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Everything posted by jimerickson

  1. I use YLI Longarm Professional on top, Bottom line in the bobbin, and also avoid quilting in the "rubber". No special needle consideration. I would question your choice of batting however. Thermor is really low loft. In my experience T shirts turn out better with a lofty batting. Seems to help with the stretchy knit fabrics. Good luck. Jim
  2. Ananuk: This is a long shot, but might help. Contact Kasa Engineering, the makers on Intelliquilt. They have assisted with Compuquilter, support after they went out of business, maybe they can help with outdated Statler software. Jim
  3. I use my TOWA on the table top. I don't have a pig tail on my bobbin cases, and don't really see a need for it. My Happy commercial embroidery machine has a pig tail on it's bobbin case which I'm sure helps with sudden direction changes, but those kinds of direction changes are much less frequent with long arm quilting. If you find tension adjustments easier without the using the tail, then don't use it. You could go further and buy a replacement bobbin case without the pig tail. I think the model you need is BC-DBM(1)NBL3. You can find them online. I've bought mine off e-bay. If you shop online, look for bobbin cases made in Japan, not China. The quality control on the Chinese ones are kind of hit and miss. You might get a good one, then again, you might not. I like TOWA, but Koban or Hirise are good. Jim
  4. You haven't told us anything about the tension settings you're using. I typically run pretty tight stitches on my machines, and have had thread breakage problems when using Glide. Others here run it all the time with no apparent issues. If it's not tension, check your thread guides for wear (probably not the problem since your Millie is new). Then check your timing, especially needle bar height adjustment. If all these check out OK, look at your threading of the machine. You may need to reduce the number of holes you use on your pre-tension bar. Also check your hopping foot height adjustment. Good luck. Jim
  5. Turning you needle will help with skipped stitches, but not with tension issues. If you're using equal ruler tension in all directions, then I think it's a matter of tension adjustment. The direction you are sewing affects stitch tension by drag on the top thread. e.g. more tension in some directions, less tension in others. With very light tension the direction tension variables become magnified. My suggestion: Tighten your bobbin tension to 200 on you TOWA, then tighten your top tension enough to balance your stitches. With this tighter stitch, the direction tension differences will be a much smaller percent of total tension, and stitch balance will be easier to achieve. Jim
  6. I made my own for my Ult2, so I don't know for sure, but I think one offered for a Lenni would fit since they are both built on the same platform. Jim
  7. Not too unusual. Especially if you sew in the printed on material. Additional drag on thread inhibits the loop formation which causes skipped stitches. Try a bit of silicon on thread and needle. That will probably help. Good luck. Jim
  8. Cagey: Are you sure the needle doesn't hit the center? Take a piece of paper, set it under the hopping foot, pencil around the outside, then turn the needle down til it pierces the paper, remove the paper and measure the distance from the hole to the circle to see just where the foot sets. I don't know anything about the APQS ruler feet, but I do know the way you look at something, sometimes leaves you with an incorrect impression. As much "flap" as there has been about front and back spacing, I'd be surprised if the new feet weren't accurate. Jim
  9. What you quilted is probably why the needle went dull. If you still have the worn out needle, check the tip for damage. Run your fingernail up and down the point feeling for a burr. If you feel one, the needle was damaged by hitting something. If there is no burr, it's just dull. I've heard the story about the chrome vs titanium needle and damage. In my experience, and I've used both type MR needles, there's nothing to it. They both bend and break the same way. Use titanium if you want them to last longer, replace them more often if you don't. I don't think you would have had a bad needle. The Groz-Beckert are high quality needles, and I don't think their quality control would let bad needles leave the factory. Jim
  10. I'm surprised that you dulled a needle so quickly. I think I probably get a dozen or more quilts out of a one. What kind of fabric and batting were you using? I'll have to admit that I don't do dense custom quilting with lots and lots of seams, and I don't use cotton batting much anymore. Batiks dull needles more quickly as well. But still.... What brand needles are you using? It sounds like you might benefit from titanium coated ones. I used to have trouble dulling needles, but discovered it was really a timing issue. Flex of the needle allowed it to occasionally hit the hook, and that dulled them in a hurry. Re-timed, and switched to Schmetz needles which are stiffer than the Groz-Beckerts. What size needle are you using? Small ones flex more than larger ones, so they're more likely the hit the hook as well. Schmetz advertises you can use one size smaller and maintain the stiffness of the larger MR needle. Take a look at your timing, and hook/needle clearance. Pay particular attention to your needle bar height. Good luck. Jim
  11. I would call a mid-arm as anything 15" and under. My suggestion to you is to look for an APQS Lenni. Bigger than your friend's SweetSixteen, but small enough to handle easily. I'd shop for a used one, knowing full well that APQS is there for any assistance and support you might need. The APQS machines are industrial strength, simple, and almost un-breakable. I've got a 23 year old Ult 2, and couldn't be happier. Jim
