ffq-lar

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ffq-lar last won the day on March 17

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About ffq-lar

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    http://www.topperquilttools.com

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  1. To teach a class on overall designs, I used length of good white fabric as the backer (about 1 1/2 yards), some poly batting to show off the quilting, and a pale pastel batik on the top. I used my channel locks to divide an area and filled each with a different overall design. I used lots of different thread types, weights, and colors for options, both top and bobbin. Now I had a sampler of my personal stitching, what threads looked like on white and colored fabric, how colored thread looks when used in the bobbin, how density affects the feel of the quilt, etc. It was fun to make and when I suggest "something leafy" or "maybe geometric" I hang it up for my customer to look at. For the leafy meander, I showed many kinds and shapes of leaves. And sometimes changed the pattern to another similar one within the area.
  2. Your Millie is not a 2005 model. The badge, square table components, and the speed dial are from an older model--maybe 2003. So your seller gave you the wrong information about its age. Send your serial number to APQS for age verification. That way a buyer can't claim that you falsely advertised. It's still a stellar machine and a great price! And I love your gray quilt on the wall! Here's a link to one for sale on the forum that seems to match yours. https://forum.apqs.com/topic/35402-sold-apqs-millennium-with-14-table-minnesota/
  3. If everything else is clean, there are two thoughts. One--if you're using pre-wound bobbins, check the others in the pack for random black spots. Then yell at the manufacturer. Two-- If you wind your own, check the cone you wound them from. I place the cones I'm using at the back of the machine when I'm changing threads during quilting. When I stop for the day, those cones stay there when I move the head to the right to put her to bed. IF I push too far, or in the morning when I start again, I may slide the machine over a bit--- the track can hit the cone (right about the shoulder). Oxidation that builds up on the track can transfer to the thread in just a small area. (Yes, I clean the track as part of my daily routine, so the oxidation is from the day before and can transfer while I'm moving the head to oil, etc. Please don't think I'm a slob!) And, being in only one spot, the unwinding of the thread means you'll sew for a yard or two before the spot shows up again. It took me FOREVER to figure this out. Why was there a black spot on the thread? Grandma's Famous Spot Remover will cleanse the spot. Apply liberally but just to the spot, blot with a paper towel, and repeat until the spot is gone. You may also want to spot-clean the already-sewn spots, but it may make the spot migrate onto your white backer, so caution! Hoping this was helpful!
  4. That's your thread cutter. You have an activation button that will make the flat metal finger pivot and pull the bobbin thread between the blades to cut your bobbin thread, as long as the needle is up. You need a base extender made for one with a thread cutter, so your dealer gave you bad information and perhaps can remedy it for you. All Millies of your vintage have the cutters, so I wonder where the mix-up happened. The thread cutter can be removed and your base installed, if you think you won't use it. I use mine a bit and also can do SID without my base installed because the extra area on the left supports the template enough to get by. Search online or on this forum for the steps to remove the cutter. Edited to add---blow out under the plastic cover of the cutter to get the big ball of fuzz from between the blades.
  5. If you're on Facebook, look at the "longarm & accessories 4 sale" group. Lots of different brands, locations, and prices. Longarm University has a machines-for-sale page as well. I'd be concerned about the seller you contacted. Sounds shady to me if she changed the price. I can understand the cash-only part. Good luck with your search.
  6. Hi steggo83. When logged-in, go to the bottom of that post and click on "edit". That will allow you to ad "SOLD" to the title and people will by-pass it.
  7. What year was it made? The serial number is inside the harp and will tell the date of manufacture. If there is a letter at the beginning of the #, the machine has been worked on after the sale by APQS. Is she the original owner? Millies depreciate about $1000 per year. Does she have any service records? Has she ever re-timed or replaced the bobbin assembly? I'd be more concerned about "only doing 4 quilts" than some heavy use. Sitting idle for potentially years doesn't do the innards a lot of good. Since this is maybe 10 years old, take off the left side and see if it's gunked up from old oil and that the rocker assembly has no rust and works as it should---it runs the hopping foot. Check that the wicks are saturated with oil. Leave off the left panel and run the machine. How does it sound? Test-stitch, using different stitch-lengths in SR and different speeds in manual. Make a circle and inspect the stitches. Check that the wheels are good by pushing in all directions and seeing if there are clunks from flat spots, which can happen when