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Everything posted by jimerickson

  1. jimerickson

    Millenium was in storage

    Dianne: I'd un-thread it, remove the bobbin case turn off the stitch regulator and let it run, to see it the noise doesn't go away by itself. I'd add a couple more drops of oil to the wicks, and try and oil the needle bar as well. If the noise doesn't quiet or go away after a few minutes then it might be best to call APQS. Jim
  2. If the door to the room is on one of the short walls, think about setting the machine up so the end is adjacent to the door opening. That way extra passage room will be provided by the doorway. I really wouldn't want to limit myself to a ten foot table if I could avoid it in any way. Keep in mind that the backing of every quilt needs to be larger than the finished quilt, so when you take off the length for machine clearance , and the extra length for the backing, you probably can't quilt more than 100 inch width. I don't do a lot of quilts wider than that, but I've done quite a few. Hope this helps. Jim
  3. jimerickson

    Needle up/ down issue

    I'd contact APQS. It sounds like a stitch regulator problem. It could be the needle positioner speed is too fast, but I don't think it would work in manual mode if it were. I don't have an APQS stitch regulator on my machine, so I don't have any first hand experience. I'm just guessing based on what I've read here over the years. Good luck. Jim
  4. jimerickson

    Long arm needles

    Nigel: Did you ever get around to trying the Schmetz SERV 7 needles? I don't know if you ever have stitch issues with your Intelliquilter, but if you do I believe the Schmetz needle would help. I can't remember breaking one since I reported that over 2 years ago. I never damage the points anymore either. I also never even bother to change needle sizes these days. I just use the size 16/100 all the time. Jim
  5. For years I've puzzled over sewing machine needles and the vast range of nomenclature to identify them. It started more than ten years ago, with my wife's Babylock serger, and has been a puzzle for me ever since. Little by little I'm beginning to unravel this mystery. Heidi's post of a week or so about Schmetz needles got me going again. I have used Groz-Beckert 134 MR GEBEDUR FFG/SES needles almost exclusively, with an occasional Singer 1955 MR needle thrown in. They've served me well, but I'm always interested in trying new things with the hope I might find something that I like better. With that in mind, I just ordered some needles made by Schmetz, and Organ that I think will work in my machine (this is where the mystery comes in) It is difficult to know exactly what needle works in my machine from the package nomenclature. Here are the package ID's of the needles I use, and the ones I ordered: Singer Groz-Beckert Schmetz* Schmetz Organ 1955-01-MR4.0 134 MR CANU:20:05 1 CANU:20:05 17 135x5 Set/R 1955MR 134R 134R SERV 7 DPx5 134 135x5 134 SAN 11 135x5 135x5 SERV7 135x7 797 DPx5 DPx 5 MR SY 1955 DPx5 SERV 7 134R - 1955 DPx5 The Schmetz needle with the * is the one Heidi is using. The other is the one listed as the long arm needle on the web site link that was referenced by someone else in that thread. Now I do know what some of the designations mean. For instance the MR stands for a needle configuration intended for multi-directional sewing. The 1955 represents a style of needle I think, and is probably duplicated by the R, and Set/R designation. The DPx5 I think means the same as the 135x5 and the 134 which I believe is the length of the needle, and the position of the eye. The CANU 20 I think represents the thickness of the needle shank. I know that the SAN 11 is important, but I don't know exactly what it means. Perhaps, how large the scarf is. The MR (multi range) needle provides a particular blade configuration and shank that is stiffer than others to proved needle deflection resistance. The SERV 7 design provides the same sort of benefit as the MR, but in a bit different way. Both have a larger and deeper thread groove in the front of the needle. Interestingly, the size needle recommended by Superior Threads, deals not with what you're sewing, but rather what thread (mostly size) that you're using. I notice that they recommended using an 18 or 19 size needle for King Tut, and a 19 or 21 size for Lava. Perhaps folks who use these threads (I don't), and have problems, have so, because they are trying to use too small a needle. The size of the groove in the front of the needle being the issue, not the needle eye size, needle diameter, or the fabric being sewed. I plan to experiment with the three new to me needles on the list, and find out if, and how well, they work. I'll up date this thread with my impressions and thoughts on each. Jim BTW, I'm not quite sure about the nomenclature on the second Schmetz, and I'll check it, and make any appropriate corrections when the packs of needles arrive. Also, anyone who know exactly what any of the designation codes mean, feel free to share your knowledge.
  6. jimerickson

