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I just purchased my first long arm machine.  It is an used Ultimate II, non stitch regulated.  I'm learning, but need some help.  I am having a few loops on the underside of my practice pieces.  Can anyone direct me to a manual or video that helps new owners figure things out?  Kinda like if this happens (top thread shredding) then you check this, this, and/or this.  If your stitches are looping underneath, then you check this.....  Does this make sense?  It appears there is limited amount of trouble shooting videos on the web.  Or at least I haven't found it.  I am a <have to see it to learn it> type of person.  Although this forum is very beneficial, if I can't see it then I'm having trouble assimilating it into action.  Also, does someone have any suggestions on the speed control dial?  I'm not sure how that works and how I need to adjust my speed in order to have it all working together.  Thank you.

 

Robbin

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Oh boy.... I'm not sure if I can help or not but I will try.

 

First, get out your manual and read it.  This will help you understand your dial control.

 

The loops on the back side shows tension issues.  It could be your thread choice, needle size, timing issues, the way your thread is wound on the bobbin, the bobbin casing, ... so many variables.  Each machine is different on what sort of threads 'it' likes.  Some machines just will not play well with all threads.  I know of no video's available to show you what to do about this with the Ult2 machine.

 

If you are getting nothing but loops on the back side then the top tension probably is too loose.  If you are getting an occasional loop on the back side, then you may have timing issues. 

 

The best thing for you to do is to try all sorts of things and see what works for you and your machine.

 

I hope that someone else here can chime in and make some suggestions for you. 


Laura

my.doterra.com/naturespoweroils

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Slow youyr speed down and move the machine slower until you get used to it.  The higher the speed the more fluid you movement will be once you have gotten used to the machine.   As for the thread tention if you check out Superior Threads site they have great tips on fine tunning.  Hope this helps.


Quilting Joyfully,

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Joyce Coburn

APQS Sales,Service, Training

EdgeRider Wheels Dealer

joyce@coburnsquilting.com

www.coburnsquilting.com

330-310-7346

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Speed control button:  If you increase your speed by the speed control button you also need to increase the speed you are moving the head.  This keeps the stitches from becoming too small or piling up on each other.  The slower the motor speed, the slower you go.  To start I, too, would suggest you lower the machine speed until you get used to how the machine moves/you move, etc.

 

As for tension videos:  you are right, there are not a lot out there.  I did see one the other day when looking a walking foot machine issue up on YouTube, but I don't remember who had it.  Do a search on YouTube for sewing machine tension issues and see what comes up.

 

As for looping, our machines exhibit the same tension issue indicators as a DM or short arm.  If you have loops on the bottom, increase the top tension/loosen bobbin/or both.  Vice versa as well, and then do a stitch out to see how it made a difference. Continue making small changes until you see balance. Our machines, I believe, do have less tension than our DM's, though, but it still needs to be balanced. Do a search here on tension issues to find a lot of hints and points.

 

I sure hope you are able to quickly get the tension issues worked out. If it's any help to know, I'm a real visual person also, and I've been able to take so much of what has been posted here and use it because everyone is so willing to describe in detail what is needed to know.  If I find the video again I referenced earlier I'll post it here.


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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One more thing about tension. You have to turn the tension knob about half a turn before you will see much difference. It is not nearly as sensitive as your domestic machine. If you are using metal or aluminum bobbins I suggest setting the bobbin case tension like this. Insert the bobbin into the case and hold in the palm of your hand, grab the thread tail and lift. If you can lift the bobbin case onto it's side but not off your hand your tension is close (maybe slightly loose). Then loosen the tension knob on the top thread until the knob is flush with the screw. Try stitching. If you need to tighten the top turn the knob about half a turn at a time until you get close then you can fine tune.

Top thread shredding the first place to look is the pigtail thread guides, they will get a groove worn in them over time and start catching the thread. When you figure out what other things you may need order some spare guides from APQS. If you have one that is worn loosen the screw and turn it upside down and this will get you going in the mean time.

This group and the factory iare very supportive so if you have any issues ask away.

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Robbin:  One more thought about speed.  Try and coordinate the motor speed, and your machine movement speed so that you get stitches that are about 1/8th to 1/10th inches long.  If your stitches are a lot longer, speed up the motor.  If they're shorter, slow the motor down.  It's probably easier at the beginning to work with the motor speed.  As you gain experience you'll be able to work with the speed you move the machine at as well.  The rest of what you asked is pretty well covered by the other posts.  Good luck.  Don't give up.  I have an Ult2 and am very happy with it.  You just have to learn how to use it, and what it will do.  Regards.  Jim

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Thanks all for responding. After spending the day on the internet watching tutorials and reading about thread tension, i feel pretty confident about my bobbin tension. So, next step is to get my top tension tighter to eliminate the loops on the bottom. When  I tighten the tension assembly my thread is breaking. What is my next step? Does my speed dial have any effect on this? I have re-threaded multiple times and turned my pig tail guide upside down.

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If your top thread is breaking then the top tension is too tight.  Remember lefty loosey, righty tighty on your tension... loosen the tension to the extreme and then tighten a half turn...then run your machine, check your stitches and do this again until you are getting a good stitch.  Slow down the movement of your machine as you quilt. There is a fine line in balance here. 

 

On the thread path, try to elminate one of the holes on the three hole guide, only go around the tension disk once...maybe this will help.  Also I use a scrap piece of batting on the thread guide directly coming off of the spool...lay the batting on this thread guide and allow the thread to snuggle in it as it unspools from your thread spool.  This will cause a little bit of drag and help with tension issues with some threads.  Make sure your needle is large enough to support your thread weight.  Most commonly used is a 4.0....sometimes I will use a 3.5 with thinner threads.


Laura

my.doterra.com/naturespoweroils

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Robbin,

 

With cotton thread in an Ultimate II, your speed (both motor and personal) can impact the the thread and its desire to break. First try loosening up your bobbin thread a LOT. (I ran an Ultimate I for 19 years...just like yours only with a little more throat space and a hopping foot, so I have a little thread under my belt.:)) When you have to keep moving the machine to prevent stitch pile up and breaking in any situation (not to mention with cotton thread) you don't want the bobbin to be stubborn and win the tug of war. Loosen it to the point where it zings to the floor in the case. Then start tightening the top tension to see if you can pull up the bobbin thread without thread breaks. 

 

Keep in mind that the thread's condition can affect it, too. If you have breakage with polyester thread, then you've probably got a burr somewhere that's fighting you. But if the poly sews fine, then its a matter of thread quality (cotton thread does get old, dries out from the air, rots, etc.) or tension. Laura, Jim and the gang have shared wonderful advice!

 

We're working on getting more videos up on YouTube, too...I just need a clone. :) Until then, this one might help a bit:

 

 

Keep us posted!


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APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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When you mentioned cotton thread I immediately had the ah ha thought.  I have trouble with cotton tensions with my Ulti I, and still shy away from it because of it.  Hope you're getting your baby doll quilting happily along soon!


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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RMGOODE, What is your email address?  I have some pictures of my old ULT II i'd like to send to you!

You can just send me an email to:  jsbutler@neb.rr.com, if you dont want to post your email here,

(even tho this is a secure site)..

Sheri


F55CA928B31BF9D50E35FB71F402EFB1.png Millennium/IntelliQuilter 402-450-8321 Designer of the 1/2" foot for Ult II's. 1sheributler@gmail.com

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I cannot add anything as you've gotten some great responses up there, but just wanted to say congrats on your Ultimate II!  I just purchased a "new to me" Ultimate I in January so I'm really feeling that learning curve as you are getting adjusted with tension and experimenting with threads.  :)


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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