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  1. I need to know if you have resolved the problem of the needle "banging" down. My machine is doing the same thing and I have even torn a small hole in a customer's quilt because of this! Cher
  2. For all of you using Compuquilter systems: Intelliquilter has just announced that they will be taking over supporting CQ systems. The owner of Intelliquilter, Zoltan, said that support is one of the most important aspects of a computerized system and therefore has agreed to provide this. Hope this helps those of you who have continued to run your CQ's! Cher
  3. This is great topic, even if it is one that her been visited lots of times! Many of you list Hobbs Wool as a great choice. Are you meaning the regular Hobbs wool or the Tuscany? Do you have any problems with it bearding after washing or are you careful to tell your customers to only hand wash and hang to dry? I have had a few customers absolutely ruin a quilt that I had quilted using Hobbs wool so now I have not carried it for years! Hobbs also came out with a new wool/cotton blend, have any of you tried it and what do you thing? Angela, I notice that you prefer Poly-down on a roll and not pre-packaged? What's the difference? I have also noticed that I HATE Hobbs 80/20 in the packages, somehow it is different than the roll, it stretches really bad and is a pain to load! And, why don't you like Theramore? That is a Hobbs product and I have used it in table toppers and it lies really flat? And I know absolutely nothing about Fiberco but I am certainly going to look it up! So much info here! Sorry for all the questions but it is so great to get feedback on the thing that every longarmer struggles with from time to time. Cher
  4. Oh yah, wasn't thinking. Freddie would be a girl! Talk to you soon! Have fun. I know you're not patient, I can't believe that you don't want to try her out!
  5. On my older machine I had zippers installed and then reinstalled new ones cuz I wore them out. Needless to say, my canvas leaders were a mess and I didn't want to mess with them and take out all the stitching. I just sewed a sleeve onto a zipper, put in a casing on the edge. They work like a charm. On my newer machine I folded the canvas over and stitched it with my longarm much like Debi suggested. They work great! Cher
  6. You are too funny! I thought you were going to ship directly to your new home so you didn't have to move it. Glad "she" is here but you do know that "her" name is Freddy? Have fun and let me know if you want me to come help you? Cher
  7. Oh my, interesting topic! I too disparage at society's acceptable standards. My husband and I recently toured some gorgeous buildings built around the turn of the century in Asheville, NC. In looking at the old photos of their construction I was once again reminded of the ethics and decency that we are lacking in the workplace today. Workers took incredible pride in their work and on picture taking day dressed in their Sunday best, including black suits and bow ties. We could never ever build some of those great old mansions and inns today even with modern equipment because no one wants to work that hard. Today most people don't wear their Sunday best even to church. We have several hired men at different times of the year and very few take pride in their work or go above and beyond. But, I am proud of my kids and their work ethics as we raised them to do their best, but at the same time, most of their fellow workers sluff off and some even sleep on the job. I don't really know what we can do about some of these attitudes that many people have today but I am frequently scared about what will happen to our future world if some things don't change. I know that as longarmers we often see less than acceptable work and some quilters keep on producing quilts with cut off points and wavy borders but I have to say that I have gotten to personally know some of these women and they are truly awesome people despite their funny looking quilting! My motto for my business and quilt shop is "Quilting is supposed to be fun!" and I frequently reminds customers of that! Some of those customers that have piecing that is a bit imperfect and bumpy are still great gifters and their grandchildren and friends love their quilts. After all, it is amazing how much better they look after they are quilted! Though I personally strive for perfect points and straight seams and borders I do know what my quilts looked like when I first started and I have to repeatedly remind myself that I have been at this a lot longer and more intensly than most other quilters. Through my business I have met great people, many of whom are at the age of retirement. One in particular that I am thinking about is an operating room nurse and she is so conscientious about doing the best for patients and has a great reputation as a nurse! She is just one awesome person in an important work place that we are losing and I am afraid that she one of the last examples of accountability and going above and beyond what her job requires. Sometimes I am scared that all of the caring workers are retiring! How do we instill accountability and pride of great workmanship in our younger generation? How do we get them to strive for excellence and care for anyone but themselves. I know that there are many that do but there are way more that don't. I recently caught a waitress in our local restaurant texting at a small desk around the corner. I did talk to her and explained that I thought this behaviour was unacceptable and I should not have to be the one to refill our drinks. Her boss is a quilter in our club and has frequently lamented on the fact that the hardest part of their business is getting good workers, they just want to sluff off and though they are not allowed, frequently text on the job. This waitress is still there several months later and last time she was very friendly and helpful the last time we went to eat there. Next time I am going to ask her if she remembers the little talk I had with her, maybe she does, maybe it helped, do you think? Obviously there is not simple solution to this troubling topic. I do think we have begun accepting 'shoddy work' because of the acceptance of it in society but I am very glad to see that more of you recognize this and that I am not the only one concerned about it!