    Broken bobbin thread

    Basic question: Do you have the bobbin in backwards? Have you tried a different bobbin? Maybe there's something wrong with the one you're using. Was the thread tangle in the bobbin basket, or behind the hook? I've found that sometimes bobbins are over filled and that can cause problems. Does the Magna Glide bobbin turn effortlessly in the bobbin case? Does the anti-backlash mechanism work properly? Jim
  7. jimerickson

    Repacking gearbox while on the rails

    Vic: Why worry? I've read that the grease in the gear box is only there to control noise, not for lubrication. If you're happy with how quiet/loud your machine is, why try and change it. I added grease to my Ult 2 some years back without removing it from the table. I think (I don't really remember for sure) I took off the gear box cover and used a putty knife to pack in some additional grease, then put the cover back on with new silicon sealer. My guess is that I wasted my time doing it. Jim
  8. jimerickson

    Kathy Plantz. Newbie

    You'll experience directional tension changes with whatever type machine you use. It's just part of multi-directional sewing. The best thing to do is fool with your top and bobbin tension 'til you get a result that satisfies you. I don't think speed has too much to do with stitch quality. Maybe if you sew very quickly the top tension is increased, but not nearly as much as it's affected by stitch length (short stitches are tighter on top than long stitches if you don't change your tension adjustment). Jim
  9. jimerickson

    Hot bobbin

    Cairns: What are your using to control backlash in the bobbin case? It may be that there is too much tension being put on the bobbin, and that's heating it up. The other issue may be the bobbin you're using. What kind? Have you tried a different bobbin with the same heat issue? I've found that the quality control on the manufacture of some bobbins being sold, isn't all that great, so I only buy certain brands of bobbins. Jim
  10. jimerickson

    Kathy Plantz. Newbie

    You're probably experiencing "directional tension" issues. Tension will change depending on which direction you stitch due to how thread is pulled off the bobbin. It's something you will have to live with. You can help minimize it by tightening both top and bottom tensions a bit. Very accurate timing adjustments also help. Good luck. Jim
  11. jimerickson

    A-1 Elite stitch regulated longarm

    This is a real buy! For any of you longarm wanabes, this is a really good machine, at a real bargain price. Buy it. Jim
  12. jimerickson

    Quilt path vs Intelliquilter

    Mercedes: I think you need to start by deciding how you want the computerized system to help you quilt. Once you have a list of all the things you hope it will do for you, then begin asking if the system you're researching does that, and how it does it. You need to think of the system as a tool that assists you to quilt, rather than some sort of stand alone thing. Start with the tasks you like least doing manually, and work from there. Jim
  13. Cairns: It sounds like you need to reset your timing. My guess is that you did not tighten the hook down snugly enough, and the hook has changed position. Check the timing to make sure that is the problem, and then reset it, and tighten it down more strongly than before. Jim
  14. Lora: Get the M bobbin! Lots less problems with it than the L. No difference in stitch quality-twice the sewing time without a change. Jim
  15. Lora: Unless you have a lot of edge to edge business, I think it would be a mistake to "up-grade". How many quilts will it take to cover the $15000 plus cost of the new machine? If you have a lot of edge to edge business maybe you should be looking for another Ult 1 with Intelliquilter so you can run two machines at the same time. My guess is that you don't. If you decide to get the larger machine, transfer the Intelliquilter from your Ult 1 to the 30 inch machine if possible (I don't know whether the throat dimension limits instillation or not) You won't be able to get as much for you used Intelliquilter, as you will spend on a new replacement. Now all these thoughts are given assuming that you are happy with your Ult 1 set up. If you're dissatisfied with what you now have, the advise might not be best. Jim
  16. Corey: You'll probably love Tyler, a nice small city in East Texas. They have an active quilt guild, and a nice quilt show every March. Welcome to Texas. Jim
  17. jimerickson

    Oops. Ripping out.

