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Everything posted by alcote

  1. Why does my machine suddenly drag along the fabric. Almost like it hits an oil slick?
  2. Hi everyone. Haven't visited for a while. I have a millenium 2005. I want to know if there is a way to tighten the hopping foot. I can't seem to find a screw anywhere that gets to it. Any answers?
  3. Definitely music! Especially Motowm from the 60-70's
  4. I make quite a few large wall hangings for commission and I use a product called Battlilizer. It is made by Hoop Sisters by Quilters Dream. It is a mixture of stabilizer and batting. It is mostly used for embroidery machines, It adds a layer of stability that allows the exra "tug" or "pull" of machine embroidery. It makes the quilt lay perfectly flat and straight. Also great for thread painting. No puckering at all and you have the quilting done at the same time.
  5. My longarm room is in the basement of the store. A very nice bright room, but WHAT A MESS! It's the threads that get to my wife. One day I decided it was time to go and get the staff coffee and a treat. I came up from the basement, through the store, out the front door, through the parking lot and into the car. When I closed the car door I felt the most horrific sharp pain in my anlke and looked down and saw a ring of blood around my ankle! It was thread that was still attached from a spool of thread that was sitting on the ironing board in the basement wrapped around my ankle, All the way from the basement! My room is still a mess, but my wife loves telling that story!
  6. We recently had an episode in the shop where three ladies from a local Cancer Wellness Association called and asked if we could make them a quilt for a woman who was going throug chemo. They obviously knew nothing about quilting and admitted it. They wanted it made that weekend,pieced,quilted and bound. When I said that they would have to come and pick the fabric and pattern they asked if we had any already made. I said that we a few samples from last year that they could look at. They came in (all three of them) TWO WEEKS later and I had to rummage through our crawl space and find quilts that I thought they would like. (none of them could agree on wha they wanted and none of them even knew the recipient, who lived in another city!. After nearly 1 hour of them pawing through things they decided on a lap sized quit with some vines and hearts appliqued on it. It was very expensive fabric and hand appliqued and machine custom quilted. They price was $150! They thought that that was a lot considering it was a charitable organization that was paying for it. I , and several people in the store at the time voiced that this was truly a bargain and that the fabric alone was more than that not including the backing, batting and quilting. They took it with them with, still thinking that it was a lot. LOW and behold, TWO months later we got a callo from the RECIPIENT who informed us that it would not have been her choice and that some of the stitches on the heart appligues were a little loose. She said she was a quilter but really couldn't get up enough strength to FIX it herself and that she was sending it back for us to FIX and that she would like a sleeve put on it! After may wife explained to her what a bargain she had and that a few uneven stitched would not affect the quilt. The woman insisted that we fix it, because the organization paid GOOD MONEY for it. We told her that we would have to way this out and think about it. The rest of the day was even worse than that phone call! Electrial storm took out our computer system, the death of a good friend and just plain bad news day. Needless to say we forgat about the quilt and ONE MONTH later it show up in the mail! No explanation, just instructions how wide she wanted the sleeve! We never did find the loose stitches but enough time and misery had passe we decided to bite the bullet and do it. She now has the quilt back with no thankyou from her or even acknowledging she recieved it. But I must admit, we do feel better that we did the right thing. After all the customer is always right!/?????? So in short somedays are just PITA days until a new PITA day comes to replace the last one. Life goes on inspite of these other people.
  7. I too never seem to keep to a schedule when it comes to quilting. Besides being backed logged for weeks, they keep coming in. I also owna quilt shop and do all of the samples for the store. Some times (more often than I like) only the quilt top gets hung in the store not quilted! I have some customers who bring in 2-3 quilts a month and say "fit it in whenever". It certainly puts the pressure on to leave them till later. Then the guilt sets in. I am booking now for May. I try to do one quilt a day. Sometimes I can do 2 smaller ones. I have heard of longarmers who give their clients a date to bring their quilt in and it is done the next day. NO WAY will that happen with me. I guess there is no answer that is perfect for everyone. We should just be thankful that we have the business coming in. Still love it though!
