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  1. So I use the template and reach over the front of the machine to pull the stylus in and out? That way you can stay exactly in the ditch? Is that really awkward or is it easy once you get the hang of it? I tried using tape to mark where the stylus needed to come in and out, but it didn\'t work and I got some great practise fogging! I\'ll try it again on the next project and see if I can figure it out. Thanks, Kim
  2. I have the small crosshatching template. I bought it from someone and cannot figure out how to use it and make it look right. I just did a 12 inch block and the crosshatching part looked perfect, but the edges were uneven etc. Do you stop and start at the end of each line? I have been trying to do it continuously, but can't get everything lined up right. Does anyone have any tips? Thanks, Kim in Utah
  3. I found a great one the other day. "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill" Kim
  4. 16 has been a good setting for me with bottom line in the bobbin and king tut on top. It sounds like I am running my bobbin tension really loose? Should I tighten it and see what it does? I've only had my machine for a week so I'm very new to this. Kim
  5. I just barely got my machine and from one bobbin to the next had to tighten the top tension 4-5 full turns. Obviously I'm not winding bobbins very consistently, but those turns did the trick and the stitches looked perfect again. I can tell that this is going to be a learning process, but so far I'm having so much fun. Kim
  6. I have a bernina 145 and love it. I did have an old bernina 830 and sold it a few years back. Would you believe that I got $675 for the thirty year old machine. After I sold it for so much I wondered if I should have kept it. I have heard great things about the Phaff machines and wouldn't mind trying one out. The only thing I would change about my Bernina is that it seems so slow to me when I am chain piecing and trying to get lots done fast. Kim
  7. Karen, I am so glad you wrote about this. I am starting a quilting business and just talked to a woman the other day who told me she really hoped I would be reasonably priced as .015 cents an inch was such a horrendous price. I was sort of speachless. I thought that I would start at that and go up from there. Your post made me think it would still be okay to do that. This is not a hobby, the machines are quite expensive, and to do this professionally you have to earn enough to make it worth it. Kim
  8. I'm getting a machine for sure, probably in the middle of the summer (which one I get is still up in the air). I think that if the customers fall in my lap I will do this as a job, but if they don't I'll have lots of fun and maybe start to advertise later. We have started getting bids on the basement which is where my studio will be. It is one of the biggest rooms in our house and I'm so excited to finally have some room to spread out. My sewing room has been in about 4 different places in our house, so it will be good to have a real place for it. I'm getting tired of moving my enormous stash of fabric and notions.
  9. I haven't bought my APQS machine yet, but I did ask at my local quilt shop about the gammills. The lady there has been using a gammill for years and said that I needed to make sure that I could find someone to service the machine regularly. When I talked to Myrna she said that the APQS machines are easy to fix by the user if there is ever a problem. I just hate the idea of having to have someone else do all the maintenance or having to send it in to the factory ever time a switch goes out etc... I would be interested to hear others who know comment on this as well. Kim
  10. Sometime in the summer I am buying a LA. What do you think I should do to prepare? I am currently using up tons of paper practising McTavishing and other freehand designs (my first ones are pretty ugly, but by now I can almost look at them:). Someone told me to buy sheet sets and really cheap batting and practise on them when I get the machine. Is that a good idea or should I just make up some quick tops with real fabric? I do have 6 tops nearly ready to quilt and three more in the planning stages, but I imagine I'll need to do lots of real practising before I start on any of those, right? Thanks in advance for any ideas, Kim
  11. That is hilarious because we do the same thing. My husband just bought his dream sailboat and my dream thing is this quilting machine. Even though the LA is less than 1/4 the cost of the boat I still think, well the whole family can use the boat and only I can use the LA. I do think it is a good system! I have to admit I did ask a biased audience because I really want a LA and not just any one either, one that will last me forever and be perfect. I do love piecing, I have quilted a few quilts on my Bernina and that has been a miserable experience. Not enough room to move, heavy, awkward, lots of ideas without the ability etc... And hand quilting is not for me. By the time I am nearly finished with one project I can't wait to start another so the months it takes to hand quilt would kill me (I'd have 40 other projects started before I finished the one). Anyway, thank you all for your encouragement. I can tell that I am going to like this new world! Kim
  12. I know that there have been many posts like this but... I am looking into getting a long arm machine. I have done lots of research and really like the millenium. I've never owned a LA and have only tested out the Handi-quilter so I have no real practical experience. Am I crazy to be thinking of buying this for my hobby (okay more like addiction). My kids are finally getting big enough for me to enjoy piecing again. In the past I have taken all my tops to whoever I could find to finish them, but that has been pretty hit and miss. Is it worth owning a LA for a hobby? I think I could one day do this for a living, but I don't want to buy with the intention of making money. There is a show happening by me in April that I plan on going to to test out more machines. I guess I just need someone to tell me it's okay to spend a bunch of money on something just for me. (Aren't women nuts? We always need validation.) Thanks in advance for you help, Kim