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Everything posted by ffq-lar

  1. You may have better luck tracking down a QP group. Here on the forum info will be under Longarm Machine Quilting Training/ Computer Aided Quilting. That section is usually monitored. There also is a QuiltPath Facebook group that is very active. That would be your best bet for some help. Barbara Mayfield at APQS Northwest is a wiz at QP---contact her through her business or FB page. Good luck.
  2. Contact your nearest dealer. They will be helpful and are a good source to cultivate for repairs and questions.
  3. Your tension is too high---try 180 and loosen the top tension as well. You only need it tight enough to make nice stitches---tighter is definitely not better. I set at 180 for 50 wt and 60 wt thread and 150 for Microquilter (100 wt) and invisible. Match your top tension to your bobbin tension. Test-stitch on a sample to find the sweet spots where stitches are balanced. When you get good stitches with a certain combo, pull the top thread through the needle and to the left. See how much your tension spring deflects. Make a chart that with X top thread and Y bobbin thread, the spring deflects fro
  4. Here's a quilt with many National Park patches that travels with the couple in their RV. She sewed them down (I think she said she used a Featherweight) and I couldn't stitch on them with my Millie, but I echoed them once. If it will be a wallhanging, use a heavyweight double-sided fusible to attach them if they're too thick to stitch down.
  5. Nosy me wanted to help your sale (what a great price!) by noting that this is a "Green Millennium". Those are traded-in machines that are gone over completely at APQS, worn parts replaced, spiffed up, everything checked out, etc. So while the age of the body and some parts is 20 years, and seeing that she had a recent spa treatment, it's lots better than a used machine of the same vintage that hasn't had that treatment. Good luck with your sale!
  6. Hi Nancy Jo! Use Retro Clean to soak the hankies. It's not expensive and easy to find. It takes hot water and if there are heavy stains, more than one treatment. Works like a charm! If you haven't seen (Quilting Vintage) on Facebook, join to see lots of projects and advice for backing and stabilizing the hankies for use in quilts. Fun!
  7. If Jim's suggestion didn't solve the problem, the case is jammed probably because there is thread snarled around the spindle. If you advance the hand wheel, does the needle go up and down? Can you see any stray thread in the area? Before deciding to remove the bobbin assembly (which might be a last resort) do a saturation with WD-40. Remove the needle plate and the needle so you can spray from all directions, put down a cloth to catch dips, and spray from the top and from the front. If the hand wheel moves, advance a couple of turns and re-spray. If it doesn't, try to rock it so you can get th
  8. I will point out that this is a "green Millennium" which is a kind of hybrid that was developed by APQS. They would take a traded-in Ultimate machine, strip it and rebuild with the same components as a regular Millennium, selling them for about $3000 less than a new Millie. Old components that were the same as the new Millies were kept, but electronics and SR added. The Ultimates were prior to 2000 and the Millennium after 2000. Not that it matters, since you have it priced attractively, but you don't want a buyer to claim that the year of manufacture was incorrect if you don't point out the
  9. That's a great price---even if it needs some work, everything is repairable/replaceable. Please let us know what you decide. Exciting!
  10. Contact APQS with the serial number (it's older than 20 years because the Millie debuted in 2000 and the Ulties were no longer branded with that name after). Before you do, get specifics from the owner---serial number, how many owners, how much wear/use, last service, show that it's working now and hopefully been maintained correctly, any upgrades like new wheels, new table, etc. And look elsewhere for comparable models and pricing. Remember that any you find on line haven't sold so either there isn't a market or they are over-priced. Also contact the closest APQS rep/dealer and ask for help.
  11. I do this about twice a year--mostly for my hand-quilting friends. I charge a half-cent per square inch with a $50 minimum for this. But if you want, you can charge her by the hour. It may take you longer to load it than to stitch it, but you still need to be paid for your time. A moderate-sized quilt may take 2 hours total, so the $50 minimum is fair. No way is it a 10 minute job. Attached is a diagram of my quilting path for basting. It's a grid without long verticals and is very fast. Use a heavier, contrasting poly and a long stitch-length for ease of stitch-removal. Don't cross at the cor
  12. 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!
  13. 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!
  14. 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 conf
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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 d
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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 overal