    I use a set of curved tipped KAI embroidery scissors. Pull up the top thread to expose the bobbin thread, clip the bobbin thread, pull top and clip the bobbin thread about six stitches further along etc. It's easier if you follow your stitching backward. That way wherever you've stitched over other stitches, you're clipping the top stitch, not the one underneath, and the pull up process will continue unobstructed. Jim
  18. jimerickson

    Stitching Problem

    If your tension is tight on top, and the bobbin tension is moderate, and you're still getting flat lines on the back, your quilt sandwich might be too tight, or your hopping foot may be too low. It could also be that your leveling roller is set too low, causing the quilt sandwich to forcefully drag on the needle plate. Check them out as well. Jim
  19. jimerickson

    Stitching Problem

    Ann: It's probably caused by how the bobbin thread is pulled when you change directions. I'd suggest that you try increasing your tension to overcome this dynamic. Good luck. Jim
  20. What is "lawn" backing? Is it just a grass printed fabric, or something altogether different? If it's just printed fabric any needle size should do. If it's something else, who knows? Jim
  21. jimerickson

    Need help getting started

    You could also use a pre-drawn pattern on paper, and use your laser light to follow, for the curvy lines. Jim
  22. jimerickson

    Laser problem

    No better time than now to take control of your machine. Follow the instructions, pull the hook, install the gasket, re-time and feel like you're really in control. You really need to know how to pull the hook, and put it back together. Being able to do that will empower you to deal with the issues that challenge all of us, and take fear and dread away from your quilting. Good luck. You can do it! Jim
  23. Crazy: Have you been missing stitches at all as you quilt. I've noticed on my machine, when I miss a stitch, the thread goes slack, and only tightens up again when she makes a stitch. It could be that you're occasionally missing a stitch or two, and that is when your thread "jumps" out of the guide. If you find that to be the case, then timing is probably behind the problem. Check your timing, and re-set if it not spot on. Good luck. Jim One additional thought. Is your presser foot setting too loose? That might cause a problem as well.
  24. jimerickson

    Do you use two longarms?

    Denise: I run two machines. I do commission work, but I really pretty much quilt for our 6 or 7 person quilting group, or for guild members who just want to have their quilts put together without spending a lot of money. (most of our guild members are poor old ladies) I have one machine (my Ult 2, Zelda) at my house, while the other machine (a Gammill Classic on a 14' table) is located at our group quilting studio. I do 80-100 quilts a year, about half on each machine. I generally do not accept commissions for custom quilting. Since the idea is to keep the cost down, most of my commissions are free hand over all. I do do custom quilting for the folks in our sewing group, and a few others for special purposes, but not too many. Both of my machines have Intellistitch after market stitch regulators on them, so running the machines is pretty much the same machine to machine. As you may or may not know, my ult 2 has a spring loaded presser foot, not a hopping foot. The Gammill has a hopping foot. I don't do pantograms , but if I did, I think I'd do them on the Gammill because of the hopping foot. Because of the location at home of my Ult 2, gets most of the custom work I do. I've done a lot of modifications to Zelda, (four roller table, electronic channel locks, power lift. quiltazoid, etc.) so she is convenient to sit at and do detailed work any time I feel like it. I don't consider one machine better than the other. They're just a bit different, and I try to use each ones strengths to my advantage. I don't do this as a living, it's a hobby, and a service to others, so I don't really know how well it would work in such an environment. I think what Nigel did is probably the best way to go. Use a computerized machine for pantograms, and if you're going to do custom work, do that on a lesser automated machine. If you really want to make money quilting, I think running two computerized machines doing only edge to edge would be the way to go. Of course there would have to be enough work available in your area to keep both machines going most all the time. Hope this helps you out. Jim
  25. jimerickson

    What is your style?

    Beth: If you didn't get a turbo winder with the machine, a good bobbin winder would be a worth while investment. Any good industrial one should be OK. Unlike most of the "pinners", I don't like corsage pins. I use "T" pins. You can get them in several sizes. You might want to take a look at them. I have a small tool box I keep various tools and supplies like needles and extra bobbin cases, and oil, in.