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Posts posted by Robbijoyeklow

  1. I have a studio at the Hot Shops in Omaha on the second floor, but next month I'm moving up to the third floor. The freight elevator is 10'x8', so I think I can get the rails in the elevator if I dismantle the machne some. When I moved here, Dave Jones (Mr. Deloa) moved the whole thing for me and set it up. So, I've never really taken the whole thing apart. any hints on what to be careful about? I plan to take the machine off the frame, and then take the rails and table off.


  2. I played with the #8 switch, and slowed it down so much that it was hardly going up and down, but it still wasn't stopping. SO, I called Amy. Amy had me stand in front of the machine and tell her which lights were activating and by that, she could tell I need a new small circuit board. It's Friday and they are sending it priority mail, so I'll probably have it Tuesday. In the meantime, I can keep quilting, I just have to hit the needle up button twice if I want to dip the needle. (the needle down sensor isn't sensing). I was thinking about what I need the needle down for. It isn't just getting it to stop in the needle down position, it's getting the needle to stay in the quilt when I roll it, or when I want to put the side clips on.


    In any case, I'm delighted that they moved the adjusting screw to the back of the machine, low, so I don't have to crack the top open and stand on a stool. I do need a lighted magnifying glass though. That's very helpful.

  3. I have a new White Millie. I haven't had a chance to use it much, only a few hours.  This just started today: when I hit the button (on any of the four handles), the needle keeps stitching. Very slowly, but it's not doing the half stitch. I can get the needle down light to go on if I press the needle down button and then the other side of the rocker to stitch. BUT if I do that, the machine won't stop when I press down on the other side of the rocker. Is this a problem with the #8 screw needing adjustment? And if so, is it still on top of the machine? I'm reading about a plug on the back side, I can't figure out if that is relevant to me.



  4. I was expecting people who have wanted a Millie but not have the funds to jump at this opportunity. If it doesn't sell quickly, I'll just trade in the head. Don't know what I'll do with the table though. I know as soon as it goes back to Des Moines that someone will be complaining that they want a Millie but they are soooo expensive.


    BTW, my 2009 Saab started out at $27,000 (Dealer demo, the sticker was actually $40,000) Now it's worth about $1000 in trade in. So I'd say money is better invested in a longarm.

  5. I love love love my 2000 Millie, and she's in great shape. I am treating myself to one of the brand new machines, so she's looking for a new home.

    Of course she has stitch regulation, horizontal and vertical locks, the laser, etc. power fabric advance.

    I took the thread trimmer assembly off to reduce weight on the machine. You will get all the parts.
    I switched out the clamps on the elastic, the original ones were too tight.

    I replaced the wheels with the new M&M wheels. All 8 of them.

    I have no means to deliver the machine, so you'll have to come get it.

    My millie has fantastic karma, I hope she'll bring happiness to another quilter.

    Email me at if you are interested.


    This price is $3500.

  6. I love mine too! They turned out to be pretty easy to install myself. I do have a few hints though:

    1. Clean up the floor under your longarm if it's not already on a nice clean surface. Makes it easier to find any part you might drop.

    2. I used wood shims to help, and kept the whole head on the frame instead of taking it off.

    3. If you use the shims, still have someone help you when you get to the part where you are taking off the channel lock at the back, my machine slid forward because nothing was holding it on. Nothing bad happened, I just needed my husband to hold it in place while I reattached things. I should have just asked for his help doing that in the first place. (I do whatever I can on my own, my husband does not like to put things together. I enjoy it!)

  7. I have questions about the Bliss system! It sounds fabulous.

    1. On the website it's listing the price as $3000. Does that include installation or is that just parts?

    2. Is it true that you can buy just the wheels? If no, skip ahead.

    3. What is the price of the wheels?

    4 Are the wheel complicated to install?

    5. If I buy the Bliss wheels now, and decide to upgrade to the full system later, will I have to pay for new wheels again?

    6. Will the Bliss wheels work with my Millennium if it has the old style carriage locks?

    7. When will the wheels be available?


  8. I use them ALL the time. Got them from day one, which was about five years ago. I don't use rulers though, so I can't say how they work with them.

    But they allowed me from the very start to have the same control on the longarm that I have on a domestic machine.

    The regular handles are too up in my face to use them.

    Robbi Eklow

  9. Yes, Bonnie! That's my quilt! Thanks for the link!

    Shana, I'm so glad you like my work, that's nice to know. Many of the quilts in that book, including the one on the cover were quilted on my Millennium. The only ones that weren't quilted on it were completed before I got it.

    One thing though: My article probably won't be in the next issue, I don't know what issue it will be in. I think I'll know ahead of time and I haven't heard anything yet. However, feel free to look forward to the next issue if you need an excuse.

    Rita: I'm glad you enjoyed my class. That's nice to hear. Especially as I'm getting ready to teach in Houston and getting worried about every little detail....

    Cheryl: will I see you in Houston at the APQS booth?

    Love, Robbi

  10. The cover of the program for the AQS Des Moines show features my quilt "Art Deco Gears"! It's also printed in black and white on the table of contents. It's not the whole quilt, they did a very cool cropping. I quilted it on my Millennium. You can't really see the quilting itself, too bad. BUT, I designed and made this quilt for the regular AQS magazine, that will include more pictures and directions on how to make the quilt. (I don't know when it will be published. I post when I know.)

    Anyway, it was a nice thrill, and I will assume that means they really like the quilt. (Even though it didn't get a ribbon. But that was the first show I submitted it to, I'll try again.)

    I'm very happy.

