Rebecca Grace

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Everything posted by Rebecca Grace

  1. I have to update because, although I was happy with my Texas Hold 'Em bracket when I was floating my tops and doing hand guided ruler work with my Millie, I've since taken it off my machine and put the quilt top roller back on. I added IntelliQuilter to my machine and have been experimenting with pinning my tops again (partial float method) because it seems like that helps with E2E designs that are scaled densely and need precise alignment between rows. But I'm keeping my Hold 'Em Bracket -- it only takes a few minutes (and an extra pair of hands) to take the bar on or off the frame. I like
  2. With IntelliQuilter on order for my Millennium (YAY!!), I'm planning to launch my quilting business within the next couple of months. Would like to start off well organized and in control of paperwork and inventory. I've been looking at Quickbooks as well as the industry-specific Machine Quilters Business Manager (MQBM) program from Eureka, but please tell me if there are other options I should consider. What software do you use in your business, and what are its pros and cons? I really like that MQBM is already set up specifically for a home based long arm quilting business, calcu
  3. Gail, which version of Quickbooks are you using for your inventory? Looking at the Quickbooks web site today, it looks like you only get inventory tracking capability with the $70/month subscription based version. The desktop version of Quickbooks seems much more affordable with a one-time purchase of $299, but Inventory is not listed in the available features with that option.
  4. Beatrice/Marie0722: What did you want to do for your invoices that you could not do with MQBM software? Was this with the most current software version or an older version? If you're using MQBM software for project management, what are you using for your bookkeeping? Thanks.
  5. Katydids, you misunderstand me -- I have a 2013 Millennium with the older hopping foot style, two tiny screws at the back of the hopping foot and the feed have a long, skinny ankle. My original hopping feet look like this peek-a-boo foot: I ordered the parts kit to retrofit my "Legacy" style machine so that it can accept the new quick change feet after the conversion. The instructions from APQS for doing the conversion are 37 pages long, (all different models are covered in the same instructions), and the conversion kit includes the new Quick Change style True Quarter Inch foot. I
  6. Okay, considering removing the thread cutter from my 2013 Millennium because I don't use it and suspect I would find my machine even easier to move if she dropped a couple of pounds. The only reason I hadn't done that yet was because my acrylic Hartley ruler base wouldn't fit anymore without the thread cutter -- but I saw a thread in the forum from 2012 with several members talking about "Donita's ruler base" that you use instead. I googled "Donita ruler base" and came up with Donita Reeve's site -- is that what you're talking about (see pictures of Donita Reeve's ruler base below)? There a
  7. I just discovered that there’s a kit available for converting my 2013 Millie to accept the new Quick Change feet. I hate changing the old style feet on my machine with the two fiddly screws but haven’t had a chance to see how the newer feet work. The conversion kit is $200 but it comes with the true 1/4 inch foot that I really want ($140 if I buy the version that fits my machine now). So not much more to upgrade to the newer style. Has anyone else done this? Anyone seen the difference in person — is it really faster/easier to switch the new style feet? I usually just leave the same foot
  8. I can't figure out how to delete this ad, but my 2013 APQS Millennium is no longer for sale. It's all Jessica's fault at APQS Tech Support -- decided to upgrade to the 2019 style Quick Change hopping feet and remove my thread cutter, and I am so much happier with my machine now that I decided not to sell it, after all. APQS has the best tech support ever! And I LOVE that APQS makes these newer features available so we can update our older machines at such a reasonable cost. THANK YOU! :-)
  9. Oh my gosh, Jim, thank you SO MUCH! I am sending you a great, big bear hug over the Internet. That was my problem -- I'd watched Jamie Wallen's tension video on YouTube where he recommends a really loose tension, and I had my tension balanced with my bobbin set at about 160. I reset my bobbin to 200 per your suggestion and increased upper tension to rebalance my stitch, and the problem disappeared instantly. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. Two related questions: 1. I have been using my TOWA gauge on a stable table surface when I take my readings, but I recently
  10. I know that a long arm machine is never going to stitch identically in all directions, but I've been seeing drastically different stitching in a ruler work border that I was stitching yesterday and it's making me nuts. What can I tweak to improve this? This is quilt shop fabric top and bottom (both from Free Spirit Fabrics), Quilter's Dream Cotton Select batting, new 3.5 needle, So Fine #50 in the needle and Bottom Line in the bobbin. Bobbin case tension was adjusted to Superior's recommendation for Bottom Line using a TOWA gauge, then adjusted top tension per Jamie Wallen's method (so
  11. Also, I found that I was able to get better stitches with King Tut on my Millie when I combined it with So Fine #50 in the bobbin.
