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Everything posted by loraquilts

  1. Yesterday when trying to show someone my Ultimate I, I was trying to show her how easy it was to make beautiful feathers. Unfortunately, I was not able to make nice looking feathers because when stitching on a slight diagonal, the machine would "chunk" as if it were going up a stair step. Sorry, I don't really know how to describe it any better. After she left, I started looking for obstructions, loose thread in the wheels, etc. etc. What I discovered is that the machine head, which is connected to the carriage at the rear wheels and midway over the center wheels, is loose over the c
  2. Were you able to find someone to retrofit your Ruler Mate? I'm upgrading to a newer machine and would love to keep my RM. I, too, much prefer it to the plastic one. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  3. I've been thinking about doing a mosaic pieced on the long arm for quite some time. Need to finish some UFOs before I start on another project though. I like the idea. I saw a video on youtube that inspired me (sorry, it's been so long ago that I don't recall the specifics of the video). Basically the quilt sandwich was loaded onto the long arm and then additional fabric pieces were sewn down on top of the top fabric to create the mosaic look. I found it a very interesting way to use up scraps. It was kind of like machine applique.
  4. I tried the link for the vanishing design wall and wasn't able to find it. All I got were lists of shops selling all kinds of unrelated items. Any other link? I'd love to take a look at it. I'm recently in the process of a whole house remodel and just now putting stuff back together, so if I could incorporate a vanishing design wall before I "finish" the sewing and quilting rooms, that'd be great. : )
  5. I love your camping sewing room. Shoot, I wouldn't mind having something like that just so I could get away from the kids when I was sewing. I'd just drive it a few miles to a nearby park and enjoy a quiet pieceful afternoon.
  6. Thanks for the input. You have all expressed things I have been batting around for some time now. Q - will I ever do enough customer work to pay for the new machine and the new IQ (if I end up getting a new IQ)? A - definitely not. Q - will the new Millie30 be thaaaaaaaat much better than the Ult I with IQ that I have now? A -- probably not. Q - would I get enough enjoyment out of the new machine to make it worthwhile? A -- I think so. I think the pride of owning the latest and greatest machine, the lifetime warranty, the bliss system, and some of
  7. Greetings fellow quilters. I currently have an Ultimate I with Intellistitch and Intelliquilter on it. It's been a great machine for many years, but I'm getting close to retirement (yea!) and am thinking about treating myself to the Millie 30. ...but I have a few questions and would love to get your thoughts. 1. Has anybody upgraded from a 26" machine to the 30" machine? Did you find it worth the extra money? Does the extra 4" make a big difference for you? 2. If I sell my Ult I, should I sell it with or without the IS/Turbo and IQ? Obviously the IS/Turbo will stay w
  8. Okay, thanks. That helps. I've never actually even thought of having a fuller binding. Hmmmm Something to consider for a future quilt - probably a lap quilt.
  9. Okay, I'm confused. When you trim a quilt, why would you trim it 1/4" or 1/2" larger than the edge of the quilt top? Why not trim even with the edge of the top? If you roll over the backing to use as the binding, I can see trimming 1" away from the quilt top, but you'd still have to trim the batting away right up to the edge of the top. What am I missing? I'm always interested in how and why others do things differently, so please help me understand. Could it be that I've been trimming my quilts wrong all these years?
  10. I love math. Give me Calculous, Trig, proofs and theorems, and I'm a happy camper. Algebra, well that's just plain boring.....necessary and the most practical, but still boring.
  11. You are so funny, how could you not know how much fabric to buy? The answer is always MORE!
  12. I've had very good luck with the Maxi-Lock variegated and solid threads. I know they are really serger threads, but they work like a dream in my machine. I've had no issues with them at all. (p.s. just learned that I've been spelling "varigated" wrong all these years. )
  13. Connie, I'm sorry, but there's no way you did 27 years in the Navy. In your picture your only in your late 20's or early 30's, so unless the Navy started hiring embryos, I'm going to call shenanigans!
