Frustrated and ready to throw Lenni out the window!


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I am so aggravated right now.  I just need to blow off steam.  For the life of me I cannot form a spiral, circle, or feather with this Lenni.  I thought it would be great to have the stitch regulated machine, and I am loving it and my customers are loving the pretty stitches they get. BUT I cannot make a circle, even tracing around something.  The machine gets to a certain point and it seems like it catches on something and won't go. Then I get a flat spot.  Same thing with spirals, loops, etc.  The machine is rolling great on the new carriage- no more dragging belly. The carriage seems to roll better on the rails than the other carriage, but I can't control the machine, not with SR on and not with it off.  THe machine doesn't seem to weigh much more than my old one.  What is wrong?  There are a couple spots where the rails seem like they have a dent, or rough spot.  Should I try to do something about that? I can't attach any more pictures on here, but I will email a picture if somebody wants to see what I'm talking about. 

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Arrgh.  Hope that at least some sympathy will help.  Is your table level?  Might want to check and see with an extra long, like 3 foot level just to be sure that isn't part of the problem.  How about going faster around the circles so that the SR doesn't have time to try to slow down and straighten things out?

 

Someone else is going to chime in with some great ideas, but at least you know that you've been heard.

 

Have a glass of wine, or a nap.  It's got to be that time of day in your neck of the woods by now.

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Thanks Beth.  We did use a 4 foot level and it is perfectly level side to side and front to back.  That was my first thought also, so we double checked.  Maybe it's just the learning curve, but my feathers are one of the things people want on their quits.  Now I can't even make one. Seriously. I am going to go rip stitches out of this lady's quilt for the 4th time then take it off the frame and give up for right now. Maybe somebody will have an idea how to fix the problem. I wish I could get those pictures of the table rails to post. I think that might have something to do with it, but I'm not sure.

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I don't know if this helps....but I recently got a Lucey on bliss....and I am finding it a bit difficult also to do swirls and smooth circles....of course I was the meandering queen before getting this larger set up...mine seems to be a bit smoother without the stitch regulator on...but I am not a very good stitch regulator yet...so am planning on doing the first bunch of real tops with the regulator on......I am thinking that is what is happening is that even though my machine really does move nicely....I am just not used to the weight of the machine and when I try to change directions.....I struggle a bit with it...also, it seems very sensitive to the weight of the cord....so I am trying to keep that really centered in the frame and have slack on the backside of the machine.....I am hoping I will learn how to steer this baby....much like learning to drive a different car....I remember when I first drove a car with power steering...I was over correcting all over the place..then went back to one of the old trucks (borrowed from brother)...boy was that a challenge......I think my curves and spirals are getting a bit smoother with the practice......Lin 

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Do you feel your machine hang up if you are only moving it in a circular motion and not actually sewing with it?  Try that and see if it happens.  when it does, stop and look underneath.  Maybe an issue with the wheels or something rubbing somewhere that you're not aware of.  I have a millie, and usually the only time I've had issues is when those bearings failed on my mm wheels.  If it only happens at the edges, have you checked to make sure your extended base(if in use) is not bumping against the orange grips? 

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I agree that there is a little more weight to this machine, but that shouldn't make such a difference, should it? I am not doing well with or without stitch regulator. Maybe I've forgotten how to sew swirls in the last couple weeks.

 

Debbie.  even without sewing the carriage seems to bump bump on the rails and comes to a stop.  Both carriages do it.  I am going to try to post a picture of the rails after I go back and delete all my other picture posts.

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Now, I know nothing of your type of table for your  machine (because I'm gathering it's different than mine), but if there is powder coating that came off it must be rough, and I would assume your wheels would get hung up there if that is the case?  The only thing that came to mind was to fill those spots in with some type of hard coating and then sand smooth to the rest?  Really, my first thought was epoxy, but I don't know if that would be appropriate. I can imagine how frustrated you are.

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I am able to do circles with my Lenni.  Someone had me tape the cord to the top of the machine so that it hangs down the center of the back of the head.  I also put the power strip under the table in the middle.  I think cord management is worth investigating.  Mary

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I was going to mention cords too.   

 

Also - here is what I would do.   Take your quilt off and just move your machine in large practice circles, is there a place where you specifically notice it dragging?  do it several times to get the gist of where the spot is, and investigate underneath.     This is what I did, I kept feeling a bump bump and it turned out a little thread was caught under one of the rails.  

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Teresa:

I am going to message Matt Sparrow tonight and see if he can respond to you - Dawn C is here at Sparrow Studioz in Edmonton teaching, I know Mark is coming for a workshop Saturday, so don't know if he can respond tomorrow.

We will try to get that machine rockin for you - are you on the Bliss system?

Hang in there, I'll round up the posse!

