ffq-lar

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Everything posted by ffq-lar

  1. If this is a question about dis-connecting Quilt Path, post on the separate Quilt Path header. Find it under Longarm machine quilting training on the home page, then Computer aided quilting, and then click on APQS Quilt Path---or join the Quilt Path Facebook group for lots of help. If this is a question about channel locks (your question is a bit vague) look in your manual for the correct procedure under "channel locks". Good luck!
  2. The first question is, have you set your stitches per inch above the minimum? In S/R mode, it won't stitch unless the spi is advanced above the minimum. Hoping it's this easy fix. You'll do fine!
  3. Hi new owner! Please stop everything until you can figure this out. You're hitting something (obviously) and need to remedy that before you gouge your hook assembly so badly that it will need to be replaced. The broken needle probably jammed your needle bar and now you may need to retime. The first step in timing is to check your needle depth at its lowest point. Sometimes adjusting the out-of-place needle bar is all you need to do. Videos are on-line and printed instructions for retiming are in the manual--it looks daunting but is pretty straightforward. And doing it correctly is a great confidence booster. You said you were basting down the side---towards you? Probably the needle jam displaced the needle bar enough so that stitching towards the front made the needle flex into the hook. Check the hook for gouges or burrs caused by the needle hitting it, which can be buffed out by following the instructions from APQS. If the hook assembly is too damaged to work (you'll have bad stitches and breaking thread) it will need to be replaced. It all sounds like gloom and doom, but it's just a matter of knowing where to look and everything is repairable---most repairs you can do yourself. I wish you much good luck in getting to know your machine. You'll be a pro in no time.
  4. You are doing the right thing. Douse it again with WD-40 and let it sit for a while. That will soften the thread even more. Continue to pull out the visible threads with tweezers and try to rock the assembly manually. If necessary, douse again and let it sit overnight, keep working, and you should be able to loosen things up. When the assembly turns, start it at a slow speed to twirl out any thread that's left. Make sure you haven't blown a fuse with the jam. Wipe out and re-oil well with machine oil. Good luck, Jacque.
  5. Make sure in stitch-regulated mode that you have advanced the spi past the minimum. It won't stitch in SR at seven spi but in manual it will. Hoping that it's this easy fix!
  6. You have several things to look at---it doesn't have anything to do with the brake. First, make sure the backers you load are perfectly on-grain. This can be done with tearing the fabric instead of rotary cutting. If it's always on one side, your rollers may not be perfectly parallel or level. Just a small bit high on the right side will cause that side to roll tighter, which magnifies with every advance. Use a long level to check for horizontal level. Then adjust the bolts that attach the roller to the frame until the roller is level. Unfurl your leaders when you check for level so you are on bare metal and not the canvas. The front roller can also be off as far as distance between the take-up rollers. If the right side is farther out, it will roll tight on the right side. The solution is looking at the bolts that fasten it to the frame. You need to count the bolt-threads on each bolt, left and right. If the numbers are off---make them match. You can also count the bolt-threads on the back roller attachments if you don't have a long level. Finally, your leaders may be un-square/off. There are lots of tutorials that show how to fix warped or saggy leaders. Usually having (or making) a straight edge, then pinning the leaders together works well. Pin them, spritz them with plain water, tighten them, and let them dry. Hoping this is helpful!
  7. To make-do until a more elegant solution comes along, elevate the front part of the rod/yardstick by the width of your roller, which is 2". Glue up layers of cardboard or cut a piece of wood into a block that is 2" high. Make two and fasten them (glue, tape, whatever) to the underside of the front part of the rod. Position so the blocks sit right on top of the front roller. If you want to get fancy, line them with rubberized shelf liner or a cut-up rubber glove so they are less likely to slip. Good luck!
  8. I have my customers put the parts in a seal-able bag (like a big Zip-loc) and drop it in front of my garage. I put out a wire bin on a small table that is under cover. We may talk at a distance. They put any instructions in the bag. I wear protective gloves, wipe the bag thoroughly with a disinfectant, then it goes into an un-used, un-heated shop for three days (or longer). I phone to discuss choices of thread and quilting. After quilting, she picks up in the same way and she uses whatever method she's comfortable with to assure it's safe. I'm in Washington State where people are advised to disinfect anything that comes into your living spaces. And I have a hubby with some lung problems so I'm not taking any chances. So far no one has balked and everyone is dropping off. I do four quilts a month so it isn't a parade of customers. One thing that stuck with me was a statement that "if you overreact, you'll never know if it was the right decision. If you under-react, you will know immediately". Stay well and safe. And if you decide it's necessary to stop all contact, provisions are in place to provide benefits to self-employed workers.
  9. With all batting, the scrim goes next to the backer---so it faces down. With that said, most scrimmed cotton batting has the scrim buried within the layers. The fibers are needle-punched into the scrim (a sheet of very strong and very thin polyester) and the key to placement is the direction of that needle punching. Your machine needle should go through in the same direction as the needle punching. So look at the batting---one side is smoother and has tiny visible holes (dimples). The other side will be rougher-looking and a bit raggedy (pimples). So the rule is "show your dimples---up---and hide your pimples---down". Another way to tell is most batting is folded with the "good" side out, just like fabric. That good side goes up and the uglier side down---look for the center crease/fold line. Make it a mountain instead of a valley when it's loaded. Poly batting may have a chemical scrim---an application of a chemical that bonds the poly fibers on only one side. That side feels much rougher and it will be placed next to the backer. Hope this is helpful.
  10. Two options for you---spend the $$ to convert to the M size bobbin. Or wind your own (or purchase pre-wound bobbins) using thinner thread. There is no rule that the thread weight, or even color, has to match top and bobbin. BottomLine (Superior) thread is poly and 60 weight---and designed to be used as bobbin thread using other weights of thread as top thread. The pre-wounds hold 119 yards of thread. If you wind your own, probably 90-100 yards will load, depending on the tension and how full they are wound. With a 3000 yard cone of BL, you can wind 30 bobbins at 100 yards each. The cost for a cone is wholesale $7.90 and retail $14.49. If you do the math you'll find out how much a bobbin will cost in just materials. If you can figure out how many yards you load when winding say a 40 weight thread to match what you're using as top thread, then figure the math using the cost per spool/cone, you can see if the thinner thread bobbins are more economical. I know they will last much longer. I do custom quilting almost exclusively and find a bobbin of BL will last me close to an hour of medium-speed stitching. If you opt to try thinner thread, ask opinions here for what colors blend the best and which neutrals are good to start out with.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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!.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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/
  24. 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!
  25. 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.