at first without loosening the brake....yikes....what a mess.....the Velcro did move out of place leaving a goopy mess.....I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol I believe...it took a while....then ended up applying a new valcro strip.....good news though....I haven't had to replace it for several years.....I have had to take my Allen wrench and tighten the handle a few times though.....I bought one of those multi sized allen wrenchs that had the same size in it.....I like it better because you have a bigger handle to use when tightening.....
  17. 2 points
    Sharon Deming

    roller brake

    The purpose of the brake is to keep the roller from moving, so be sure to release the brake before you advance or "rewind" your quilt. You should have received an angled "Allen" wrench with your APQS machine. You may find that over time, the brake handle doesn't hold the rollers as firmly as it once did. The angled wrench is used to set the handle in a position that will enable it to hold firmly. If you purchased a used machine, you may or may not have the instructions for this, but you can find info with a quick forum or google search. And you are correct, there are NO stupid questions. We ALL had to learn about the brake! Be blessed as you fall in love with longarm quilting!
  18. 2 points

    Getting started on Millie 2005

    Ditto on missing the old gang!
  19. 2 points

    Ruler work

    I agree, people DO think that is easy. I got a last minute quilt last year, for a parent's 50th wedding anniversary. All blocks with photos or drawings. She wanted a "quick" "simple" stitch in the ditch. She was shocked when I explained that this was a custom job and how difficult so called simple stitching is. Super king size and she'd budgeted only $100. LOL Wanted me to bind it too. When I gave her the cost, she almost fainted. Finally took it on after she talked to the rest of the family and they helped with the cost, but she decided to bind it herself too. She still had to pay over $600. I got that one done and out! in three days. All ruler and hand guided.
  20. 2 points
    Barb--serendipity! I have this issue in hand and will happily send it to you without charge. I cleaned my sewing room a month ago and found all my back issues to put aside and loan to members of my longarm group. Look for an email from me.
  21. 2 points

    APQS Service is Awesome!

    I haven't been on this forum for quite a bit but I wanted to give a huge shout out for APQS Service. My Millie is a 2005. I mainly quilt for myself. After finishing a charity quilt and loading my own, my stitch regulator decided to choke. I had movement from top to bottom but not left to right or right to left. I called service and also posted a message. Angie did a wonderful job of helping me to isolate the problem. In my case, my carriage encoder went bad. It took a number of emails back and forth with me including pictures and whether the test worked or not. Angie was patience and even put up with my twisted sense of humor through out. Angie mailed me a new encoder for my carriage and with the excellent instructions, I took off the old one and attached the new encoder. Instant resolution! It took a bit to get to the bottom of the problem but it was finally isolated and fixed. My Millie and I are happy to report that I am once again stitching. If you ever need service, just know that you will be in good hands. Gail S. aka Quiltfaerie
  22. 2 points
    Borderline Quilter

    Toot Toot!

    Can I share my news? Had a call this evening to tell me that I won 1st for Longarming at Quilts UK, Malvern on my Customer Mary's quilt...WooHoo! It was a stunning top even before quilting! Marys Feathered Star Applique 2 by Borderline Quilter, on Flickr Marys Feathered Star applique 1 by Borderline Quilter, on Flickr
  23. 2 points

    Same size Backing and Top

    Even if you sew scraps of fabric to all four sides, if the quilt top is the same size as the back, it's absolutely impossible to avoid quilting the extra strip's seam line into the quilt while quilting it. Trust me in my 15 years of longarm quilting, it is nearly impossible to accomplish this very difficult and extremely stressful situation. I would contact customer and ask her to provide you with larger backing fabric that is at a minimum 8" wider and 8" longer than the quilt top. My job is to quilt the customer's quilt without pulling my hair out... it's not my job to perform miracles due to the failure of the customer to provide ample backing fabric. IMHO.
  24. 2 points

    Mariners compass

    Here's the last quilt of the year off the frame. It had lots of fullness issues so I had to heavily quilt it. I also got to use my quiltazoid to make the stars. I also meant to put a star in the middle but I forgot. There's so much fabric under there though that its probably best that I didn't try. Jess Mariners compass by butterflyjess03, on Flickr image by butterflyjess03, on Flickr image by butterflyjess03, on Flickr image by butterflyjess03, on Flickr
  25. 1 point