Joanne Flamand

Artistic Quilt Design

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Thanks Joanne. No Bliss. I know Matt and Dawn are in Edmondton. I thought about messaging him on Facebook, but it looks like he's got his hands full.  After taking everybody's advice and just moving it around and around the problem seems to be right where the rails are messed up.  Each rail is rough in about the same spot. I am wondering if it happened when it was in the truck moving it from Iowa to Tennessee.  I just want to fix it, any way I can. I have a show quilt here to do for a lady and she wants feathers. I can't feather right now.  :angry:

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Stand behind the machine and move it slowly to all of the extreme positions.  Far right, forward and back.  Far left, forward and back.  Watch the cords and look for places where anything is getting hung up or snagging.  I had to do this a few times and was surprised when I saw how the cords were causing problems.

 

It does sound like the rough spots on your rails could be causing problems.

 

You should be able to stitch your feathers even better than you used to....you'll get there, just hang in.  Don't chuck the Lenni!!

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Teresa, my M&M wheels made a huge difference in the circular movement but I still had flat spots. Recently APQS posted on Facebook some tips from the techs. I don't know if you have a truss system under the length of your table but I recently did as they suggested with the string to check the level from end to end and it was off. Adjusting that has made a BIG difference!

I am sorry you are so frustrated, hope you figure it out!

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When I got my new Millie I had the same problem , I thought I was going insane! After fighting with it for weeks and weeks I found Barb Mayfield, she sent her hubby Mike to my place on his way to a lecture or meeting, anyway Mike has got to be the most patient person in the world! He figured out one of my wheels had a flat spot. At the time Barb suggest Edgerider Wheels instead of returning the defective wheels and getting new ones. As soon as the Edgerider wheels arrived and Barb installed them I could do circles and non squared off feathers!!! Mike never could determine which wheel was defective but he figured out what the problem was.

I have since upgraded to Bliss and M&M wheels, even better!!! Hope you can get it figured out, I too thought it was the cords etc. but it was a non detectable bad spot on a wheel!

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Hi Teresa,

Sorry it took until a little later tonight to respond to you. Matt's mom fixed a fabulous home-cooked meal tonight for his entire family and I was lucky enough to also be included. She's a fabulous cook!

I would have to check for sure with the staff at the factory tomorrow, however I do not believe that the steel rails are powder coated, only painted. If you're experiencing the rough spots in the exact area where it appears that the rail has been damaged, You can actually sand that section of the rail smooth. You'll need to taper the sanding off quite a bit to the left and to the right of the bumps so that you don't feel a dip in the rail at that location as well. It'll take a bit of elbow grease or you can use a power sander. Just feather the sanding out quite a ways. Before you decide if you want to repaint the rails, test it and move the machine back and forth and make sure it feels smooth again.

Everyone has given you lots of great advice tonight. It sounds like you have narrowed the problem down to the left and right direction and right in those spots where the damage occurred. If you feel the movement is a problem from front to back, then you will also want to make sure that the wheels on Lenni are centered on the lip of the carriage. On a few occasions the wheels might need to be shimmed out or in just a little bit with extra washers or by removing washers if the wheels themselves are rubbing on the lip of the carriage.

In addition to checking the table's levelness, you'll also want to check the table's squareness. Place a carpenter's square inside each of the four corners of the table to make sure that it is also square. If it isn't, you may need to loosen the four bolts in the corners on the short angle pieces that make the table frame "box" and then re-square the table.

I'll try to check my emails between classes tomorrow, Teresa. Let me know how it's going!

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Hi Teresa,

When I bought my Lenni new, in 2009. Initially I thought it was great. But the first time I put a larger quilt top on I had the exact same problem you are having. Going mostly straight left or right was fine but going diagonals or circles I was having major problems. I could feel Lenni like give a little twitch.

When I checked the rails there were a couple of very small indentations on the front rail. After contacting APQS, Dawn gave me the same advise. We gently sanded it down and then found some black board type paint , to paint back over that spot. It helped greatly but was never perfect. I think if I had lived in the US and not the UK I would have asked APQS to replace that rail.

Since then I have upgraded to the Bliss frame. If you ever get the chance I highly recommend it.

Hope you get it sorted quickly.

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Teresa,

 

It sounds that the carriage I sent you is better than your older bent one. I had the same issue with my Lenni - I did get the IQ carriage with the edgeriders and it did help some, but I still can't get my Lenni to glide as smooth as I would like.  There was not any way I was going to spend $4000 for a Bliss table (which is what it would have cost) so I opted for the $500 for this carriage.

 

With that being said, I don't do custom on my Lenni.  I use it for overalls and use my Millie for the majority of my work as it glides much better ( I only have the newer wheels on this and can't spend the funds for the Bliss).

 

I seriously think it's something with the steel table and the rails. You said yours was a 2008, mine is a 2010.  I also feel like the entire rail system needs to be sandblasted or something.

 

Good luck.

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