ValerieJ

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ValerieJ last won the day on April 26

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About ValerieJ

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    Female
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    Sunny Phoenix, AZ
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    Quilting, cooking, baking, walking.

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  1. M is for More -- the bigger bobbin. L is for Less -- the smaller bobbin. Thanks to the guys (Mark and Josh, I think) at a road show I recently attended for that simple trick for remembering which is which.
  2. Hello! Please forgive me. I am so sorry and I did not mean to seem rude. I have been overwhelmed with work this week and have not been back here. Thanks for the kind words, Connie. Rebecca, Thank you. I'm so glad my post is helpful to someone. I found the information at this site helpful, though I didn't follow it exactly. I read a few blog posts at various sites to become comfortable with the process. http://quiltsnkaboodle.blogspot.com/2010/04/attatching-zippers-to-longarm-leaders.html What I finally did was to mark the center of each zipper part; my leader's centers are already marked. Next, starting at the center, I pinned the zipper to the take-up leader starting from the center and working out to each end. I faced the pins to point toward the center since I'd be removing them as the machine got close. I tried pinning part of it with the pins crossways/perpendicular to the zipper, but I don't think that made it any easier to pull them. Then I pinned the other half of the zipper to the front leader. I did not have a strip of fabric pinned between the leaders as shown in the link above because my leaders are fairly new and the edges are the selvedges of the canvas so I knew they should be straight. If you are not sure about yours, then the method shown at the site linked above may help. I just zipped mine together after pinning, so my leaders were zipped to each other. That way I knew that much was installed correctly. LOL! Finally, using my channel locks (My machine does not have them build in, so I use spring clamps to keep the wheels from moving.) so your machine will only move side-to-side with the zippers zipped together and the leaders taut between the bars -- probably one "click" firmer than I roll a quilt top for quilting -- I stitched from the center out to one end, then came back and stitched from the center out to the other end on first one leader, then the other leader. Because either your leaders are straight or you have pinned along a straight line created using the method at the link above, If you are also attaching a zipper to the front bar for the quilt top, then unzip the two leaders, and zip the remaining half zipper to the take-up leader zipper. That way you know you've got the right one -- and pin that zipper half to the third leader, again starting at the center and working to the ends. Just as before, roll until the leaders are taut between the bars, and stitch from the center to each end. Voila! Zippers attached and you standing there all proud and wondering why you waited. LOL! Some notes: You can attach the quilt back to the zippers using whatever method you prefer, pinning, hand basting, or machine basting or chain stitching on a serger or chain stitch machine -- completely your choice. Some people attach the quilt back and top directly to the zippers. Others, like me, choose to attach a leader to the zipper (mine are 6 inches wide) to keep from wearing out the zipper edge and because the zipper edges are a bit harder to pin through than the leaders I attached. I read a great tip from someone here, I believe, and I am sorry I didn't make note of who that genius is, but you can save time and confusion if you color code your zipper and leader parts. Using strips of ribbon or permanent fabric marker, or whatever method you think of, mark the take-up leader with a color, say blue. Now also mark each of the zipper halves/leaders that will zip to that zipper with the same color. Mark the front leader as well of all the zippers/leaders that will zip to that one with a different color. Be sure to put the ribbon or whatever marking on the top side of each so that you would see each matching color when they are zipped together. In fact, zip them together before marking to be sure you've got it right. Now when you go to attach your quilt back to the zippers/leaders, you will know exactly what to attach where and to which side without any trouble. Thank you, thank you to whoever posted this idea.
  3. YOU GUYS!!! I finally did it! After staring at them for 3 months and viewing video after video and reading and re-reading instructions, and just generally procrastinating, I FINALLY bit the bullet and attached my zippers to my leaders!!! It was pretty easy. I cannot believe I put it off so long. I know you all will understand, so I just had to share. Also, since I was fiddling around with my leaders anyway, and mine have always sagged in the center, even after I bought and installed new leaders, and rolling back and forth with the leaders zipped together didn't really improve the sag much, I decided to work on that as well. With the leaders zipped together, pulled taut with the zipper centered, I spritzed lightly with water, then skimmed the surface with a hot iron to dry it. Still sagging, so I spritzed again, turned on the ceiling fan and walked away. I did that about 4 times and they are almost completely sag free! I think I may roll the zipper to each bar and do the same technique further in on the leader on each side to see if I can get it completely taut all the way across. Still need to mark inches along the edges. Tomorrow I will get the other parts of the zippers attached to canvas tabs about 5-6 inches wide so I don't have to worry about running into zippers while quilting. I also need to get grosgrain ribbon (I guess cheap bias tape or hem tape, anything like that should work, too) in different colors. I recall seeing a hint somewhere that some smart person sewed a different color ribbon on the top of each leader and then the same color ribbon on the top side of the matching half of the zipper to make it easier to get it right when pinning/stapling/stitching the quilt parts to the zippers. I think I'll appreciate all the help I can get, because I really don't want to waste my valuable quilting time removing and re-attaching a quilt back I attached wrong. You can barely see the last little bit of sag near the center mark. (Picture was taken before I stitched the last couple inches of leader to zipper by hand...) Would love to know if you see anything that should be or could be changed or any handy hints or tips.
