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I would really like to get into the ear of the powers that be at APQS. I've had a bee in my bonnet about wasted space in my frame for MONTHS. I can't let it go! FYI, I have a 2015 Lenni. I think it is a CRYING SHAME that there is a LOT of wasted space inside my quilting frame. It is especially important to me because I'm short (5'0"), but it applies to us all (eye sight!). I removed my quilt top belly bar, because I float ALL of my quilt tops. I have NEVER rolled a quilt top, and never want to. So, since my quilt top belly bar is absent, it's all the more obvious that I've got, like 8" of wasted space, right at the FRONT of my arm reach. It doesn't matter whether the quilt top roller is there or not. It would still be wasted space. In my opinion this is a design flaw. I'm stretching to reach the back of my throat space and squinting my eyes to see detailed quilting, and then I've got miles of prime real estate at the front of my frame just sitting idle. I've talked about some ideas on how to get around this with Matt Sparrow (APQS Canada), and have never come up with a solution that I feel is practical. I tried putting my belly bar that holds the backing into the top roller holes, but it was too high, and when my hopping foot came to the front of the throat space it hopped so violently on that higher quilt that I couldn't really even see where my needle was. I tried turning my roller end-for-end and putting it in the quilt top holes, but it sucks the fabric down into a crevice as you advance the quilt - hard to describe, but if you tried it, you'd see exactly what I mean. I considered purchasing new arms for my frame - ones that were manufactured for the new "Larri" model - this was Matt's suggestion. But they cost several hundred dollars and only give you, like 1.75". I also considered upgrading to a Luci head, but keeping my Lenni frame. The lovely couple from Dragon Heart Studio in Pincher Creek, Alberta, even came to my house and brought a Luci and put it on my Lenni carriage to see if it would work. The problem was that the Luci machine head is JUST a little, tiny bit longer than the Lenni carriage (or maybe it's that the take-up roller doesn't stop Luci soon enough, I can't remember exactly). The point is: if we wanted to do that, we would have to machine some kind of bolt to put in place that would prevent the Luci from rolling right off the back of the carriage. So then, we're modifying the setup, and actually not using the entire throat space of Luci, and spending thousands of dollars, and I felt like it was just too much to risk and hassle. APQS ENGINEERS PLEASE READ: I really don't know why APQS doesn't just manufacture an optional set of arms for each model, for people who float their tops. I know LOTS of people do - I would guess a MAJORITY of quilters float tops. I can't be the only one who's had these thoughts. If they just subtracted, like 6" or so off the length of my frame's arms, I'd be in heaven and all my pet peeves would be gone. Okay, rant over! If anyone knows of something I'm missing or has any advice, I'm all ears! I would love to find out that there's an obvious solution! Attached are photos. I laid my measuring tape out along the front edge of my quilted space. It's just about 7.5" from the back of the belly bar to the front of the quilted space. Completely wasted!
So this might be a crazy question, but is there anyway to float the quilt backing too? Here's the story, I have a new customer that is intent on saving as much of her fabric as possible. Her quilt backing is two widths of fabric sewn together, but she decided not to cut the widths even because one fabric had nearly a half yard more length than she needed. Her idea was that if I started quilting at the top edge of the backing (this edge is even) then stopped quilting whenever I finished, she would be able to cut off the extra and get a larger hunk to save for later than if she cut it even beforehand and then trimmed away any excess after quilting. (I really hope my explanation is making sense, but if not I diagrammed it in the attached image.) So I'm wondering if there is anyway I can work with this wonky un-square and uneven quilt back? The best idea I had was to partially float the quilt back over the quilt back bar and just be careful to smooth it every time I advance. But I am concerned that this won't hold the tension well. Another idea I had was to sew some muslin to the shorter half to even the back out while I quilt then remove the muslin before returning it. Has anyone tried anything like this, or have any other ideas? Thanks, Erin
Getting into some great wholecloth designs. A couple of instructors extradonnaire, namely Helen and Shirley, have advised to starch, starch, starch to death a wholecloth design to minimize the amount of movement and relailgnment when quilting a wholecloth (did I get this right Helen and Shirley?). Rather than email them privately, I have decided to open this topic to discussion. When thinking this through, I usually float my tops and batting, but if equal tension and heavy starch is in order, do it not seen more reasonable to tension the quilt top (at the bottom after basting the top to the backing) to provide more equal tension throughout as well as starch this top heavily? Your thoughts and advice are most appreciated. Thanks in advance! Sharon Prescott, AZ