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ffq-lar

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  1. 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!
     
  2. 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/
     
  3. 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!
  4. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from ORNurse56 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!
     
  5. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O 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!
  6. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dbams 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!
  7. 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.
  8. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltmonkey in Looking at a used Millie   
    If you're on Facebook, look at the  "longarm & accessories 4 sale" group. Lots of different brands, locations, and prices. Longarm University has a machines-for-sale page as well.  I'd be concerned about the seller you contacted. Sounds shady to me if she changed the price. I can understand the cash-only part. Good luck with your search.
  9. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltmonkey 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!
     
  10. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O 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!
     
  11. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dianedamico in Regulated stitch mode on Millie   
    If your Millie is newer, it is equipped with Quilt Glide, which smooths out the stitches when doing micro-stitching. If it is on, it will continue to slowly make stitches when you pause in regulated mode. Find the switch to turn it off. If you have an older machine, the needle-up/down speed can be adjusted easily and if it's making extra stitches when you stop, it needs to be slowed a bit. Look in your manual or on the site---look under "support" and then "commonly asked questions" for instructions on how to adjust a small screw under the hood to alter the speed of your needle up/down. Good luck.
  12. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltmonkey in bearding   
    For my own quilts, I use a single layer of wool or a layer of cotton on the bottom and a wool or poly on top. Cotton batting is wonderful stuff, but I longarm and want my efforts to show!  Double batting can be many combos, usually cotton on the bottom and something fluffy on top. Tuscany (Hobbs) has a lovely cotton/wool blend that I love. I use whatever my customers bring, with only a couple on the "will not use" list---which are Fairfield poly (horrible, uneven stuff that if they insist, I have them take it out of the package and inspect for holes and fist-punches) and bamboo, which I don't accept because the linty-ness does a job on my breathing. Double batting is great to quilt on, but it does add weight to a quilt. Most of my customers use doubles for show quilts and those Judy Niemeyer quilts that need the depth for the quilting to show.
  13. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dbams in Disappearing Stitches   
    It's the nature of the beast, SewingDiva.  Puffy batting will hide stitches. Plush fabrics like flannels will hide stitches. Using a thin thread like 50 wt will hide stitches. If you want the stitching to show on flannel, use a heavier weight and a contrasting color---and lengthen your stitch length a bit. Don't mess with the tension. Good luck!
  14. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from InesR in Disappearing Stitches   
    It's the nature of the beast, SewingDiva.  Puffy batting will hide stitches. Plush fabrics like flannels will hide stitches. Using a thin thread like 50 wt will hide stitches. If you want the stitching to show on flannel, use a heavier weight and a contrasting color---and lengthen your stitch length a bit. Don't mess with the tension. Good luck!
  15. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from klwheeler in What is taxable??   
    Laws vary from state to state, so Janette gives great advice.
    I charge state sales tax for everything, including labor.
  16. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O in Disappearing Stitches   
    It's the nature of the beast, SewingDiva.  Puffy batting will hide stitches. Plush fabrics like flannels will hide stitches. Using a thin thread like 50 wt will hide stitches. If you want the stitching to show on flannel, use a heavier weight and a contrasting color---and lengthen your stitch length a bit. Don't mess with the tension. Good luck!
  17. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltmonkey in Disappearing Stitches   
    It's the nature of the beast, SewingDiva.  Puffy batting will hide stitches. Plush fabrics like flannels will hide stitches. Using a thin thread like 50 wt will hide stitches. If you want the stitching to show on flannel, use a heavier weight and a contrasting color---and lengthen your stitch length a bit. Don't mess with the tension. Good luck!
  18. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Quilta93 in leaders not straight   
    Before you do any drastic trimming, make sure your rollers are exactly parallel, both with each other and the floor. The eye bolts of the back roller determine the height from the floor and must all have the same number of threads showing. Ditto with the threads of the bolts of the front roller---those one stick out towards the front and if one side is farther out it will make your backer sag on one side, making you suspect the leaders and not the rollers. Your photo looks more like sag than uneven leaders. If it was set up by a dealer, this should have all been checked. If you set it up, it's not stressed enough in the instructions how crucial this step is to good results. Good luck!
  19. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gator in leaders not straight   
    Before you do any drastic trimming, make sure your rollers are exactly parallel, both with each other and the floor. The eye bolts of the back roller determine the height from the floor and must all have the same number of threads showing. Ditto with the threads of the bolts of the front roller---those one stick out towards the front and if one side is farther out it will make your backer sag on one side, making you suspect the leaders and not the rollers. Your photo looks more like sag than uneven leaders. If it was set up by a dealer, this should have all been checked. If you set it up, it's not stressed enough in the instructions how crucial this step is to good results. Good luck!