  12. Hi, Jim. My quilt top is very heavily pieced and scrappy, so lots and lots of seams and seam intersections to stitch through for the SID (see photo below). Fabrics in the quilt top are mostly Free Spirit Fabrics printed cottons like Kaffe Fassett Collective and Anna Maria Horner, etc, with a few hand marbled fabrics from Marjorie Lee Bevis mixed in here and there -- those are similar to batiks. My quilt top is also heavily starched throughout the piecing process, not sure if that makes a difference for dulling needles (but it definitely makes a difference in helping me piece a square, accur
  13. When I had my new owner training, I was advised to put in a new needle at the start of each quilt, but my dealer said that sometimes if they are small quilts you can wait until after 2 or 3 quilts if you're not experiencing problems. That's great advice if you're doing typical pantograph quilting, but I've learned the hard way that dense custom quilting through lots of thick seam allowances wears out a needle a lot faster. I put in a new needle at the beginning of this quilt, did all of the SID, and then got about a third of the way through with ruler work and FMQ when I started thinking tha
  14. Jim, here's a video from Jamie Wallen (Quilter's Apothecary) that explains this hybrid operation mode: On HandiQuilter machines it's called Cruise Mode, on Innova I think it's called Start Speed, and on APQS it's an upgrade option called Quilt Glide. You're operating the machine with stitch regulation, the only difference is that when you stop the machine head, the needle pulses up and down rather than coming to a complete stop. I tried it last night with some tight back and forth fills and really loved it -- much smoother operation than quilti
  15. The only video I could find on the APQS YouTube channel for Quilt Glide was about 10 years old, and they were demo'ing the brand-new Quilt Glide feature on the old style beige Millennium. On that machine, Quilt Glide had a button that you turned slightly to engage the feature at a slow speed, but then if you turned the button more you could increase the needle's idle speed and fine tune it to what you were doing. I have a white "new style" Millennium, a 2013, and instead of a button or knob like that I just have a Quilt Glide button to engage or disengage this feature on my touch screen. On
  16. Thanks, Linda. I cut up a pool noodle to elevate the front end of the rods, and that works as long as I don't knock into it with my arm. However, on the current quilt I happened to have a much wider backing than normal, about 8-9" on either side of my quilt top, and I'm finding that keeps the clamps far enough away from my ruler base that I don't need to use any rods or yard sticks to elevate the clamps. Problem solved... :-)
  17. When I first got my new-to-me 2013 Millennium, I also got these metal curtain rod-type aluminum bars from my APQS dealer that can be threaded under the Velcro cords of the side clamps, resting on the quilt top roller in front and the leveling bar in the back, to lift the clamps just slightly at the sides of the quilt so the clamps don't hit the ruler base on my machine when I'm doing ruler work. Brilliant, simple solution. I have since learned that others do the same thing with actual curtain rods, yard sticks, etc. However, after trying full float versus partial float on several quil
  18. What is the "I/S" and "I/S Manual" adjustment that Jim and Lora are talking about?
  19. Kueser, do you remember how much it cost for your Millie’s Spa Visit (excluding shipping)?
  20. Barb, do you ALWAYS wrap every thread 3 times around the thread break sensor wheel or does it depend on the weight of the thread you're using? With 40 weight King Tut, I feel like going three times around that wheel is adding way too much additional tension to my top thread and making it difficult to get a balanced stitch, even with the upper tension dial loosened to the point that the tension discs aren't touching. I really wish APQS would issue a completely revised manual for the current machine models rather than a book that refers primarily to discontinued models with completely di
  21. Valerie, CONGRATULATIONS and thanks for posting. I ordered a set of zippers for my Millie two years ago when I bought my machine, and I STILL have not gotten up the courage to try attaching them to my leaders! I just keep pinning and telling myself I'll get around to sewing those zippers on some other day that never comes. I know I'm a total dork but there are so many other things I'm still learning; didn't want to throw a new variable into the mix and have to wonder if maybe I put the zippers on wrong and that was causing me trouble. Would you mind posting a link to the video tutorial tha
  22. Poor tension that shows up only in certain directions (moving the machine from right to left and from front to back) indicates needle flex. I wrestled with this on a charity quilt where they gave me tightly woven poly-blend bed sheet backing (NEVER AGAIN!!). So the culprit could be a very tight weave fabric, like bed sheets or batiks. You can also get needle flex tension problems if your quilt sandwich is pulled too tight on your frame, if your needle is too small, or if you're moving the machine too fast. Try loosening your quilt sandwich in the frame if it's taut like a drum, try slowing
  23. MarleneB, are you still having trouble with Glide? It is possible to have balanced tension where both the bobbin thread and the needle thread are too tight. You could try loosening both the upper and bobbin tension to where the stitch is still balanced but not quite as tight, and see if that resolves your issue with breakage. It is also possible that there is a little nick or burr on your needle, even if it is brand new (sometimes you get a defective one) and that would cause your upper thread to break repeatedly as well. Rebecca Grace