  8. Oh yeah! I also think that you are too talented to just give up quilting altogether and I know that there will be new customers in B.C.! So, when you move just make sure it is not on a Monday or Tuesday and Rog and I will come help, who knows, I might have to sneak some special fabric away from you! Wednesdays and Thursdays would be great. I know that is a bit in the future yet but keep it in mind! Love you girl, and as I tell my daughters and daughter-in-laws: "just keep going". Life gets better on the other side of a struggle! Cher
  9. I have an IQ and I have quilted 142" wide. You have to move that stop that you get with IQ over on your table. You do loose a few inches with IQ motors. The biggest problem is that you are just a bit past the canvases so you have to figure out what to attach to. I pinned on some fabric onto the canvases at the beginning and then as I got a bit rolled up I just used my side clamps. Have fun!
  10. I don't have much experience with the Pellon as I have only ever had one bolt and that was a long time ago. I love the way Hobbs 80/20 quilts up and love it after you wash the quilt too but sometimes have a bit of trouble with pokies. I have quilted with it upside down and right side up, doesn't seem to help. If you use a 3.5 needle it is better. Some backings seem to be worse than others. Anyone else have this trouble? Anyone have a solution?
  11. How to say this? I have 2 APQS Millenium machines both with attached IQs and I would do it all over again, just faster this time. I waited way too long to computerize my first machine. I love love love my IQs. I have had the opportunity to play with Quilt Path a bit and was approached by APQS to purchase it for my second machine. Loving APQS machines but knowing what I know, I knew that I had to purchase another IQ. There really is no comparison if you are an experienced computerized quilter. I can freehand with the best of them as I had to do that for over 5 years before adding my first IQ so that is still an important element to my quilting business but IQ can just do certain things with such perfection and it is a great time saver on pantographs. IQ's installation is very simple and my husband and I self-installed both times, the second time in less than an hour and I can easily take the head off my machine if I want to work on something but you seldom have to do any work on an APQS machine as we all know! Belt driven on Quilt Path vs Super Motors on an IQ? IQ is extremely precise and you cannot get that precise with a belt drive system. When I want to freehand I just touch a button on the screen and instantly you are free. On Quilt Path you first have to cut your thread, move the machine to the side, reach and flip a lever on the carriage, then move the machine back, etc. etc. Believe me, when you freehand some elements and use the computer to do others all in one pass you will get sick of having to move the machine everytime you want to change it from computerized to freehand. A thread break sensor is a huge thing and no other computerized company has one so that tells me it is not super easy to make one work with a computerized machine. That thread break sensor was invaluable to me yesterday as I KNOW that I would have destroyed a customer's quilt without it. I was quilting with a 3.5 needle (I know, I know, I should have thought to put in a 4.0 considering the quilt I was doing!!!) on a quilt with pieced stars. All of the fabrics were a knit stabilized with iron-on interfacing (spouses clothing so this is a sort of memory quilt) so it was super stiff. The needle broke in the middle of the row when I was in the other room, I heard the sound, but due to the thread break sensor the machine stopped immediately! It if had not it would have gone on to punch holes for the whole rest of the row! And then, I wasn't smart enough so I replaced it with another 3.5 and broke it awhile later too. Again, no damage to the quilt but when I I got smart finally and replaced the needle with a 4.0. It quilted the rest of the quit with no problems. When the thread runs out, breaks, or the bobbin runs out usually it would just be an annoyance as you would just have to requilt the rest of the row but if it would do that when you have a batik quilt on then there will also be holes for the rest of the row unless you babysit your machine and watch it constantly. Moving Quilt Path back and getting it to restart is also not as easily accomplished either. For me, I wanted the freedom to know that the computer would do its job while I did another job and that is a huge reason for going computerized, it is working for me right now! Realign and restart features on the IQ are some of the best features of any computer on the market. Our tools for manipulating blocks and patterns are the best. I can make any block fit any wonky sized block. You can pull out loops, push them in, make parts of feathers bigger or smaller, or move them. Endless capability. Quilt Path has none of these features. Since when have you had a quilt that has perfect blocks? Fabric