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ffq-lar last won the day on November 23 2019

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About ffq-lar

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  1. Are they skipped stitches (where there are needle holes where they should be and long jump stitches between) or long stitches (no needle holes)? If no needle holes, it's a problem with your encoders. Determine which direction the stitches are mainly skipping---horizontally or vertically. Vertical means check the encoder on the carriage. Make sure it's making good contact. Horizontal is the one on the rails. Ditto for that one. If there are needle holes, the bobbin thread is not being picked up. That can be remedied by several tips. For a quick fix if you're on a deadline, go up a needle size. A heavier needle will flex less---needle flex when stitching will push the needle away from the sweet spot and leave you with holes where the stitches should be. Sometimes turning the needle eye slightly to the left or right can make it easier for the hook to pick up the bobbin thread (that makes a bigger area/ better angle at the scarf), but that is a temporary fix. After you finish the project, go through the timing check-list. Check for needle depth first, then go through the rest. You may not need to fully re-time, but that might be the final solution.
  2. Hi MB! Those were the days, huh? What a great group! Through our forum friendships I got to personally meet Barb Mayfield (Washington like me), Mary Beth (Missouri), Shana (Alaska), Rita Armstrong (North Carolina), Dell D (Florida), Myrna Ficken, Linda Alexander (remember her?), Dawn, almost the entire APQS sales group and a couple of techs, an entire group of owners from the Portland,OR area---we started a great longarming group--and many sisters I've never met. Yes, we had a few clunkers (remember Michaelalan---the dismissive man-splainer?) and cried along with family when we lost a few. I miss the old forum but I love FB and enjoy seeing lots of the old forum friends there.
  3. Barb--serendipity! I have this issue in hand and will happily send it to you without charge. I cleaned my sewing room a month ago and found all my back issues to put aside and loan to members of my longarm group. Look for an email from me.
  4. The number of quilters with longarms and mid-arms has risen like crazy in the past four years in my area. If you can spend the five to seven years left to sharpening your skills while taking a few customers here and there, go for it. It hasn't impacted my business, but I do primarily custom and have little competition. My quilts come from those who save the big ones and the special ones for me---I do 4 per month and sometimes struggle to get them done. Mine is a different situation so if you are able to analyse the competition, see if you can figure out a niche market. Are there lots of overall/e2e quilters so you'll be competing with them? Are there Modern quilters looking for a kindred-spirit longarmer? Is the custom market fully covered? Also, would you be happy to purchase a used machine to start out and upgrade to a new w/computer later? Please remember as well, the longarmer who advised you only has her best interests at heart---not yours. Though her advice may be spot-on, don't be deterred until you do some more research.
  5. Prep your binding the usual way. Make sure the edges of the quilt are square and if not, mark the line where you want the binding to attach. Stitch on the binding just as you would on your domestic. I leave a tail, pin ahead a bit to keep the binding lined up, and use a ruler to stitch a quarter-inch from the edge of the binding. Make the corners using the same technique you normally use. I sew within a quarter-inch of the corner, sew off onto the batting and break the thread. Flip and fold back the binding to make the miter, and continue along the next side to the corner. Continue until you reach the original side and leave a tail for attaching the ends. You can remove the quilt to finish the binding join on your domestic. Or I do the "invisible join" while it's loaded. It's finicky but do-able. Hoping this was helpful. I can bind a Queen (including the join) in a half-hour and offer this as a service to my customers for a $40 flat rate--any size.
  6. If you're still using the original wheels from 2005, the bearings may be bad on one or more. I hope you have talked to APQS already. No fun to have to plow instead of glide!.
  7. Good points, but a couple of hints. You can remove the front take-up roller if you exclusively float your quilts. It won't enlarge your stitching field, which is set by the frame configuration. You won't be able to stitch any closer to you than you do now. But it may mean easier access since you don't have to lean over the roller. Micro-drive handles are available for APQS machines. They are helpful for microstitching and control. They attach below the regular handles, which are loosened and pushed up out of the way. The micro-handles can then be used for ruler work and they independently pivot up out of the way, so you can stitch using one handle. They keep your hands very close to the top. The down-side is not ready/easy access to your controls, but in SR mode, it's not an issue. I suppose it's all about what you get used to and how easy a work-around is for perceived issues. I baste in manual with speed slow and head moving so I make 1/4" stitches. Or if I'm basting the sides, SR on and longest stitches. APQS innovates all the time, so maybe your wish-list will eventually be a reality.
  8. Ooops!---you posted a Freedom and it's obviously a Liberty. And another ooops!---not a 2015 model either (closer to 2005 looking at the silver finish, the badges, and the speed control).. Alter/correct your title to avoid confusion and good luck with your sale.
  9. My engineer hubby will sell you a stylus for $12, which includes shipping in the USA. He'll need to know the brand of board you have and what your bracket (holder) looks like. My email is lindarech@comcast (dot) net if you're interested.
  10. Yes, Ron and Sharon are transferring ownership to Patricia Ritter. Ron is still making the boards but has stepped away from order fulfillment personally. The owners of Miracle Chalk have also sold their business to her. She is a force of nature and deserves all the success she has achieved. Surprisingly, both R&S and Miracle Chalk owners are here in Olympia---and members of my quilt guild. I'm rubbing shoulders with quilt legends!
  11. No, you'll need a different stylus, but can use the same bracket. The boards are wonderful. I use the Baptist Fan quite a bit.
  12. 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.
  13. 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/
  14. 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!
  15. 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.