  14. Another program that I use to organize and categorize my designs is Evernote. There is a free version, but I'm using the paid version. Anywhoo, you can add tags to each photo of your quilt designs. That way if a customer says she only wants to spend a certain amount, I can search for designs that are in that budget and let the customer decide what they like from a shorter list. This has served me well also.
  15. I found a very reasonable software program for just this purpose and it works great and is easy to use. It's called Quilter's Lightbox. You take a picture of the quilt and load it into the program. Then you can bring in pictures of your quilting designs and overlay them on the picture of the quilt. You can select thread colors, size the designs, and play play play. I think it only cost around $25, so very reasonable.
  16. A very sweet lady that attends the monthly sewing group has been making quilts to send to Japan for the last few years. She said there is still a huge need for recovering tsunami victims. Someone in the group suggested that the group make and donate 50 quilts to this effort. I volunteered to quilt the quilts for free, but the customer had to provide all materials and do the binding. There are a couple of other quilters in the group who later also volunteered to quilt for free, so that lessened the burden on me. I ended up quilting 15 quilts in a three week period. My hope was to generate
  17. Just a quick update. I talked to one of my customers at the sewing club this morning and asked her why she was taking her quilts to another quilter instead of me (not in those words of course). I just wanted to hear from her what I could do to improve my business, my relationship with customers, etc. I could tell she was a little uncomfortable at first, but I assured her that I was not trying to coax her into coming back to me, just curious about the change. She said that she uses the other woman for all over panto work, and would be using me exclusively for custom work - something the oth
  18. First I'm going to start this post with an apology. I don't want anyone to be offended that I'm broaching a sensitive subject like pricing and customer loyalty, so if you don't want to share, that's fine. I've been quilting for others for a little over 10 years now. Most of the ladies that I have quilted for have been steady repeat customers. Before I had my computerized machine, and especially when I was really green, I charged about 1.5 cents per square inch for an all over panto. I know that's really low, but I figured that I was trying to grow my business and at the time I was ju
  19. You could also use Evernote. I use that with my IQ and it works just fine. Angela Huffman has a youtube video on the subject that you might want to check out. Best part is that it's FREE!!! Of course, I upgraded to the premium version which does cost a little, but it's very inexpensive. And with the premium version, I can see all my designs on any device. I'm not limited to just the designs I can see on my computer. This is tremendously helpful when picking up a customer quilt and getting his/her input on the quilting design to use. Another great program, which is very inexpen
  20. Wouldn't it be nice if someone invented a way to store an entire cone of thread under the machine and feed it through the existing bobbin mechanism. Then you would never run out of bobbin again. Ahhhhh to dream!
  21. I love love love bamboo and bamboo/cotton blend battings. They can take a lot of quilting and still result in a very soft supple quilt. Many of the 100% cotton battings, including many of the Warm Co. battings, will get very stiff if the top is heavily quilted. It can take a several washings before the quilt starts to become soft and pliable. The ones I've done for myself with W&N and quilted with a medium dense panto are still quite stiff even after many many washings. Many of my customers like W&N and other 100% cotton battings, but from now on I will only use bamboo on my perso
  22. I've also done my fair share of vintage tops. Some were my grandmothers (super duper special) a couple were my mom's, but most were from customers or quilt tops that I purchased on ebay for a song. I started with the ebay quilts because there was absolutely no sentimental value to me on those quilts. Unfortunately, the piecing quality on the ebay quilts was very inconsistent. Most were hand pieced and not very consistently so quilting was a bit of a challenge. I almost didn't want to machine quilt the DWR that was hand pieced, ..... still haven't quilted that one. As for how I load
  23. I baste the edges about 1/8" from the edge. I used to use a basting stitch, but if the customer is going to be sewing on the binding, rather than rolling over the backing, I just use a regulated stitch and let it go. Nice smooth edges and you'll never see the basting stitches once the binding is added anyway. Sometimes I'll even do a little wiggle stitch on the edges. If the customer is going to roll the backing over for the binding, I never sew off the edge of the quilt because it would show on the rolled edge. For these quilts, I use long basting stitches about 1/8" away from the edge a
  24. Hi Zeke, just searching for the perfect bobbin winder at the moment. Any suggestions?
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