    I'm just a curious person. I was wondering if you prefer forums or facebook groups? I'm a forum gal. I love the forum because you can guess how long a person has been involved with a product or skill. I like how topics are divided into categories and doing a search for topics are fairly easy. I just feel cozier with the forum group than facebook, I'm not sure if that's the correct verbiage. I'm not against Facebook groups in fact I belong to a bunch. I just wonder how long a person has been using a product before they start giving advice, etc. I've seen bullies on both but not so much on forums now. Forums and Facebook Groups seem like two different environments to me. Wondering minds are curious.
  26. 1 point

    SOLD 2005 APQS Millennium

    For Sale 2005 APQS Millennium Stitch Regulated includes 12 foot zippered leaders Features include: motorized advance heavy duty locking casters thread cutter/directional locks front and rear handles bobbin winder laser light Hartley Micro drive handles Hartley base extender Uses L bobbins/will include my remaining prewounds and some needles/Valued at $175 NOTE: New Motherboard January 2018 APQS Spa Treatment July 2016 I purchased used in 2010/have recently upgraded. I am located in Iowa, near Des Moines. Will provide pictures, if requested. Purchaser will be responsible for pickup/transportation and re-assembly Asking $7250
  27. 1 point
    Bridgette Quiltlover hasn’t been here since July 26th. Click on her name and send a private message and it will go to her email. Nigel
  28. 1 point
    DD, You might increase the font size to 72 for the words SOLD, SOLD, SOLD. Yes it's SOLD! That might catch their eye. Other than that, you just have to remember certain invaluable words of Dave Ramsey about things you can't fix. Cagey
  29. 1 point
    APQS Hydraulic table lift 500.00 obo Taken off machine we bought like new price new completely nuts 1600+
  30. 1 point


    I don't know anything about compuquilter but Zoltan at Intelliquilter now services them. There is one guy quilter on here who knows a lot about the compuquilter also, hopefully he will chime in.
  31. 1 point

    What to do about pokies!

    I've got POKIES!! I hate pokies. I thought it was me, but this is the second quilt with them. The first was for me; just placemat. This one is a customer and it's homespun front and BACK! I'm using Hobbs 80/20. It used to be wonderful; not so much anymore!! So i'm thinking of taking out two rows and using Quilters Dream Blend. Shoulda known!!
  32. 1 point
    This may sound stupid, but give this a try. Remove the upper and lower thread, and leave the needle in the machine. Then get yourself a piece of notebook paper. The kind kids use at school. You want thin/light paper to get the best training. You can draw some lines on the paper to follow if you desire, but you want to be able to clearly see the holes in the paper. Take the paper and put it under the hopping foot, and quilt some straight lines, and then progress to some swirls. Quilt your signature. Quilt all over the paper. Have fun. Once done, remove the piece of paper and look at the holes the needle left behind. If the holes are large than the needle diameter, then you are moving the paper/fabric against the needle as it is trying to loop the thread. This movement is probably messing up your stitches, and causing you tension problems. Practice with the paper until you can move the paper in relation with the needle without distorting the hole size, or tearing the paper. You can also quilt on paper with the top and bobbin thread installed. Give it a try on two pieces of paper stacked on each other. If can quilt on paper, without distorting the hole size, try setting your feed dogs to zero. I have read that some machines do not quilt well with their feed dogs down. This could be because the quilter is trying to move the fabric when the needle is down, and the feed dogs help hold the fabric against the hopping foot. This prevents the needle from being deflected, and messing up the tension. Remember, the feed dogs stop moving the fabric when the needle is down for that instant the loop is being formed. On a longarm, the stitch regulator increases or decreases the needle speed in relation to how fast the head is being moved. When you freemotion quilt with your hands, you have to do the same thing. If you want to move your hands fast, you have to depress the foot peddle more to increase the needle speed. If you do not, you will distort the needle hole or even tear the paper. Your mind is the best speed controller ever devised. It just takes a few pieces of paper to develop the skill. Notice how the space will change between the needle hole punches as you speed up and slow down your hand movement. If you have thread in the machine as you quilt on paper, notice how if you do not speed up the needle as you quilt a circle, how the edges of the circle are not round. The gap between stitches will form straight lines, that try to make a circle Best of luck to you. Tell us how things turn out. Cagey
  33. 1 point

    Baby Quilt

    So cute!! Love the quilting!
  34. 1 point

    Baby Quilt

    That is such a cute quilt and your quilting is outstanding.
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point

    Daughter bag

    My daughter has such bag. She made it with her own hands.
  37. 1 point

    roller brake

    IMAWARD, what year and model is your machine? Just asking because the older machines have a wooden brake and the new ones have a metal one. The info above is good advice.
  38. 1 point
    I'm very interested. Would you be willing to deliver to Indiana, about 50-55 miles west-northwest of Indy? It's only about 10 miles off of I-74.
  39. 1 point

    L Bobbin Quickly Runs Out Of Thread?

