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ffq-lar

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  1. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Plumpurple in Back Issues of Machine Quilting Unlimited   
    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.
  2. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Norma H in Back Issues of Machine Quilting Unlimited   
    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.
  3. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Jan E. in How is your quilting business?   
    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.
  4. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltmonkey in How is your quilting business?   
    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. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from LisaC in How is your quilting business?   
    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.
  6. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from mamu in How is your quilting business?   
    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.
  7. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O in How is your quilting business?   
    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.
  8. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from delld in How to bind quilt on long ar   
    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.
  9. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from vegaslady in Features I wish APQS had   
    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.
  10. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from delld in Features I wish APQS had   
    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.
  11. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from barbm in Features I wish APQS had   
    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.
  12. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from jmyhogan in R&S Design boards   
    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!
  13. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bonnie in Ok in R&S Design boards   
    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!
  14. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lisae in R&S Design boards   
    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!
  15. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from tootsquilts in R&S Design boards   
    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!
  16. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O in R&S Design boards   
    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!
  17. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Debbie S in graduation gown for binding fabric?   
    If you think adding a touch of the graduation gown fabric would be meaningful, perhaps stabilize a long narrow strip to add as a flange as you add the binding. To make it easier to handle, stabilize the gown fabric with an appropriate fusible.
  18. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from iquiltit in Pattern samples for customers   
    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.


  19. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from amandavs in Need help identifying component on 2012 Millie   
    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.
  20. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from NHDeb in Pattern samples for customers   
    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.


  21. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O in Pattern samples for customers   
    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.


  22. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dbams in Pattern samples for customers   
    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. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Ljones in Looking at a used Millie   
    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!
     
  24. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dbams in **SOLD** Used APQS Millennium Longarm in Tehachapi, CA, for Sale $6500 OBO   
    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/
     
  25. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from LisaC in Bobbin thread black with ???   
    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!
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