  8. As a shop owner I know how frustrating it is to be short fabric in kits. We ALWAYS give extra measurements of fabric. That being said, it is not unusual for some people to return "saying" that they have not had enough fabric. They never seem to bring the kit in, only tell us about the shortage. Our policy is to ALWAYS give them more. We even had one woman who bought a kit in August and came back in November, and December three times with a complaint. Everytime DEMANDED more fabric but never proving she was short. We gave her what she wanted each time. Eight other kits were sold at the same time and not one other person returned anything! She later sent me a letter complaining about the service. These women I do not want as customers. She obviously used us to get more fabric to make the quilt bigger. If you are short of fabric when buying a kit, PLEASE bring the entire kit back with the pieces you have already cut so that the owner can see if it is their mistake. NO owner should refuse to replace it then. I have also purchased kits when abroad and have had to "Tweak" measurements to make it work. It is a QUILT, get over it, not a life threatening experience. Your particular shop owner was just being stubborn and probalbly had a bad day, but she should have done everything possible to make the situation better for you. Have I rambled too much! Sounds like I am taking my frustrations out on all of you for that one miserable customer I had. Thanks! I feel better. (ha,ha)
  9. When a customer wants an E2E on a quilt that is hand appliqued, do you ignore the applique and just continue the pantograph on top of the applique?
  10. I use Hemmingworth all the time and love it and never have a problem with it. You MUST leave the plastic tube (dome) on the spool and feed the thread through the hole at the top of the dome. I also like to use a 10 stitche, that way the thread glimmers on the quilt. I have used Bottom Line, So Fine and even prewound Magna Glide bobbins. Please try it again.
  11. I like So Fine in the bobbin, I too am not a fan of Bottom Line.
  12. I recently had a lovely older woman bring me a quilt that she had made 40 years ago but never had it quilted. It was a lovely quilt top and well worth having finished so she left it with me and I put her on the list. One week later the woman's daughter came in and asked for the quilt back. When I asked if there was a problem, she said that her Mother was going blind very quickly and probably couldn't see that quilt anyway and thought she was wasting her money on something that she wouldn't be able to appreciate and she certainly didn't want it when she was gone, after all it was 40yrs old!!!
  13. My wife and I are vacationing in Florida for Feb and March (a first for so long!) I worked like crazy to finish 40 quilts from 1st week Dec -Jan 31 (we left on the 1st of Feb) I thought I was going to go nuts, especially since I had worked like a fool to get 20 quilts done before the end of Nov for Xmas! Anyway when we left I had some quilts already to be done for April when we return. I talked to the staff at our store and they said that I also have bookings for May and June. So I will be busy when I return. Thank goodness for that, one is never sure how long people will wait, especially when you tell the you are goin on VACATION!. Good thing I love it sooo much. Believe it or not I miss the ol' girl (Helen Jane) especially when we have visited so many quilt shops on the way and even went to 2 quilts shows in Fla.
  14. Hi Caroline: I went to NFCVI and graduated in 68. Most of the Cote's are related in the falls. I have 6 siblings and probably over 70 cousins (1st andd 2nd). Big French Catholic families.
  15. Hello Caroline: My name is Al Cote and I live in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Have been a la-er for 6 years now. Great people at this site. I don't contribute very often but visit a lot. Hello Sandra C! and Miss Dale.
  16. I was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. Went to Ontario College of Art (quickly quit and stayed in Toronto for the summer and had fun. 17 years old then) Got into making hand made human hair wigs, stage painting and eventually hairstyling in the wild 60"s. Owned and operated hair salon for next 39 years. Married in 74, Ist son in 83, next son in 86, went back to University in 88 part time at night, travelled every year to a different European County to paint and draw, separated in 94, (shared custody) no problems with X, still friends and good parents. Single for next ten years. Not even one date. Had successful art career in Canada. Met my lovely partner in 95, friends for eight years then fell in love. (go figure!) She retired from teaching career of 32 years, I retired, she quilted, I painted, she taught me to sew, we opened Quilt store, I learned to longarm and we are very successful and truly happy. One son is a teacher, the other a carpenter with a lovely wife who is a Mortician. GREAT LIFE!
