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Cagey last won the day on March 16

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  1. Cheryl, You may wish to check to see if you will need to retime your machine with a 3.0 needle. Here is why I say that. The definitive guide to longarm quilting machine needles November 7, 2017 Needles are one of the most critical tools in a quilter’s sewing box. Choosing the right needle for the thread, fabric and batting you’re using can mean the difference between a fabulous quilt and one filled with tension issues, broken threads, and batting pokeys! Choosing the right needle New longarm owners quickly discover that longarm needles are very different from the ones they’ve used for piecing quilts. Industrial needles come in many configurations to fit different machines. Four main components identify a needle – the needle system, point style, needle size and coating. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting the right needles is to buy them directly from your machine manufacturer or an authorized dealer. If you are buying from a different vendor, verify the needle system your machine uses, and compare it to the system references on the label to make sure they will work. APQS machines use the Groz-Beckert needles pictured below. All the numbers and letters on a needle package can be confusing. APQS machines use “MR” needles, which means “multi-directional.” These needles resist bending and have a very deep, extended scarf (the notched area behind the needle), which allows tighter hook placement for superior stitches. In addition, the needle eye and long groove above it are specially designed to reduce thread twist and keep the thread loop formed when changing directions. Those features allow APQS owners to use all types of threads very successfully. Letters on the package indicate its point style (R = regular round point, FFG = light ball point). The R tip is most common for lockstitch sewing and works particularly well on woven fabrics and coated fabrics, which is why APQS recommends sharp point needles for its longarm machines. Some quilters wonder about using ball point needles on knit fabrics like t-shirt quilts; however, an R point works well since the t-shirts are typically stabilized. An R point pierces the multiple layers better, resulting in fewer skipped stitches. Titanium needles have been popular with machine embroidery enthusiasts and longarm quilters have started to take notice. These needles have a higher hardness than regular needles and have a higher wear resistance. Titanium needles are usually gold-colored. While these needles may not need changing as often, their increased hardness can result in greater damage to the quilting machine or quilting fabric if they break. For this reason, APQS recommends standard Groz-Beckert MR needles with chromium coating rather than titanium needles. Size matters Longarm quilters can move the machine over fabric much faster than anyone can push fabric under a stationary needle. This makes the needle bend considerably more as the fabric and batting pull on it. Small, thin needles would break easily under this stress. Therefore, longarm machine needles must be much larger than regular sewing needles to reduce the needle flex. Over flexing the needle can cause flat stitches on the back, “railroad tracks” and generally poor tension. Thread thickness and type also have a big impact on needle selection. The thread should be cradled in the long groove running down the front of the needle. If the needle is too small for the thread thickness, the thread will not stay aligned with the needle’s eye, causing shredding and breakage. The top thread passes through the needle eye 40-70 times during stitch formation, so the eye must be large enough to easily let the thread slide through. If you have trouble threading the needle (and you know it’s not just your eyesightJ) then the needle is too small for your thread! The chart below illustrates how longarm needle sizes are cross-referenced. APQS machines are closely timed to a 4.0 industrial needle, giving you the flexibility to move to a 3.5 size for thin threads like 100-weight silk, 60-weight bobbin-weight thread or ultra-thin invisible thread. Or you can move up to a 4.5 needle size for thicker threads like 30 or 40-weight cotton, polyester, or variegated blends. The standard 4.0 needle easily handles the most common threads ranging from 40 to 60 weights in all types of fibers. Close timing prevents skipped stitches and helps provide excellent stitch quality with all sorts of thread. Proper needle insertion The round shank on industrial needles presents a challenge for inserting them correctly. The needle eye must be straight so that the thread loop formed behind it stays open and the hook can grab it during stitch formation. You can use a magnet alignment tool on your needle to quickly and accurately position your needle. Or you can insert a straight pin into the needle’s eye to check its position as you tighten the needle screw. Sometimes quilters will turn their needle slightly to the left if a thread’s twist is affecting the stitch quality or causing shredding. This aligns the thread loop with the hook just a little sooner. If the loop starts to collapse, the hook may only pierce part of the loop. For best performance, keep the needle straight for most threads. How often should a needle be changed A new needle is very cheap insurance against batting pokeys, torn fabric, poor tension or thread breakage. While the sheer size of longarm needles makes them sturdier than domestic needles and they could potentially last through several projects, you can save yourself lots of frustration by changing the needle frequently. If you quilt for others, using a new needle on every quilt is a positive selling point for your services – it tells your customers you care about their quilt! Dawn Cavanaugh Dawn Cavanaugh is Customer Service & Education Director at APQS.
