sue in Australia

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About sue in Australia

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  1. Hi everyone Thanks Darlene for all the pics and taking time to explain your lighting systems and your power source under the table - I am sure Steve (husband) will be so grateful to you for giving him another job this weekend!!! While he's under the table I might get him to see what would happen if he put some lighting under the table shining up onto the back of the quilt. Lately I have been having trouble seeing the underneath stitches to check tension. Lucky we have a plexiglass table top! To chickenscratch I was wondering if your wheels might not be adjusted correctly. Connie has great instructions for adjusting your wheels on this site. If they are not adjusted correctly you will be fighting your machine and outlining will be more difficult than it needs to be. I don't use rulers for horizontal and vertical lines or for going around applique, I just go slowly with my right hand on the handles and with my left hand fingers just close to where I want to stitch. With my fingers close to the stitching line I can manipulate the fabric a little so that the stitching stays where I want it. I always use a ruler to quilt diagonal lines unless they are short runs (upto 4") along a piecing line as I find diagonals harder - even with well adjusted wheels - I can't draw diagonals all that well either. Best wishes sue in Australia
  2. Hi Sue good to see you are having fun and have taken a little time away from the compuquilter to let us know how you are going. Keep us up to date on what you are doing? Best wishes Sue in Australia
  3. Hi Sue Are you having fun yet?!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are probably having so much fun you don't have time to get on the computer much. I am still waiting for my CQ and Milli to reach me - for some reason it took a trip to Singapore but should be here on Tuesday morning - the day before I leave to show it off in another State 14 hours drive away! I've been reading the manual to pass the time - its been nearly 3 weeks since I had my training so I need to keep reading the manual so I don't forget anything. I suppose this is a good thing because every time I read the manual I learn something new. What have you done so far on your CQ? Have you done any real quilts or are you practicing on muslin? I'd love to see pictures. Does your husband know how to cook - or at least Order IN? Have a fun weekend. Sue in Australia
  4. Hi Sue, Tina, everyone We should get our machines at the same time - how exciting. Before I came to MQS I read the CQ manual which I downloaded from the Compuquilter website. This is not the APQS manual but is helpful in learning the features to expect on the Compuquilter. When I got toMQS, Dee Dee gave us the APQS manual and I read it over and over again. I think if you have thoroughly gone through the manual before set-up and training it will help you ask sensible questions when you are having training and so speed up the learning process. The manual is excellent. If you don't have a copy, maybe Dee Dee will email you one before your machine arrives. Tina, I enjoyed reading your message above and I had forgotten that Stan emails the whole programme when there is an upgrade. Good point. There are so many great things we can say about the Compuquilter system but I think the best is that they are committed just as heavily towards afters sales service as APQS and we know there will be help every step of the way if we need it.
  5. Hi everyone This is my first visit to this forum since returning from MQS, APQS and Compuquilter training with Stan and Dee Dee Townzen. Time has flown by and it was great to see all the new products and catch up with everyone The machine being demonstrated at MQS on the APQS booth was the proto-type and was only just completed in time for MQS. Being the proto-type, there were/are still a few cosmetic alterations to be made but the Compuquilter software and hardware and the Millennium machine worked beautifully together producing excellent stitch quality and precision work. At least four people ordered Compuquilter machines at MQS and I believe they will be shipped early July - lucky people. As I am the Aussie rep (with shows coming up here soon) I ordered my machine ages ago and should get it next week - I can't wait. I have read the manual at every opportunity - and as Darlene said, it is a work in progress due to the dedication of Dee Dee and Stan Townzen who are constantly trying to find ways to improve their product - seems to me it could not get better or easier to understand - even my son was reading it in the hope he will be the first one to start quilting when its setup - no chance he'l have to stand in line behind me, my other son and my husband! I found the computer software very easy to use and understand and within 10 minutes of being shown how to use it. I was off stitching beautiful motifs, corners and borders. When I got stuck, a quick flick to the lessons in the manual put me on the right track and I was off having fun again. I am sure this machine is going to pay for itself just as quickly as the Milli has. As Darlene mentioned, it can be added onto nearly all existing APQS machines - a great plus - we don't have to sell our existing machine and have down time when we go up to the computer. Thats all for now, Sue in Australia