  17. I had a hair salon for almost 40 years and retired two years ago. I had some clients that came every week for 30 of those 40 years. If I'm in a grocery store or shopping or in the bank I sometimes see one of them coming toward me with a huge smile on their faces and I'm panicking because I can't remember their name. It sure was time to retire!
  18. I just started using Rainbows and I like it. I do have to loosen top and bottom tensions and also thread through only one hole on first section from spool. I also use a 4.5 neele, don't know it that is proper but it works for me perfectly. I think you have to experiment. Everyone's machine is tempermental and works according with its owner! Don't give up, it will be worth it.
  19. I find Grandmas' Spot Remover is great for oil. You can buy it at most lqs.
  20. Shana, you sweet woman you. I also had a HUGE Thimbleberrie look a like quilt that a woman made and she also never had a lesson BUT according to her was an expert piecer! The quilt was horrible, ugly and the work square was never in her vocabulary. I did the best I could. Some pleats (well hiddedn) but considering the mess of the piecing I thought it looked pretty good. Stupid me even told her the quilt design and fabric was lovely, (trying to encourage her because I couldn't believe she really thought that her piecing was great. TWO months later she calls and say that the quilt is HORRIBLE and that I ruined it. It finally explained to her that I actually SAVED the damn thing. But she insisted that she was going to rip out all the stitches and do it herself on her DSM! It was almost $300 dollars but she did not ask for any money back and I didn't offer either. She then proceeded to show that quilt (after she ripped the **** out of it with the seam ripper) to all her friends! Fortunately her friends sort of told her that I was right and that she needed to take some lessons. But I sure changed how I work now. If it isn't square, pieced properly or for what ever reason it will cause me grief I won't do it! You are a better woman that I am a better man!
  21. Welcome Liam, you'll learn lots here. And welcome fellow Canadian Linda! I'm on the other end of the country in Niagara Falls,Ontario.
  22. Shana: Sometimes you are better off just doing the quilt with blinders on. I have a very prolific customers who really doesn't make very nice tops, (no pressing at all, no matching of seams, no removing threads, and no measuring at all). She makes them from patterns and then adds border after border so they are HUGE and NEVER square. She has taken classes from us for years and never has progressed,(not that she hasn't been told and shown many times). BUT we love her and she spends oodles of money on fabric and quilting services. I have explained to her that she will have pleats,(some she has made herself) but she doesn't care. I once asked her why she makes them so large and she told me that she sends them to a remote part of Lebenon to her family. She makes them the size of the room so they put it directly on the floor and another on top of them for sleeping! I now understand and she is one of my favorite people with a big heart. I overlook all the mistakes in her piecing and enjoy quilting for her. As far as telling other customers the things they should correct on their tops I am always carefrul. I have had some customers blame my quilting for the pleats not believing that the problem came with the top, and I tell them before hand now that they can take it home and fix it (with instructions) or I can fix it for them or they can leave it alone and accept the quilt the way it will be done. Most people who do not measure or iron or match points usually don't care about that, they just want it quilted and think it is beautiful and so I quess I have made their quilt look the way they think it does,BEAUTIFUL! Go figure.
  23. I think the idea of being buried with a quilt is beautiful, especially if you have made it yourself or a loved one made it for you. I have been collecting things for years to be put in my casket. (small toys I saved from my childhood, stories I have written, pictures of my family and my children, some drawings from my youth, poems etc. and now being a quilter it will certainly include a quilt. My daughter-in-law is a funeral director and she had insured me that it will be done. I also have this desire to buy a pine box and decorate it myself. If I could make a deal with an art gallery to display it afterward I would even be cremated so it could travel around! (the artist in me speaking). It was good enough for King Tut!! We also had a customer at our store who's daughter was dying and we helped her finish a quilt so she could be buried with it. She was so happy about it being with her .
  24. Beautiful! Lots of imagination and talent here. Personally, I prefer art quilts over traditional anyway, being an artist myself. Great Job!
  25. I hear everyone talking about new edgerider wheels? What are they, what do they do and what do they cost? Can anyone tell where I can see a picture of them also.Thanks.