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Everything posted by ffq-lar

  1. 1. Clear machine oil can be removed from the quilt. Lay it flat, pile on baking soda, leave it for a few hours, and vacuum it off. If it's still there, re-apply, repeat, until the oil is gone. It's like talcum and absorbs the oil completely. If it's grease and not oil, you'll probably need to use another method and probably need to wash it. 2. Oil at the beginning of your day and wipe out all the excess. Don't oil the wicks until there is no residual oil when you touch them with a finger. 3. Sorry about your fluffy batting. I don't use that method. I just lay the batting out across the rollers and let it relax. Sorry I can't be of help with that.
  2. Yes, Barb Mayfield at APQS Northwest! I'm in Olympia (not a rep) with a Millie, as is Cindy, also with a Millie. Hoping you'll love the area and when you're settled maybe we can get together.
  3. Dave Jones. Take a look through recent "for sale" posts for his contact phone number.
  4. Your leaders are 120" but you can only load a 120" backer if the leaders line up. Sight from front to back to see if they are aligned. Off by a half-inch will result in that much loss of pinning length. My leaders were never perfectly aligned so the best length I could load was 118". Plus if the leaders are stretched, they may scroll in at the edges. I figure that with 118" of usable leader, less two inches at each side for clamping, the best I can do is 114" wide for the top. Room for a King as long as the narrowest measurement falls within that. DenaG, get at least a 12' table if you have room.
  5. Hi Meg! I used Invisifil 100 weight with Bottomline bobbins and had great stitches.
  6. Thanks Connie! I noticed the same thing and didn't post since I've been privately (and publicly) chastised for speaking up about this type of thing. Quiltster is being beta tested and is a program for placing your fabric choices into Quiltworx (Judy Niemeyer) patterns. Great application and very helpful. She may be trying to help, or she may be a paid poster and finding as many quilting sites as she can to get the word out. Nice to share new stuff, but if it's a good application, word will get out easily and fast.
  7. Hey is my loading technique for un-square backers. You must start with one on-grain edge to load to the front leader. Use a selvage or tear it straight (steam it if the edge is distorted from tearing). Load (I pin) to the front leader. Gather the fabric and bring under the front roller, under the leveler roller, and over the back take-up roller. Set the brake and go to the back to pull all the fabric as tight as you can and pool the excess on the table or the floor. You want the fabric in the field to be flat without ripples. Go to the front and use your power advance to make the backer come over the back roller and load onto the front roller---hand advance the front roller so the tension on the backer is even and tight. The canvas on the top roller provides enough "bite" that the fabric won't slip in any direction. Go slowly and watch that the fabric along the top of the back roller stays flat without ripples. When you see some bunching or ripples, stop, brake, go to the back and pull/tug the ripples out, dispersing them to the edges. Continue loading the backer to the front roller, keeping it flat and straight with some tension on it. Watch for the back fabric edge to clear the table top. Stop. Since the front edge was on-grain and since you've advanced carefully to keep it on-grain, the far edge should be parallel with the table top. If it's not, it's not on-grain. The "short" edge marks where a horizontal line straight across will be on-grain. I place the short edge right on the table top and use the line where the fabric "folds" on the table to place pins every few inches to mark where the s-o-g is for pinning. No trimming, just pinning. I also use tape or a purple marker to mark both edges of the backer on the leader. Pin the backer to the leader, using the side marks and the pinned straight line as parameters. Go to the front, advance the slack backer to the back roller and then back onto the front roller. Advance back an forth if you have any side sagging. Both the front and back edges are s-o-g. The sides may have scrolled in or out as you advanced. The usable backer is the edge that is closest in on both edges. If the side scrolled out, the usable inside edge can be found by feeling for the last pin that's buried under the scrolled fabric---mark that spot on the un-used top roller leader with tape or marking pen. If the side scrolls in, advance the backer with tension on it until you can see the closest in the backer lies. Mark that spot on the top leader. The distance between the two mark is the actual usable backer width that is on s-o-g and hopefully the top will fit between the two marks. If it doesn't the backer is too wonky to work---do not try to load crooked or pull the top over to fit as you work down the top. It will never lie flat or hang straight. Hoping this was helpful. Email me if you're stumped and need more info.