  6. Hi everyone I am sure Mark or Connie will answer this one but this is how I understand size and length of needle. MR4s are fitted to all new machines because they are able to stand a little more harsh, jerky use particularly from new machine owners than say 3.5s - although this is not such an issue when using a sr machine. The machines are timed in the factory to be able to stitch well in the range 3.5 (maybe 3) to 5 - but MR4 is preferred. Timing is how close the hook touches the scarf of the needle with a thinner needle that space will be slightly more than with MR4s. and so the stitch will not be formed quite as tightly. The length of the needle is crucial too. To the naked eye different brands of can appear the same length and diameter but if they are off very very slightly this can have bad effects on the stitching. I find that I use an MR4 for all threads even metallic. I do have some MR5s on hand since once I ran over something in the middle of a quilt and knocked the timing out bad enough that it wouldn't stitch. I replaced the needle with an MR5 and it got me through to the end of the quilt. I think I had moved the hook back slightly when I ran over something and increasing the size diameter of the needle closed the gap. A tmeporary fix. Best wishes Sue in Australia
  7. I'd check if the thread is breaking on all the darker shades, if it has and you have loosened the tension as much as you can before the stitch quality is too bad, then I'd throw that cone out. Darker thread absorbs more dye and makes the thread weaker. Best wishes Sue in Australia
  8. Hi Jeri When you put the batting in the "eye" I am wondering if you put it in the loop above the cone. Thats where I usually put it. Good luck Sue
  9. When I have taken my HF off and there is no-one here to help, I stand at the back of the machine table and put the back wheels on and then push my body against the back of the fence and lean over and slide the bolts on the front of the HF towards the front edge of the table and do them finger tight. Then I go around the front and tighten them properly. Sue I don't normally take it off though as I haven't come across a quilt so large I needed to.
  10. Hi Teri Baptist Fans are not the quickest way to get through a quilt but the results are stunning and you can get a really vintage look - especially if you use cotton batting. Also you do get a lot quicker the more practice you get. Also if your customers want this type of quilting they should expect to pay more for it. Anyway, here are two ways you might like to consider moving from one arc to the other. 1. If you are working on patterned top fabric and patterned backing your stitching from one arc to the other will not show up so you might like to stitch over the arc from the previous row as you go from one arc to another. To do this you have stitched the previous row of sets of arcs from one side to the other. Next with the machine on the left hand side of the top lower the needle down into the top of the stitched arc from the first row in the 12 o c lock position. I normally make this the edge of my top. Bring the fence across to the machine and rotate the circle device so that the arm with the holes is pointing towards 12 o clock. You will then have to lift the needle from the fabric and secure the fence with the brake. Put the pin in the hole corresponding to the largest arc and it should be pointing at 12 o clock. Stitch down until your last stitch meets the stitching from the previous row - then either lean forward and with your finger nail drag the fabric behind the foot towards you slightly and take a stitch, release your finger and take a stitch, drag the fabric towards you and take a stitch, release the fabric and take a stitch (this makes a lock stitch and then you can take the pin out of the current hole and place it in the next one and repeat the finger nail trick to start and secure your next arc. You snip the threads when you have finished. The other way is to stitch your first arc down to the largest arc of the previous row, take the pin out of the hole and with your needle positioner take stitches upwards on top of the stitching until you get to about the position for the 2nd arc of the first set, put the pin in the corresponding hole and quilt upwards. With this method there is no snipping of threads when you have finished quilting. Both methods take a little practice but the results are very much worthwhile. I hope this is clear - my computer is not near my machine so I couldn't check what I was writing and do it at the same time. Best wishes Sue
  11. Hi Teri I'm glad I got you keen to play with your fence. I'll check in here a couple of times a day over the Easter period - and see what you are doing. Best wishes sue in Australia
