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Thread: Any Advice for First Time with a Handi Quilter?

  1. #31
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    I have a handy quilter and I gave up on it. It doesn't move smoothly because of where the rails meet. It always seems to get stuck there. I am with you I can do FMQ with out any problems and move the fabric around just fine. So I am sticking with that. Hope you can solve the problems because I sure couldn't.

    Carole

  2. #32
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstoner
    eyelashes on back are you "speeding around the corners, circles" As hard as it is, try to slow down as you make your curves, especially if you are getting the eyelashes on the curves. This should improve the eyelashes.
    I agree with this....if your doing a curve, slow down, you will notice the difference...I treat my tracks with sewing machine oil. make sure I clean them periodically with just soap and water and dry good and then rub with the oil...usually do this right before using it...they do gather dust just like any flat surface.

  3. #33
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farm Quilter
    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg
    1. The machine doesn't move very smoothly on the tracks; the wheels seem to have some uneven "resistance", not to mention the little bump where the two pieces of track meet. Is there some kind of lubricant that one is supposed to use on the wheels? Or just keep everything clean? (This didn't come with any instructions...)

    2. I'm getting "eyelashes" on the back of the quilt in varying degrees. This doesn't happen with this machine when FMQ, so I must be doing something to affect it, but what? I'm going give the machine a thorough cleaning, rethread it again, check the tension, and try some different thread to see what I can figure out too.

    Help!
    Try cleaning the wheels and rails with rubbing alcohol - that's what I use on my LA.

    When you have a problem with the thread on the back, your tension on the top is off - eyelashes would mean your top thread is too loose compared to your bobbin tension. Loops on the top mean your bobbin tension is too loose. Weird that it's backwards...but that's what the experts say! Superior Threads has some great educational information on their website about it - http://www.superiorthreads.com/education/
    I have my tension on the juki set at "1" and I have the bobbin set a little tighter...it would probably be different with each machine but I did a practice piece when I got the machine and it seems to work for me. I have the handihandles on my grace frame. got them with the machine and had DH install them on the front of the machine...love them.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    You could buy new metal for the rails that are one long piece. I bought mine from a steel yard when making my quilt frame.

  5. #35
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the suggestions! I can't tell you how much help you all are to me; without this wonderful group I would probably get "stuck" and pretty discouraged at times.

    I've been experimenting again this morning and here's what I am experiencing at this point:

    The eyelashes have disappeared; I adjusted the tension a bit, and am concentrating on keeping my speed of travel consistent on the curves. The curves don't look so good right now, but the stitches are MUCH better.

    Regarding the left to right vs. right to left; a straight stitching line in either direction seems to work fine as far as stitch quality is concerned, but I'll keep this advice in mind if I start to have problems. I am noticing that I can make smoother curves going left to right. I don't know if this just is a coordination problem, or if the direction of travel of the machine has something to do with it.

    I'm still not happy with the movement of the carriage across the joint in the tracks and will be looking for other options for one-piece continuous track material.

    And, last but not least, I need to PRACTICE!!! When I look back at my early attempts at FMQ, they weren't so great either. Right now I can't even stitch over the same line twice when trying to make feathers... On the other hand, designs that require straight lines either left to right or forward and back are much easier than with FMQ.

    Thanks again! I'll keep you posted as to how it's going, and maybe someday soon, I'll have a piece worth posting a pic of off this Handi Quilter. :thumbup:

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg
    OK, 24 hours later, and here's my status with this...

    This is kind of HARD! I've been doing pretty well with FMQ with the machine stationary and moving the fabric; feeling pretty confident with it...but this is a whole different ball game...

    I'm having a couple of problems (besides lack of coordination):

    1. The machine doesn't move very smoothly on the tracks; the wheels seem to have some uneven "resistance", not to mention the little bump where the two pieces of track meet. Is there some kind of lubricant that one is supposed to use on the wheels? Or just keep everything clean? (This didn't come with any instructions...)

    2. I'm getting "eyelashes" on the back of the quilt in varying degrees. This doesn't happen with this machine when FMQ, so I must be doing something to affect it, but what? I'm going give the machine a thorough cleaning, rethread it again, check the tension, and try some different thread to see what I can figure out too.

    Help!
    When there are eyelashes on the quilt back, it means that the top thread tension is too loose. You will need to tighen the top thread tension or loosen the bobbin thread tension so it doesn't pull the top thread so hard.

  7. #37
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    Oops, forgot to mention that eyelashes can also be caused by "driving" the machine to fast for the speed of the needle.

  8. #38
    Senior Member heyjami's Avatar
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    Ok, you've had plenty of time to figure this out... time to show us your progress! :-) Where are those pictures you promised?

    This post was great - I just got my handi quilter and I'm anxious to try it. I'll follow your plan and practice on a doggy quilt. :-) I have plenty of fabric to play with!

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