  8. If you're concerned about potential poor piecing, whether open seams or wavy borders or blocks, merely add "Top will be quilted in the condition it is received" to your intake sheet. Have the customer sign it. If you find problems at intake, note them with your comment that there may be pleats or tucks on top or backer due to "xyz" present. Take good pictures of problems after the quilt is loaded to be armed with evidence if needed. Call the customer if you find something really bad after loading, talk with them about what your solutions are, and document the call on the back of the intake sheet---date, time, and what you both said. Let her know you are taking notes of the conversation--"I'm writing this all down so I remember it" and not "Your quilt is a train wreck and I'm protecting myself when you decide it's not a silk purse when I finish." All of your customers know the level of their skills. They know if the borders are pieced to fit. Gently pointing out the issues if you catch them at intake and letting them know what you'll do to fix the problems (without judgement and with a positive attitude) will build their confidence in you and keep them coming back. Offer instruction sources for their problem areas if they are welcoming of help---but after you finish. Work around what you can, find the best solution for what you can't fix with the quilting, and be armed with documentation for any after effects. Remember as well---you can give back any quilt that you feel will reflect badly on you because of your customers piecing skills. It's tricky but you'll have less stress.
  9. You might have a bit of fish-tail going on and adjusting your carriage wheels is a good place to start. Fishtailing is where the head slews slightly and feels like a little jump---like a car going too fast around a curve and the back end goes out of alignment with the front. If you're happy with the contact your wheels are making with the rails (you have a smooth ride and a smooth stitching line) you may want to slow down at the sharp points. Otherwise adjust your carriage wheels a bit tighter so there's no play.
  10. I'd say buy a machine first and then take lessons. You can't apply what you learn in classes if you don't have something to practice on. You can always look at videos and tutorials in the meantime to get your brain ready. Good luck!
  11. I will be the less-generous voice of reason here. You have a business. A customer had passed away leaving you with a job with perhaps some emotional attachments aside from your business relationship. If this person was a good friend, you can use your good judgement as to whether you want to either give the top back, offer the family a reduced cost or quilt it for no charge. Looking at it logically, any other business left with a job for someone who passes away would contact the family after a decent period of time and give them the options the business and the family are comfortable with. I can't think of any business that would finish a job at no cost unless there is another emotional attachment between the parties. Quilters are generous to a fault sometimes. I've finished quilts for some of my dear customers who have passed away at no charge. I've also given back tops to the family when no one was interested in getting them finished. It's your business, your connection to this customer, and your final decision to make. If you're concerned about reminding the family you have the quilt top, send a condolence note outlining your connection with the customer and letting them know you still have her quilt top. Then ask them to contact you at their convenience, where you'll have options for them to choose from. If you decide to quilt it without charge, don't contact them, finish it, wrap it as a gift, and deliver with a nice note explaining your connection. They'll be so thankful, but I'm sure would never have an expectation of that happening. It's your call and you shouldn't be afraid to follow your own judgement. I want to add though, that if you opt to quilt it without charge, you will not be able to deduct the value of your time as a charitable deduction from your taxes---only the value of materials. Plus I'm not sure if it can be considered a "donation" if it's not for a recognized charitable group or institution. Since you may volunteer to finish the quilt without compensation, it can't be considered a business loss. Consult your tax prep person for the IRS rules.
  12. Yes, I use that technique. If the edge is distorted from ripping I will steam it with an iron. You can rip off the selvedge but usually I leave the selvedge and pin above it onto the plain weave of the fabric so it isn't too tight along the edge.
  13. The way I load works well for me and I've shared here many times. I make sure the edge I load on the front roller is straight-of-grain, either by having a selvedge edge or a torn edge. No guessing, it must be straight. I pin that straight edge to the front roller and then bring the fabric under the leveler roller and over the back take-up roller. I go to the back and pull all the backer fabric tight and even, making a "table" of the backer fabric and keeping it taut, eyeballing so the sides are lined up front and back. I pool all the excess backer on the table or the floor. I go to the front and use the power advance to slowly roll the backer onto the front roller. Notice nothing is pinned except to the front. The canvas of the leader has enough "bite" to keep the fabric in line and flat. I watch to make sure the fabric coming across the back roller is straight and flat. If I get some lumps or ruffles on top of the back roller (which means it's not rolling straight) I stop, go to the back, and smooth and pull the backer tight across the top of the roller. Then back to the front for more loading. I roll, stop, smooth, roll, smooth, until the backer fabric clears the top of the table in back. You can see if the backer is square by whether the far edge is even across the length of the table top. If one side is lower, I place pins all along that are in a straight line with the table top and use those as a guide for where to pin to the back leader. I also use a piece of tape or a blue marker to mark the side edges of the leader so I can line up the sides correctly for the final pinning. Then I pin the straight edge to the leader, making sure to use the pinned line and the side marks as guides. After it's all pinned, I go to the front and roll the slack part of the backer onto the back roller and then all of it onto the front roller. This is usually enough to be ready for the next steps, but you can roll back and forth a few times to make sure all is level. This method will also allow you to load a skewed backer without trimming it. As long as you have one perfectly straight edge, the rest will load on-grain and you can tell if the backer scrolls in and out because of bad cutting if it's a wide back. Hoping this was helpful.