it sits un-used for a long time. Eyeball the rollers from the ends to see if they're straight. Make sure the advance works. If you can, check the fuse drawer and see if there's still an extra fuse in there---it's in a pop-out panel near the power switch at the back. If it's there, that will mean she probably hasn't blown a fuse. Which isn't a big deal, but will tell you if she really only quilted a few times on it. Finding a few issues means you have wiggle-room to negotiate a price---but nothing mentioned here actually hurts the machine. Plus, she will think you're an expert! These heavy-duty workhorses last for decades and are easy to repair---my 2004 Millie is a trooper and helps me finish many custom quilts per year. Best advice, find a local dealer/rep and pay them to inspect it for you. If you buy, they will be a valuable contact for help and lessons. Good luck!
  8. I'll share that after chairing my guilds quilt show boutique last year and having a quilters garage sale last month, "old/stale" quilting magazines have little appeal to quilters. Sort out the vintage mags and books and research if you have any of great value---you may be surprised. Then bundle like-titled non-vintage mags by fives or tens and offer at a bargain-basement price. We had acres of magazines and sold them for 50 cents each. As the show wound down, we reduced the price and recycled what was left. Perhaps find a local FB page devoted to quilting or a local miscellaneous selling page to offer them. That way there is no shipping involved. An original "first edition" of Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day---self-published, spiral bound, and wonderfully "homemade" with no photos but self-drawn pictures--was donated and it was bought for $40. Good luck finding buyers and you're nice to help out your friend.
  9. For my own quilts, I use a single layer of wool or a layer of cotton on the bottom and a wool or poly on top. Cotton batting is wonderful stuff, but I longarm and want my efforts to show! Double batting can be many combos, usually cotton on the bottom and something fluffy on top. Tuscany (Hobbs) has a lovely cotton/wool blend that I love. I use whatever my customers bring, with only a couple on the "will not use" list---which are Fairfield poly (horrible, uneven stuff that if they insist, I have them take it out of the package and inspect for holes and fist-punches) and bamboo, which I don't accept because the linty-ness does a job on my breathing. Double batting is great to quilt on, but it does add weight to a quilt. Most of my customers use doubles for show quilts and those Judy Niemeyer quilts that need the depth for the quilting to show.
  10. I always get pokies with 80/20 batting. Always. There is no up/down with 80/20 so unstitching and turning over the batting won't help---BTDT. When I use it I check the back very carefully with the starting stitches. I have gone down a half-size for the needle, always start with a new one, and watch closely. If the pokies are manageable (only a few in a pass) I keep going and when I groom the back I poke those pokies back in with a used machine needle. Very easy and effective, but time-consuming. But I hate 80/20. Luckily, my customers are embracing wool and double batts.
  11. Have you checked the motor brushes? If they're worn they don't make a consistent connection and you'll have intermittent function. Easy to find and easy to replace. I imagine there is something in your manual about replacing them. Good luck!
  12. It's the nature of the beast, SewingDiva. Puffy batting will hide stitches. Plush fabrics like flannels will hide stitches. Using a thin thread like 50 wt will hide stitches. If you want the stitching to show on flannel, use a heavier weight and a contrasting color---and lengthen your stitch length a bit. Don't mess with the tension. Good luck!
  13. Before you do any drastic trimming, make sure your rollers are exactly parallel, both with each other and the floor. The eye bolts of the back roller determine the height from the floor and must all have the same number of threads showing. Ditto with the threads of the bolts of the front roller---those one stick out towards the front and if one side is farther out it will make your backer sag on one side, making you suspect the leaders and not the rollers. Your photo looks more like sag than uneven leaders. If it was set up by a dealer, this should have all been checked. If you set it up, it's not stressed enough in the instructions how crucial this step is to good results. Good luck!
  14. The guys at the factory screw things down "man tight" and usually the exposed shaft will have minute gouges from the screws. Using fine-grade sandpaper or emery cloth around the shaft and running it at a slooooow speed will sand off the gouges and reduce the shaft so the assembly slides on easier than it came off. What I usually forget is to replace the hook retaining finger and wail to my hubby that it's "NOT WORKING"! Good luck and it will be fine!
  15. I believe Gammill sells small cylindrical needle-aligning magnets just for this task. You insert the needle and place the end of the magnet on the eye of the needle, projecting out towards you. You can easily see whether the needle eye is facing forward perfectly. And if you like "6:25" or "6:35", it's easy to turn it slightly and check again. https://www.longarmsupplies.net/needlealignmentmagnet.aspx