    Robbi Joy Eklow

  11. I sorted all of my commercial fabric into plastic sweaterboxes, from Target, Walmart, wherever they were on sale. They are the size of two shoeboxes. I divided them into colors, except the prints that had no dominant colors, and those went in their own box. Also, batiks have their own box. Conversation prints, like pigs on motorcycles, etc all had their own box too. (I finally gave that box to a friend with small children. Her kids interacted with the fabric more in one day than I had in several years.) The sweater boxes work well for quarter yards, you can fold the fabric up and see each piece. Full yards go into bigger bins with lids.

    Last week I moved all of my "commercial" fabric into my daughter's closet and discovered my stash wasn't really that big after all. It only had a few stacks of fabric from what I collected. I did have three bins of fabric from my own lines with Cranston's Quilting Treasures, I hadn't noticed that they built up so quickly.

    My hand dyed fabric lives on a bookshelf. I dye 4 yard long pieces and fold them raw edges together, and then selvedge to selvedge so I have three stacks on each bookshelf, five shelves high, arranged in colors. I did notice that ironing the fabric makes it take up less space, but I'm too lazy to iron all the 4 yard lengths just to save room. After a while the stacks flatten a bit under their own weight and I can put more fabric on top. (Or maybe I'm actually using some, hard to tell....)

    I keep my "international fabrics" stuff I collected when traveling or people gave me them, on a shelf too.

    If I were just starting to sort out my fabric, I think I'd group it all by colors, except for the batiks and the "International" fabrics that I've collected, those could have their own pile and then I'd see what size containers I need. The smaller the container, the easier to see all of your fabric options at once, and it's easier to put them up on a table and grab from what you want, then digging through a big bin. Or trying to heft a bin up on a table.

    I think one key, is to buy everything you can at once, so the lids from one container fit on all the others and you don't have to waste time looking for just the right lid. And they stack better too.

    I hope that helped!



  12. Just to be clear, that was a rookie quilt for MQS, several years ago. I have since quilted a bunch of them. (But not near as many as you longarmers who do other\'s tops. My output is a trifle compared to yours.)

    I HAD done quite a bit of free motioning on domestic machines, so the muscle skill was there. It was a matter of transferring it over to a longarm and getting use to the greater "heft" of shoving the machine around and getting it to do tight corners and smooth curves.

    Also, at the time, most longarmers seemed to be using giant needles, and I was used to a domestic 75/10 or something like that. Plus, I wanted to use fancy threads.

    I teach free motion unmarked quilting on domestic machines at "regular" quilt shows, and people ask me a LOT of questions about the longarm. I\'m happy to tell them that the learning curve, when you are doing your own quilts, isn\'t that bad at all.


  13. I just want to point out a quick thing about the quilt "One Last Orange" that won my Third Place ribbon:

    That was my very FIRST quilt done on my Millie. I\'d had her about a month and was practicing on plain fabric and got bored. That quilt was sitting around on a shelf, I\'d forgotten about it. SO, I put it on the Millie and got going. I figured that when I was done, if it stunk, at least I\'d have learned something.

    I showed it to Marilyn Badger, who recommended that I submit it to MQS that year. I did and it got the Rookie of the Year award. So there you go!

    I also submitted it to MQX this year as they do allow older quilts, and it won something there too.

    I use this as proof that longarming is not as hard as people think to get started in. I already did a pretty good job of free motion quilting on domestic machines, it was simply transferring skills. Plus Marilyn\'s Micro Drive was an essential tool.

    I just want to encourage those of you who have been reticent about submitting a quilt to go for it.


  14. Brilliant idea on the side clamps. I have a q snap frame that i haven\'t used in years. I think I got it 20 years ago. I also bought a three section recycling bin many years ago. It is meant to hold up plastic bags for recycling and it came with clamps. I bought two of them for about $7 each, and used to use them as hand quilting frames.

    Robbi Eklow

  15. My Millie lives in the unfinished basement. But she\'s happy there. My husband painted the walls in her corner white, he ran out of paint before he did the other two walls and hasn\'t expressed any further interest.

    But, I did have an electrician come out and install good lighting all around her, in her half of the basement. He also added four new electrical circuits, all 20 amps, something we should have done a long time ago.

    When we have him come out again for more work, I\'m going to add more lighting to the rest of the basement.

    I have a big dye table made out of three sections of a flat garage door that we scrounged from a friend. The fourth section of the door is under the Millie, covered with carpet and it gives me a good surface to stand on when quilting. The door has some give, to cushion my feet, and it makes me a whole two inches taller, something I can use.

    I keep threads and other supplies in plastic Iris Office storage drawer units, that fit perfectly under the rails. And I can keep the current project\'s supplies nearby on the dye table.

    I keep an ipod in an iHome clock radio down there, on a counter, next to the very zippy stand alone bobbin winder. I use a pair of wireless headphones connected to the clock radio, so I can stitch and not have to deal with the ipod cord. I listened to most of the last Harry Potter novel while I was doing my last quilt. I almost have another quilt ready to go, I\'ll finish up Harry with that quilt. (don\'t tell me the end, even though I must be the last person on the planet not to know it)

    I like having the longarm down in the basement, the room is warm in the winter if I open up the heating vents, and very cool in the summer. My family knows to leave me alone unless dinner is ready when I\'m down there.

    When the kids are home from college in the summer, I worry that the sound will waft up through the heating vents and wake them up. ON the other hand, they sleep too late, so I don\'t really care. Plus, my daughter told me that she finds the sound of me sewing to be very comforting.

    Robbi Eklow