    Two options for you---spend the $$ to convert to the M size bobbin. Or wind your own (or purchase pre-wound bobbins) using thinner thread. There is no rule that the thread weight, or even color, has to match top and bobbin. BottomLine (Superior) thread is poly and 60 weight---and designed to be used as bobbin thread using other weights of thread as top thread. The pre-wounds hold 119 yards of thread. If you wind your own, probably 90-100 yards will load, depending on the tension and how full they are wound. With a 3000 yard cone of BL, you can wind 30 bobbins at 100 yards each. The cost for a cone is wholesale $7.90 and retail $14.49. If you do the math you'll find out how much a bobbin will cost in just materials. If you can figure out how many yards you load when winding say a 40 weight thread to match what you're using as top thread, then figure the math using the cost per spool/cone, you can see if the thinner thread bobbins are more economical. I know they will last much longer. I do custom quilting almost exclusively and find a bobbin of BL will last me close to an hour of medium-speed stitching. If you opt to try thinner thread, ask opinions here for what colors blend the best and which neutrals are good to start out with.
  40. 1 point

    Part name question regarding stylus

    Donna, you're missing a post which holds a laser pointer (see photo). Send an email to service@apqs.com and they'll get you going!
  41. 1 point
    Oh, Connie... I agree with you and I miss the "old days" on the APQS forums, too. Back then, it truly was a very special place and time... where so much creativity was shared and forever friends were made.
  42. 1 point

    Same size Backing and Top

    I agree with Shana. Save yourself to quilt another day. Do you have a set of rules for customers? It's a good rule of thumb to add your requirements to the invoice or contract when you accept the customer's quilts.
  43. 1 point
    I have a 2004 Millineum machine with 14 foot table that I would like to find a buyer. I am located in southwest Iowa. The machine has been in storage for 5 years, and was used lightly for the 10 years prior to that. Is there any interest in buying a machine of this age and size? I also have quilting tools and supplies that I would also consider selling. Thank you for any feedback that you may offer.
  44. 1 point

    For Sale - 2016 APQS Lenni

    Has the machine sold?
  45. 1 point

    Help for My Leaders, Please

    I rolled out the leaders to the bar and found that my machine had huge gobs of glue holding the leaders to the bar on one side, and none on the other, causing uneven rolling everytime of course. I removed all the glue, and some paint, reattached the leader squared with duct tape, and rerolled. I haven't had a problem since. Dawn says to give the canvas a good stretch one way and another after every quilt is removed. A habit I have now gotten into as well.
  46. 1 point
    When I had sent in my 'special' quilts for custom work, I was always asked what my budget was. Then they would work accordingly. If my budget was too low then, they would tell me that this quilt needs a $600 or $900 custom job and that would let me know what I was looking at for cost. So, ask them what they are thinking they want to pay for custom on this quilt. Their expectations could be quite low dollar wise and that will open the conversation up for you to let them know that this quilt is going to be in the ..... range for light custom or this .... range for heavy custom
  47. 1 point

    Dog gone cute

    For my 4th grandchild due in 11 days. Done in the nick of time!
  48. 1 point

    Finding clients

    What I did when I first started out was I made up coupons for a Free quilting, edge to edge I choose the design, lap size or smaller, to be used within 3 months and handed them out to our sew group ladies. I also made sure my prices were very competitive ...in fact I was less than the norm when first starting out and then after my clientele was established I gradually increased my price. I do have another perk for loyal clients... 8 paid bed size quilts, gets a Free quilting for a lap size or smaller. Doing this I was able to pay off my longarm within 10 months!
  49. 1 point

    What to charge for hand quilting?

    Traditionally the hand-quilters-for-hire (Amish or Mennonites) charge by the yard of thread used. They wind the quilting thread around and around a yardstick and cut into 1 yard pieces. So just like longarming, the cost is dependent upon the density of the quilting. The complexity of the design isn't as crucial since most groups only accept tops that have been pre-marked into designs by the customer, or that have simpler no-mark quilting like crosshatching or quarter-inch-from-the-seams. Search on line--I know the Mennonites in Oregon offer this. See what they charge. Usually turn-around is six months or more.
  50. 1 point

    Batting storage?

    I purchased a 4'x12' painters canvas drop cloth, sewed a casing on each side and ran a cord thru the casing and then looped the ends of the cord around the ends of my frame ... makes a perfect sling to hold the batting for one quilt.