  4. GailR, I purchased a 1997 APQS Ultimate II from the original owner five years ago. APQS has made no money off me except a few incidental purchases for maintenance and new leaders. Yet this past summer when I was at my wit's end trying to fix a problem I was having, Amy spent hours with me on the phone listening to my machine run, checking pictures to see how things were set up, etc, etc until we had my problem solved. She did not try to sell me anything or convince me I should upgrade, and in fact my problem was solved with nothing but a bit of expertise and a lot of patience. That is the kind of support and dedication to owners and users of their machines that is hard to find anywhere. So whatever machine you choose, just be sure, absolutely certain, that they want everyone who uses their machine to be happy -- that is the machine you should buy and the company you should support. Aside from that, if you can possibly try out the machines you are considering, do it. Yesterday at a quilt and craft show was the first time I had ever touched any LAQ besides my APQS, and it was eye-opening. Good luck to you and I hope you find your perfect quilting partner.
  5. Excellent question. I prefer this forum. I spend lots of time on FB, more than I should partly because you have to swim through so much stuff. As a couple have said, it is difficult to find what you want with a search. And with all but the last few comments hidden behind the "view previous comments" link you get all the repeated, duplicated answers and so much "hit and run rudeness." I almost always click however many times I must to get to the first comments, because so much information can be hidden there, and then it is easier for me to quickly scroll through/past the repeats. So my preference for this forum has several reasons, including that it seems a more relaxing "quieter" place, not so haphazard, more actual knowledge and thoughtful answers, more consideration for others in general. On the other hand, FB is fun for it's multitude of pictures and inspiration. BTW, I am not known to most people here because I rarely post, though I am here to read the discussions often. I have a 1997 APQS Ultimate II that I aquired from it's original owner 5 years ago -- it has no bells and whistles. It has a light, handles with on/off button on front and back, and a rheostat for speeds 1-10, no interchangeable foot, no computer, no needle up/down, but I love her and she has helped me finish several quilts I might never have done without her. I can vouch for APQS's commitment to their owners, even those who did not buy from them, and the staff's dedication to customer service and the happiness of APQS longarm owners and users. When I am able to upgrade, it will definitely be an APQS. And in 3 years, 86 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes, and 9 seconds I will be retired so I can quilt more than occasionally. Woo hoo!! Then I'll be posting here much more!
  6. Oh, my gosh! That is a lot of helpful information and some extra knowlege. LOL! Thank you, Cagey, for the explanation about flashpoint and flame extension -- very interesting things I had not considered. And, yes, the rare times I use nail polish and, then, polish remover, I leave the cotton balls on paper towel in the enamel sink to dry out before they go into the trash. I am not sure when or where I developed this caution about those things going into the trash, but it is something I think about. Thank you for weighing in, also, Jim and Mary. Knowing other knowledgeable people are comfortable with it makes me feel better. For the record, a good bit of liquid did evaporate, leaving the oil behind. I believe WD-40 to be a combination of, basically, kerosene and oil, hence its cleaning and lubricating functions, and I am sure there is also a propellant of some sort to help expel it from the can. That propellant probably disperses or evaporates right away, leaving behind the WD-40 formula of kerosene and oil. That is not scientific or specific, but my layman's understanding. Anyway, thanks for putting my mind at ease, everyone. I hope you're all having a relaxing holiday weekend.