  20. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from sewbizzie in replacing needle, is it in right?   
    I believe Gammill sells small cylindrical needle-aligning magnets just for this task. You insert the needle and place the end of the magnet on the eye of the needle, projecting out towards you. You can easily see whether the needle eye is facing forward perfectly. And if you like "6:25" or "6:35", it's easy to turn it slightly and check again.              https://www.longarmsupplies.net/needlealignmentmagnet.aspx
  21. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from InesR in How to do this   
    The quilt will need to be completely marked before an attempt is made. The marker-on-a-string method works well, or a long (longlonglong) piece of template plastic with holes punched in even increments to mark through---with a blue wash-away marker so the marks stay through the process. Either method needs to have you anchor the center pivot well, so the top needs to be well-secured to the marking surface. On a domestic with the feed dogs up and an even-feed foot, follow the lines. On a longarm, stitched with a guide/template to keep on the line and obviously, one quilting field at a time. Each circle can be stitched entirely by advancing and rolling back. Or each circle-segment stitched as you fill an area, with lots of starts and stops. In either case, you will get distortion (as you can see in the photos--it will never hang straight but is lovely draped) caused by the pushing and pulling of the foot on diagonals. That is accentuated if you stitch all in the same direction every time. It's a beautiful look that's hard to pull off, but well-loved by modern quilters. Perhaps using fusible batting might stabilize it enough to pull it off without as much distortion. 
  22. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from dbams in How to do this   
    The quilt will need to be completely marked before an attempt is made. The marker-on-a-string method works well, or a long (longlonglong) piece of template plastic with holes punched in even increments to mark through---with a blue wash-away marker so the marks stay through the process. Either method needs to have you anchor the center pivot well, so the top needs to be well-secured to the marking surface. On a domestic with the feed dogs up and an even-feed foot, follow the lines. On a longarm, stitched with a guide/template to keep on the line and obviously, one quilting field at a time. Each circle can be stitched entirely by advancing and rolling back. Or each circle-segment stitched as you fill an area, with lots of starts and stops. In either case, you will get distortion (as you can see in the photos--it will never hang straight but is lovely draped) caused by the pushing and pulling of the foot on diagonals. That is accentuated if you stitch all in the same direction every time. It's a beautiful look that's hard to pull off, but well-loved by modern quilters. Perhaps using fusible batting might stabilize it enough to pull it off without as much distortion. 
  23. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Gail O in How to do this   
    The quilt will need to be completely marked before an attempt is made. The marker-on-a-string method works well, or a long (longlonglong) piece of template plastic with holes punched in even increments to mark through---with a blue wash-away marker so the marks stay through the process. Either method needs to have you anchor the center pivot well, so the top needs to be well-secured to the marking surface. On a domestic with the feed dogs up and an even-feed foot, follow the lines. On a longarm, stitched with a guide/template to keep on the line and obviously, one quilting field at a time. Each circle can be stitched entirely by advancing and rolling back. Or each circle-segment stitched as you fill an area, with lots of starts and stops. In either case, you will get distortion (as you can see in the photos--it will never hang straight but is lovely draped) caused by the pushing and pulling of the foot on diagonals. That is accentuated if you stitch all in the same direction every time. It's a beautiful look that's hard to pull off, but well-loved by modern quilters. Perhaps using fusible batting might stabilize it enough to pull it off without as much distortion. 
  24. Like
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Primitive1 in Basting a Customer Quilt   
    Hi Dory! Attached is the spacing and pathway I use for basting for hand-quilters. It would work fine for DSM quilting as well. I use a long stitch length and thick, slippery, contrasting thread for ease of removal. This path requires no long vertical stitching but you still end up with a grid. The customer can remove the stitching as she goes or save it until the end. I charge a half-cent per square inch and usually do only one a year.  

  25. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from yankiequilter in Suggestions needed for quilter's estate sale!   
    I'm sending good thoughts and a gentle hug, Lin.
    As for the quilter's garage sale---it should be advertised exactly as that and you'll be overrun with buyers. I've seen several pricing methods. One was by the yard---the buyer measured the fabric she wanted on the honor system and paid for the total yardage---$5 per yard. FQs and smaller pieces were done by weight--$5 per pound. A yard of good quality fabric is a bit less than a pound. This way, no one had to measure and price each piece, which takes an army if there is a big stash. Don't do any cutting! Notions in close-to-perfect shape/rulers with instructions, etc---half regular retail. Used notions and partial spools of thread--set up a table with everything the same price---like $2. For our quilt guild boutique at the last show we bagged like-items (six zippers, 5 spools of thread, used notions, buttons, etc, into $2 grab bags. Those went fast! Here's the other method I saw recently. Regular sized paper grocery bags---all you can fit in the bag for $20. This way, only minimal sorting and no pricing. The fabric that was left was sold two week later at $15 per bag. The price went down every couple of weeks until most of the stuff was gone. Put "Prices Firm" signs out so there's no haggling. Quilters know a bargain when they see it. Good luck!
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