moves, shifts, and customers quilt funny. IQ makes a wonky quilt beautiful. As for Windows vs IQ's computer? A computer is a computer and they sometimes fail. I have not had a second of trouble with either of my IQ computers. My newer one is faster and with an awesome larger screen which I love but they both work awesome. I personally found the computer on Quilt Path way more complicated. Just setting up a pantograph took many steps. You can't just touch your stylus and drag things around on Quilt Path as you can on IQ. As for setting up a pantograph, I can do that on IQ in seconds and then save it for future use too, so you don't even have to set it up ever again. Quilt Path took quite a few more steps and no saving for future fast use. Setting up a border treatment was a pain on Quilt Path. I was not able to move designs around easily and you can't manipulate them at all so I found that frustrating. Linking them together didn't work well at all. On IQ you can stabilize one end of a pattern and then stretch the other to make it fit just right, no such thing in Quilt Path. I personally like my designs to fit well into corners etc so there is not much open space. With IQ I can distort and drag elements so they are perfect. Another awesome feature of IQ is "clipping". You can "mark a block" and then put any design into it and "clip" it off. For example, say you only have a block design that you love but want to put it in a setting triangle too as well as a full block. So you just "mark" the points of the triangle, drag the block design into the triangle as you would like it to fit, then "clip" whatever part of the block design hangs over the edge of the triangle off and IQ will stitch that triangle perfectly. Clear as mud? Trust me, it is REALLY cool. You can also clip off a pattern such as a pantograph to make it fit exactly on your quilt. For example, you can "clip" the bottom of a pantograph off at the end of your quilt so that IQ will follow the edge (which is sometimes a bit wonky!) perfectly without stitching way out into the backing and batting. There is some really good info on this thread. Cheryl had a great point. Taking a digitizing class with Suzanne is definitely not a "must" but it has allowed me to do "what is in my head" and now when I need a certain design I can quickly draw it sometimes in just 2 minutes or less! I recently quilted tractors on a border of a quilt and I literally digitized over an image of a Case/IH tractor that I pulled up in Google. How cool is that? And IQ quilted it perfectly! As for price? You can purchase a BasicQ system that does pantographs only but you still have full manipulating capabilities which will allow you to easily do perfect pantos. That system is less expensive than Quilt Path and the neat thing is, you can upgrade it at your convenience. That is what, if I had to, I would if $ were a huge issue. Lots to think about. See if you can find an experienced operator of different types of computerized systems to show you how to use them and then you can make an informed decision.
  12. You to gorgeous work. I also have this quilt in my stash of personal quilt tops yet to be done. I sewed it years ago and then wanted to wait until I got "good" at using my Millenium and now I haven't had time! Thanks for posting as it has inspired me to dig it out. I love what you did! I will perhaps have to make my borders a bit bigger as I have a bigger bed now but it will be fun! Cher
  13. Whenever something goes wrong that is when we start to question our ability. Like, you think that I should be able to figure this out. Sometimes little things like loopy stitches just throw us. I haven't change a pigtail for a long time so when I was reading this I was thinking: Okay, so where are my extra pigtails! Off to go on a search cuz I know I will need them soon! Cher
  14. I love my red snappers and run an IQ on both my Millenium machines. My new quilting machine has never even seen a pin, I put the sleeve for the Red Snappers onto it before I even loaded the first quilt. You kinda just get used to where the snappers have to be positioned so that the machine doesn't run into them. Before snappers I had zippers that I installed on quilt backs with an old old Wilcox and Gibbs chain stitch machine. That worked great also but the snappers are much much faster. I use mine full length as I don't find that they are at all awkward to use. Hope that helps! Cher
  15. I love Hobbs 80/20 too. Warm and Natural makes quilts, especially big ones very heavy and the low loft doesn't show off your quilting very well. I do keep some on hand for those that absolutely have to have it but I hate the smell it has to it (Seakitten) called it the sizing, I just didn't know what it was called. For poly I also love Polydown by Hobbs and also quite often quilt with their 6 oz and 9 oz poly for those that just want a less expensive batting with loft. Some longarm quilters around here refuse to use Warm and Natural at all because they feel it is a cheap product and not a good batting for quilts. Cher