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  1. Success!! I was able to mount and finish the Double Wedding Ring Quilt thanks to your ideas. I basically followed Dawn's directions with a little twist at the end. Rather than attaching all 3 layers to the pickup roller at once I first attached the backing roller at the pressed seam line. (It's real easy to stick yourself with the pins while doing this!) Next I laid the batting on the backing - allowing extra batting to extend past the seam line. Finally, I pinned the top to the backing/batting at the imaginary straight line across the mellon wedge portions. When I finished at the bottom I almost forgot that I had to go back and finish the top. I started to unpin but then remembered. Senior moments have not taken over entirely - yet. The quilting was a string of hearts along the outide "border" rings and a meandered leaf, vine tendril, flower motif around the top. There were numerous puckers in places between the football-shapes areas between the rings and this gave me some flexibility in trying to manage creases in these areas. The real challenge is the binding. The customer is unable to bind it because of age/health. I told her that binding would take longer than my quilting! I just finished making/attaching the 405" bias binding to the top edges - 4 1/2 hours later. My wife will do the hand stitching of the binding to the back as I only sew by machine! Thanks all, Don F
  2. Thanks for the ideas. Dawn, I like your process as it closely resembles how I normally mount my quilts. I mount the backing on the backing roller and the top on the top roller. I then "drag" the backing to the pick up roller and pin it to the leader. Then, I lay the batting on the pinned backing and finally pull the top over the batting/backing, smoothing it and centering it on the batting/backing. I then pin the top to the batting/backing. I don't like "wrestling" with the 3 layers at once trying to pin them to the leader. Do you normally pin all three layers, at once, to the take up roller for your quits? In this case, I might have to do that so I can have the extra backing/batting to finish up the floppy melons. The top is kind of wrinkled an appears puckered and uneven. I think I'll press it first to see if it will lay fairly flat before I get too involved.
  3. I have a double wedding ring quilt to do. The rings are 28" in diameted and extend to the edge of the quilt on all 4 sides. This presents a fairly large and deep scalloped edge. I usually do not float my tops but attach the top to the upper roller at the front of the machine. I like the control I get pinning the top to the leader. I think I can fold the scalloped edge straight and pin it to the leader rather than floating the top. Has anyone done this? I'm still mulling over my quilting ideas. Any suggestions? Don Fagnan
  4. I have a bendable LED light on my Brother machine I use for piecing. Its very helpful but tends to move/sag after a while because of the vibrations. I have a feeling it would not work well on my APQS Freedom. Does APQS sell the longer light cords. Moving the light is a great idea! Don Fagnan
  5. I have my Freedom (same size as Millennium I think) in a section of my basement that is 13X17 feet. Plenty of room to move around the table. I have a cutting table in another section which is convenient. Bigger would be nicer, but so would a Millenium, too! Don Fagnan
  6. The newer Towa gauges have a scale running from 0-400. The readings on these are 10 time higher than on the older gauges. I saw on a post somewhere that a good tension for metal bobbins is 15-18, for prewound 20-22 - on the older gauge. These convert to 150-180 and 200-220 for the newer gauge. I use these reading and the tension lis perfect. I check the bobbin on the gauge each time I change a bobbin. It takes less than 30 seconds and helps ensure that the thread is pulling nice and that there is not a wrap on the inside of the case too. Works great.
