Cheeky Cognoscenti

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  1. I recently purchased a 2013 Millennium equipped with the L size Smart Bobbin. I'm getting frustrated by how quickly those little bobbins run out -- probably I'm spoiled because my domestic sewing machine for piecing (and what I used for machine quilting prior to getting my longarm) is a Bernina with a giant bobbin that holds twice as much thread as my Millie's bobbin can hold. I have seen some posts on this forum from several years ago indicating that it's possible to order a kit from APQS to switch from one hook system to the other, and I'd like to know more about that option. I emailed APQS support several days ago but have not heard anything back. Has anyone on this forum regretted ordering a machine with the M bobbin? If you have the M bobbin configuration on your APQS machine, how do you like it? Any issues? Any regrets? Anyone out there switched their machine from Smart Bobbin to M bobbin? How much did it cost, was it difficult to do, and are you happy you did it? Also wondering what's involved in adjusting the industrial bobbin winder that came with my Millie to wind M bobbins rather than L. Thanks, Rebecca
  2. First, are you careful to load your batting right side up? Like Dawn Cavanaugh says in her video, remember "dimples up, pimples down." Needle punched battings like the ones you're using should be loaded so that your machine's needle is entering the batting in the same direction that the needle punching was done at the batting factory. Another consideration is thread. I had a similar issue with a Minky backed quilt where I used monofilament to SID and had NO problems with batting poking through, but then when I switched to cotton Aurifil thread for decorative quilting I started to get those random batting tufts. I finally decided that it was the textured surface of the cotton thread that was "grabbing" those batting fibers and pulling them through the needle holes at the back side of the thread. I don't know why this happens with some quilts and not others, but my experience is that slippery threads like Glide trilobal polyester or monofilament are less prone to this problem. One more thought -- what size needle are you using? A smaller needle would leave a smaller hole for batting to poke out. In fact, sometimes it just looks like the batting is poking out when really you're just seeing the batting through a large needle hole, and as soon as the quilt relaxes off the frame or is washed, those needle holes close up and the problem goes away.
  3. I know it's been a few months since Mona posted this question -- hopefully she has it worked out by now but I wanted to chime in for others who may be facing the same issue. Yes, the tension problems that only happen when you quilt from East to West and South to North (viewed from needle side of the machine) indicate needle flex, but if Mona's problem was due to her timing being off, she would see the problem on all of her quilts -- she says she doesn't have this problem when quilting pantographs. So I'm wondering what is different when she follows pantographs. It's possible that she moves the machine slower for a pantograph in order to stay on the lines better and she's moving her machine a lot faster when she quilts freehand from the front. I would suggest that she try slowing down, shortening her stitch length slightly, and/or using a larger needle before messing with her timing.