  12. LinneaMarie: Shana's right about the fabric, but I'd like to add that the 80/20 batting you're using isn't the best when it comes to bearding as well. I prefer to use a poly or more preferably, wool because they don't beard. I don't use 80/20 much anymore unless the customer wants cotton batting. Jim
  13. Try starting (moving the machine) slower. You may be out running the stitch regulator when you begin to sew. Jim
  14. You should be able to get a pretty good ides as to whether the hook needs polishing without removing it, by 1) looking carefully for scratches, and 2) running your finger over the various hook parts feeling for any damage. A couple of basic questions: Have you checked the machine timing? If it is slightly out of time, the top thread may not be being released timely, causing the thread to be overly stressed. Are you using the proper type needle? If they are the Singer type (which includes Gros-Beckert) they should be MR, SAN 11 size 3.0 to 5.0. If they are something else, the needle may be your problem. Did your manual include photos of proper timing? If so, make sure your machine is adjusted exactly as pictured. If you don't have photos, look on APQS's website for examples. BTW, I think all the Ult 2 manuals were photo copied pages held in a binder, at least that's what mine is like. The timing photos however, are actual excellent quality black and white photos. When looking at the machine timing, pay particular attention to the needle bar adjustment. I seem to remember having a similar thread issue with my machine shortly after I bought it, and it turned out to be that the needle bar was set too deep. Raising the needle bar so the needle eye position exactly matched the proper timing photo, solved the problem. Good luck. Jim
  15. It sounds like the spring tension might be the issue. You can tighten the spring tension by removing the tension assembly, loosening the set screw, rotating it against the spring, tightening up the set screw and replacing it in the machine. When you return the assembly to the machine, make sure that the spring is set at the 10:30/11:00 position when it is "resting". Good luck. Jim
  16. Loretta: Both Laura and I have Intellistitch stitch regulators on our machines, so our "unregulated" experience is in the distant past. That being said, shredded thread isn't only a problem of unregulated machines. Is there any particular quilting action where the shredding happens? If so, that might give us a clue. I personally use YLI Longarm Professional as top thread almost exclusively. The strongest longarm thread I've found. It is possible that you have a burr somewhere on your hook assembly. Examine it very carefully, and if you fine one polish it down with fine emery cloth. Good luck. Jim
  17. That sounds a lot like Intellistitch's manual with stop/start, except rather than pulsing, the Intellistitch actually stops stitching until you move it again. You can turn that Intellistich feature off and have it stitch when you stop, but why would you want to? Jim
  18. PJ: You can see from the photo that the machine is not Bliss equipped, and due to the age of the machine, it's a pretty sure bet that it has an L bobbin. Jim
  19. I don't really have any idea, because I've never had experience with APQS's Quilt Glide. However, what I know from my Intellistitch regulator, is that "manual" is not stitch regulated, so the only control you have over stitch length is the speed at which you move the machine, or the stitching speed you set. If the stitch length is controlled by the machine, it would be stitch regulated, not manual. Jim
  20. I'm quite surprised to hear that the pig tail guide on the bobbin case has been broken. Something must have hit it. Or maybe there is a confusion of terms, and what's talked about is the bobbin thread, not the pig tail guide. At any rate, since the Ult 2 originally came without a pig tail equipped bobbin case, I'd just replace it with the original type. The broken off pig tail bobbin case might work just fine, but I think the needle opening for those cases is much larger than the original, and that might lead to other stitching problems. Jim
  21. Kat: Is it possible that the original needle broke in more than on place? It sounds like something is limiting how deep the new needle will set in the needle bar. Maybe the original needle end is still in the needle bar, or perhaps the set screw is blocking proper seating of the new needle. Give it a close examination. Good luck. Jim
  22. Nicole: I guess stitch tightness is a matter of personal choice. I like tight stitches and probably run my machines tighter than most other quilters. As long as they are even and there is no thread breakage I'm OK. I run my bobbin tension at about 210 on my TOWA bobbin tension gauge, and set the top tension to produce a balanced stitch. Since my Ult 2 has an Intellistitch regulator, not one made by APQS, I can't advise you on adjustments, however I think there was a post in the last week or two about slow single stitch time, and there were references noted that should help you with that issue. Search recent posts and I'm sure you'll find it. Good luck. Jim
  23. I don't think you'd want to make that kind of an investment on run of the mill Ult 2. You'd be better off looking for a more modern model that already has the Bliss table. Jim
  24. I just checked, and there are a couple of Bernina 830 Records with knee lifts for sale on e-Bay in your price range. Old machines ('80's manufacture dates). I have one, and it's been a good machine, made in Switzerland. You might take a look. Jim