  7. I have been discussing quilting possibilities for a Log Cabin, silk wall hanging with a quilt maker. They are 24 inch blocks, 3 inch bands of fabrics - "modern" look/colors. The maker wants it quilted very loose so that the shades and textures of the silk show. She is thinking of having me just tack it every so often with my frame. She feels quilting or stitch-in-ditch will be too "tight" to give her the effect she is looking for. It is not yet finished so I have not seen it. Have any of you quilted silk top/bottom with thin poly batting? Just tacked and not quilted? Not sure if hand tying or backtacking should be used. Ideas or pitfalls? Don Fagnan
  8. I just heard from APQS. All of their newer TOWA gauges have a scale from 0-400. The picture on the box still shows a scale running from 0-40 (I wish I had noticed that earlier). Heads up for all of you who are buying a new TOWA gauge! Muntiply the "normal" readings by 10. I asked the staff to verify that the tensions from older to newer gauges are just off by a factor of 10 because the scale units are also different. Don F \\_o
  9. Richard, Thanks for the heads up on two different TOWA scales. A factor of 10 makes a big difference. I just spent 8 hrs. on a quilt at the lower setting. I checked it often and it seemed OK. I will retry at the 180-200 setting. I noticed my scale had units of 10 mN. I guess the others are just mN. The APQS web page talks about their bobbin inertia and touts the fact that it needs little tension. I felt comfortable at the really loose tension. Be interesting to see the difference. Wish there was a complete discussion of this topic someplace or on the APQS site. I have a question into their Tech Staff but have not gotten back a response yet. Don F \\_o
  10. I have been having some tension issues with my, new-to-me, used Freedom and have searched the APQS site on this topic. I noted many references to the TOWA gauge and bought one. I have not found any all-inclusive site on appropriate settings using this device. I have seen numbers of 18-22 for APQS machines, 25 for Gammills (from a friend) and 250 for Embroidery (from an on-line video). A setting of 18-22 on my gauge (my gauge scale runs from 0-400, has lines every 10 units, and the units are 10mN) results in a light tension where the thread just pulls from the bobbin without lifting it from my palm. If I set enough bobbin resistance resistance to just lift the bobbin from my palm the TOWA reads about 50. I think I can get my machine to work at 18-22 (If you can read that on the gauge!) but that seems pretty loose. I could also probably balance the tensions for a TOWA reading of 50, 100 or 200 on the bobbin. Is a bobbin tension on the loose side OK? What is the experience of others? Does anybody know where there is a good discussion on the TOWA gauge and/or bobbin/needle thread tensions? Don Fagnan
  11. For those of you with "older" machines. I replaced my wheels on my 2-3 year old used Freedom with the newer style wheels. Circles are now round (not rounded squares) and my control is great. My machine lides like it is on wet ice! The newer machines have these "improved" wheels already. Don Fagnan \\_o
  12. I recently did a few flannel baby quilts and used a lightweight cotton batting. They came out nice. It was sugeested to me, by a more experienced quilter, that I be careful quilting along seams (like line dancing) and try not to converge to many stitches in a block corner. These might tend to "Raise" the seams on the flanel. Have any of you experienced this? I wound up doing some meandeing, with loops, crossed the seams somewhat perpendicularly and kind of looped around the block corners. They laid nice when finished. Don F \\_o
  13. I\'ve seen references to the Bobbin Drop Test but cannot find a description of it on the APQS site. Does anyone know where it is located or how to do the test?
  14. I have adjusted my wheels a few times per the instruction manual. Not hard. Like Carol, my circles are not quite round yet. I was blaming my Freedom but it sounds like it takes practice. I am told you should be able to turn the wheels easily, by hand, with the machine staying still. Mine sometimes seems to hang up a little on the left side of the table. I am not sure if it is my cord or the rails are a little wider there. Will have to check both. I just went from a New Joy mini frame to the Freedom a few months ago. I think I have to conquer the weight and inertia of the long arm. Is faster easier? Don F \\_o
  15. I also had a similar problem when I was trying to reuse a few plastic bobbins. The winder tension was too tight and it swelled the sides of the plastic bobbin just a bit. I noticed that pulling up the bobbin was harser than usual. Of course, it wouldn't stitch correctly. I discarded that one (actually I wound to another bobbin - I am a cheap engineer - with less tension, and it seemed to work fine. Won't reuse plastic again, though, as they started to crack too! Dawn - Thanks for the tip with the batting on the thread guide. I got my Freedom used from an experienced long-armer and she had batting there. I didn't have a clue what it was for. Now I know and will put it back. Don F \\_o