  14. I would hope the person who told you this might have been referring to the type of bobbin and not that you should use the exact same single bobbin only. If your machine likes aluminum bobbins better, buy enough of that type so you can wind all the bobbins you'll need at once.
  15. If you're going to put feathers in the center star diamonds, do the same in the matching rust-colored outer diamonds between the houses. What are the plans for the background?
  16. The house shapes can be marked into triangles using the adjacent seams. The smaller house can have 5 triangles and the larger house 6 triangles. Make sure you're careful to mark them all the same (meaning, if you mark a square and then into triangles, make sure when you halve it into triangles the lines match in each similar space---don't ask why I'm mentioning this... ) Mark the triangles and CC them. Use a more decorative CC if the budget allows. Feathers in the star points will be lovely.
  17. I think you'll have to disclose to any potential buyer that warranty and updates for the Quilt Path do not transfer to the new owner, even if it's never been out of the box. That will lessen the value of it, unfortunately. I noticed when I first read your post that you didn't mention the Bliss system---yes, that is a valuable add-on. Your math is good, but the distribution should be heavier on the machine and lighter on the QP. A Millie the same year as mine (2004) was sold recently for $8500 with Bliss. One thing you might want to research is shipping costs to various areas in the States and Canada. A buyer might skip over your post, thinking the shipping would be outlandish. You could give them an idea of what to expect. Hoping you find a happy buyer soon! (Any quilt shops near you who might want to add a rental to their offerings?)
  18. Do an on-line search for "medallion quilt patterns". My guild had a BOM two years ago where instead of Block of the Month it was Border of the Month. Members started with a 20" square center using any technique, from one piece of fabric, to applique, to paper piecing. Then one border was added per month. Some very creative and beautiful quilts resulted.
  19. Perhaps use a circle template, circle board, or circle-making machine to drop a 5" circle with the center in the tiny free-standing contrasting squares. Your second photo has the perfect one--- the square with the tiny "X" would be the center of the circle and the edge of the circle would kiss the seams between each square. Circles/curves will be a nice contrast to the graphics of the tiny logs and not be dense at all. It would have a modern feel as well--gorgeous quilt with wonderful colors!
  20. R&S has a panto camera. https://www.rns-design.com/shop/category/quiltcam/
  21. You won't be able to order wholesale from most on line suppliers until you have a business/tax ID #. You can find good retail prices on line and sign up for sales announcements when you find those sites. One place for good prices on Superior Threads is http://www.sewthankful.com/ Glide is available at http://www.quiltscomplete.com/ You'll find other sites as well. Also check for local shops that stock Glide. If they place an order often you can ask them to order whatever you need.
  22. To advance your skills and give you confidence, quilt the diagonal sashings and the squares with easy designs. Find a thread color that will work on all your fabrics and use it throughout. For the sashing, evenly-spaced up/down loops would work. Make sure there's a loop in every spot where the sashings intersect. Stitch all in one direction. Then when you do the ones in the other direction you will overstitch one side of a loop to reach across to the next sashing section. For the HST blocks in between, treat them as squares instead of triangles. If you have a stencil that fits, mark and stitch the same design in each square. If the stencil is too small, mark and stitch it then echo the outside until the block is filled. Another option in the squares is CCs/Line Dancing. Because the blocks are large you'll really be able to see your designs. Here's a link to Line Dancing by Diana Philips. You can get the idea and practice on some graph paper to give you the rhythm. Share when you finish and have fun! https://www.google.com/search?q=Diana+phillips+line+dancing&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=1067&tbm=isch&imgil=0-c4PLA0qkrwpM%253A%253B1gNJIA6BpnQ21M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.intelligentquilting.com%25252F
  23. It might not seem logical, but a blog or FB business page works only when you have followers---and your followers are your customers. So building a customer base is serious business and takes "boots on the ground"--joining the local guilds (and doing charity quilting to show you're there for other reasons besides looking for customers), making friends at the local quilt shops (again by making purchases and offering to quilt a sample or two), and establishing yourself with good work and professionalism. It's like the conundrum of newly-graduated job-seekers--no one will hire them because they don't have experience and yet they can't get experience without being hired. Having a FB page is great as long as people visit and share it. It can also direct them to a website or blog, where you can go into policies and pricing in more depth, and offer examples of your work. But nobody will find it without someone to show them it's there--and that would be your happy customers. As for keeping customers interested, post on FB to link to your website for give-aways, contests, and free instructions or patterns. Posting often also keeps people interested. You'll have to decide if the time invested in keeping the excitement going is worth it in new business. When you get to the point where you have all the business you can handle, you may decide it takes too much time that could be better spent quilting for $$ or with your family. It's a juggling act for sure, but interesting and sometimes a lot of fun.
  24. I believe there is a Facebook group for Quilt Path owners which is very helpful and questions are answered quickly. Someone in the group will need to share a link and invitation for you to join.