  7. Thanks for taking time to answer, Sharon. I'm uneasy to do that since it is flammable, not that I'm using flames near my trash. LOL Actually, I bet your suggestion would be great for most people here on the forum. But I didn't mention I'm in Phoenix. It will be about 110 today, and I think the temperature of a closed trash can would be even higher than that, so that's why I hesitate to put it in the trash. For now it is still outside in the heat, hopefully evaporating quickly. I'm still hoping to learn if there is a better way or maybe a "correct" way to dispose of it.
  8. Hello fellow LAQ machine do-it-yourselfers. I am attempting to work on the Beast's timing this morning. That is my 1997 Ultimate II. The video is great, and I am to the point of putting the hook assembly back into place. Amy showed a trick of bracing your screwdrivers against the thingamajiggy behind it to help pry and scootch the assembly off the post in the first place. But now the video simply shows the assembly back in place without showing how to do it. This thing will not just push back into place. I bet I'm not supposed to put a lot of pressure on that center post that the bobbins snap onto, and I bet I'm not supposed to whack it with a mallet or probably even tap it. Anybody here have any hints on how to get that hook assembly back into place, all the way back on the post? Any help will be appreciated. ****** UPDATE ****** I just spoke with Angie and learned that I was a bit too careful on the step of running the machine, at slowest speed, with the file against the post to smooth it out and possibly shave off the minutest, tiniest bit of metal. It took 3-4 more seconds with the file at the most. And the hook assembly popped back into place. Thanks once again to the very knowledgeable, helpful, and patient APQS crew!
  9. I am following the video about checking/fixing timing. I removed my bobbin hook assembly. There were a few spots that needed buffing. After doing that, Amy says to give the assembly a good bath in WD40 and then oil. Okay. Working outside, I held the assembly over the plastic lid of an empty mayo jar and spritzed WD40 in and around the assembly. Now I have about a teaspoon of excess WD40 in that lid. How do I dispose of it? Just leave it out there to evaporate? Or is there a better way? Thanks. Now please send all positive energy that I will be able to reassemble all this and get my Beast stitching properly again. Thanks!
  10. I just used King Tut variegated for the first time (I've only quilted a half dozen quilts so far, so I guess that is not saying much.) and had no problems at all. I'm on a 1997 Ultimate II, no bells, whistles or hopping foot if that information makes a difference. As far as I know, any problems I have had so far have not been thread related, other than some poorly would bobbins.
  11. Yes! We definitely will need to get together. I shall email you soon. And just so this is still all quilting related, The Beast and I wrangled a bit over the finishing of this quilt, but I love longarming though I don't spend near enough time doing that, so I was reasonably patient and the last 18 inches square The Beast gave in and let me finish without a break. I am getting pretty good at tying off and burying threads. And now the binding is nearly finished. Even though the quilt was so surprisingly square and even, I didn't feel comfortable attaching the binding with The Beast (a 1997 Ultimate Ii with no stitch length, needle up/down or any other bell or whistle), so I have stitched all that on my sweet Featherweight. I must say, I will never doubt Sharon Shamber again. I thought it was a bit too much to glue-baste the front of the binding down as she suggests instead of pinning, but I tried it this time and I am a believer! Quilt On!
  12. Hi, Sue. Thanks. Now if I could just get The Beast to cooperate and play nice. I unstitched almost as much as I stitched yesterday After having so much fun on the first 3/4s of the quilt. I'm at 19th Ave and Thunderbird. I thought you were in Scottsdale. We met a couple years ago, I think, when you were demo'ing Accuquilt Go! At 35th Ave Sew and Vac. Or did I mix up Sues?
  13. You guys! Most of you probably see this all the time, but it is the first time for me and The Beast. This is the bottom edge and corner of the quilt I am finishing today, I hope. I stole a few minutes before work to baste down the last edge so it is ready when I get another few minutes for the last pass. I float my tops. If I have been very, very good while piecing, the top edge of the quilt might look this good, but to be able to lock The Beast horizontally and stay between 1/4" and 1/8" all the way across only 10" from the last quilted pass without tugging or pulling has never happened before. All. The. Way. Across. The. Final. Edge! You are the only ones who will understand why I am grinning and patting myself on the back.
  14. Vickie, I trained myself to use my left hand for "mousing" so I could write and do other things with my right hand. I never thought to see if I could rotary cut with my left hand. But now I will ... very carefully though!
  15. That quilt, that amazingly beautiful quilt says so much about so many in this group but even more about the love and power in the entire group. Congratulations to everyone who participated with stitches as well as to those, like me, who sent their love and well wishes to go with the fabric and thread. This is the best kind of healing hug.