  2. Richard, Might I suggest taking a few pictures of your Platinum 16, showing all the items included in the sale. Then write up a post why you are selling (New in Box - why?), if you will pack and ship the item (at your cost/buyers cost-you decide), free deliver in X distance from your home, etc. Then on the main page, click on the following links to get the are to post your item for sale. APQS Machines - For Sale Used Quilting Machines, middle of top right of page (Big Green Button) Start New Topic. This will allow you to make an original post to sell your item. As you started the post, you will get email updates when someone posts on the thread, so you can answer questions or hopefully accept an offer. Best of luck selling your Husquvarna Viking Platinum 16. Cagey
  3. Linda, It is great to see new members using the forum. I hope to see some of your quilting in the future. Here is a link and the information to Superior Thread, where they address the issue of thread life, both cotton and polyester. While the polyester thread color may fade, it appears that it will not deteriorate as cotton does over the years. Their input may surprise you. Have a wonderful day. I guess as we stay indoors we have more time to piece and quilt. Cagey How many years does thread last? Q. I have inherited a rather significant thread stash from a friend. It's a grand selection with a wide range of cotton threads and some are even wound onto the old wooden spools that make me think of my grandmother's sewing area. I'm worried about using old thread and having trouble with it as it runs through my machine. How can I tell if the thread is still OK to use? Is there a shelf life or a recommended period of use for thread? A. A good quality thread that is produced today will last much longer than thread which was produced 15 or 20 years ago. Even the best quality cotton thread of a generation ago did not have the advanced processing techniques available to us today and it would probably be best to not sew or quilt with old thread that exists today. However, a high-quality cotton thread that is manufactured today, like MasterPiece and King Tut, will probably be fine to use in 40 or 50 years from now. Why will threads that are manufactured today last longer than threads manufactured 20 years ago? The difference is due to the advancements in spinning, dyeing, and twisting technology and the evolution of genetic engineering better cotton plants. Because cotton is a natural fiber, it will degrade over time. A good test to check whether or not the cotton threads you have been given are OK to use in your machine is to hold about a one foot section between both hands and pull apart. If the thread snaps (you should feel a nice, crisp break), then it is OK to use. If the thread just separates and pulls apart easily (think of pulling a cotton ball apart), we don't recommend using it. As for polyester thread, the color may fade over the years with exposure to sunlight, but there is no evidence that the thread deteriorates like cotton threads, so it's safe to say that synthetic fibers will last longer.
  4. As many individuals may read this thread, I would like to share that all legacy hopping feet are compatible with George, and will fit a George with a legacy split foot. The only issue is viewing area. The legacy Flip Flop Foot, the APQS True 1/4 inch Platform Ruler Foot; as they are round/a complete circle, are fully compatible with a legacy split foot George. The Clog Foot and Sneaker Foot would fit George, but the opening on the foot would face 90-degrees to the left of the normal sit-down viewing area on George. Legacy George still cannot be upgraded with the new quick change hopping foot, as the needle plate is raised using washers to fit the table, thus there is less hight for the hopping foot. The legacy replacement complete quick change bar/foot is still in development stages. Here are two pictures to clearly show the difference between the Clog Foot (non-George machines) and the Saddle Shoe Foot (George).
  5. Cathy, It turned out wonderful. I am sure the will be absolutely pleased with it. Though after looking at it on the bed, she may need to lie down to steady her equilibrium. Outstanding job, thank you for sharing. Cagey
  6. For electrical connections, I would recommend this spray Hold the connection in a rag or paper towel to ensure the spray does not drip on the floor or other areas. Wear safety goggles to ensure you do not get any in your eyes. It will not hurt your hands, though it may dry the skin slightly. Hopefully this will fix your issue.
  7. Amanda, You can go to your local hardware store, and purchase a 4-20 screw with an allen wrench head. The allen wrench head screw should be shorter than a normal head screw. You will need a screw long enough to go through the entire needle bar. Then using the hole on the opposite side of the hole you normally secure the needle, with your fingers twist the screw in and then through to the hole that is having issues. If it gets tight and you cannot turn the screw, back it up a little and try again. You are re-cutting/cleaning up the "threads" in the needle bar. Remember, when you tighten the screw to secure the needle, you do not need a large screw driver. Think eye glasses screw driver. Just finger tight. When you change needles on your DSM, I hazard to guess you only use your fingers to tighten the screw. Using this method, I doubt your needle has ever come lose or fallen out while you were sewing. If you want a new needle bar screw today, buy a 4-20 nut along with the screw. Put the nut on the screw, and twist it all the way down to the head. Then cut the screw off to match the length of the original APQS screw. You can use a hacksaw or a Dremel tool with a cutting disk. Then turn the nut off the screw to clean up the threads that were damaged when you cut the screw length down to size. Make sure you turn the screw back and forth before you finally remove it from the screw. Only the end of the screw threads were damaged, so that is the area that needs to be fixed by rotating the nut back and forth. If the hole is totally stripped, you can use the hole on the other side to secure the needle. Remember, only finger tight, so you do not have the same issue with this hole. I hope this fixes things for you. Cagey
  8. There is someone working the situation after seeing a need. Hopefully they will be available soon.
  9. I have never done one since I have a George, but Dawn should be able to get your started in the right direction. All of the APQS YouTube videos; If you ever have a question, there is probably a YouTube video or two that will address the subject in question. I wish you the best of luck. Cagey
  10. Dave, Why not remove the shelves and install something like this with either a wood or aluminum rod so you can easily unroll the batting from the roll as needed. You could also install this upside down, and put a bolt with a wing nut through the outer hole to hold the rod. I store my batting on the roll placed on the floor, with no issues. Best of luck to you coming up with a solution.
  11. LeAnne, Just to let you know K. Szymaszek last visited May 2016. You can see that if by hovering over the poster's name. Hopefully someone can help you find the pattern.
  12. Maybe Evelyn can help you.
  13. Here is a link to APQS's latest post concerning tension and other stitch issues that might help everyone.
  14. Just to help you out. Posted April 29 No, it is sold and I can’t seem to figure out how to get it removed from here, my apologies
  15. Maybe these will help.