  12. Hi Teri I'm glad you asked. Here goes. Well since you bought your HF there have been some modifications, namely the brake and the diagonal tool. I would encourage you to purchase the new brake which is so much quicker to use than the original winding system. I believe the new brakes are around $80. The new diagonal tool is made from metal and the hole is drilled in a different position to allow you to quilt longer diagonals. You might like to ring APQS if you want to drill a new hole to find out exactly where it should go and tell them you have a Liberty. I don't have the wooden arm any longer but think it had a metal sheath in the hole where you screw the bolt to secure it to the HF. I guess if you drilled a new hole and didn't have something like that in there , with lots of use the hole could become larger and in time you would find you were not able to secure the arm properly to the HF - then you might want to buy the metal arm. I don't know the cost of a new arm. When you ring APQS you should also ask if you need spacer washers to bring the Liberty and HF to the right height for each other. I'm not sure if you have the instructions that came with the machine, if not I am sure Carla will run you off a set on Tuesday. If you want to get going with your HF this weekend , let me know and I'll type up some "get you going" instructions as soon as I hear back from you. Just quickly though - setting it up on the table. The brake handle is on the backside of the table The HF has wheels on adjustable/slotted brackets at the front Put the HF back wheels on the back of the quilting machine table and holding them in place push the front wheels of the HF towards the front edge of the table. Tighten the thumbscrews down onto the slotted bracket keeping the wheels firm against the front edge of the table. Slide the HF along the table. You should be able to move it across the table freely without it twisting diagonally. When you are happy tighten the thumbscrews well. Attach the long metal bar (it is about 1/4" thick x 1 1/2" wide x 18" long to the front axle of your machine - there are 2 holes drilled in the axle and this is where you may need spacers (I think about 1/4" deep) to raise the bar so that it is the right height for the circle device. Make sure the bar is straight and tight. There should be no wobble sideways but when you touch the other end of the bar (with one hole in it) you should be able to lift it up and down a little. In this hole you put the circle device pin with the wing nut on top. Undo the wing-nut (or you may have a black knob) and put the threaded end of the pin up through the underside of the bar and tighten down well with the wing-nut or black knob. Your fence is set up ready to go. Get your circle device and firmly fix it to the HF base by putting a wing-nut or black threaded knob into the log slot - around the middle is good - and tighten it down firmly so there is no movement. Put the pin into any hole and holding the machine at the back gently move in a circular motion! Let me know if you have more specific questions. Happy Easter Sue
  13. Hi guineasrule I just posted a reply to you but it went somewhere else!!! Please send any questions you might have about using your HF to this message board - there are several of us sitting waiting to help you get confident and have fun with your Hartley Fence. Happy Easter Sue in Australia
  14. Hi Sue So many quilts we get are "crooked" - probably more than are square so its a good idea to get yourself into a routine when you accept tops for quilting. It is uncomfortable for most of us to have to point out to someone that their work is not 'great' but in the end it saves you time and disappointment when the finished quilt is not as good as you would like it to be. This is the bad part of our job. When someone drops off a top I fold it in four (if its not already folded) to see if the edges line up. If not, I lay it out on my tiled floor. (laying a top on a tiled or wooden floor helps to see if the piecing lines are straight - less intimidating than bringing out a tape measure) If there is a problem the customer can see it there and then and you can suggest ways to remedy it. Usually the options are: Easing fullness in if its not too bad Putting in pleats (along piecing lines as they don't show as much there) if it won't need too many and if the fabric is patterned. Taking off borders and cutting to the correct size The most common reasons that the quilts I get are not square are: Bias triangles have stretched Borders have not been cut to size (ie. measure through the top 3 times and average that to work out the border length) I have typed up a sheet on how to apply sashings and borders and hand this to customers who are having problems if I think they would like to know where they have gone wrong. I also discuss how to cut triangles so that the long side is not on the bias. This does take time and has to be discussed diplomatically with the customer but it usually means that the next top you get from that quilter is made so much better. If the top comes in the mail, I ring the customer and explain the problem, take digital photos if they have internet access and email a photo to them. I usually take a photo in any case and keep it on file. Its amazing how many piecers like to think we stretch their tops. Hope this helps Sue
  15. Hi Connie that foot is not available for the Ult 11 is it? Sue