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

  1. #1
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I am the lucky recipient of a table top Handi Quilter frame (passed on to me from someone who recently upgraded to an HQ16). It is the table top frame and machine carriage on tracks that you use with your own machine.

    So...I finally got it set up and have my Juki TL 98 on the carriage and (I hope) ready to go. I think I got the quilt "loaded" and ready to go. I don't really know what to expect, but I'm using pracitice pieces of muslin for the top and the backing with batting in between, so as long as I don't break anything, I'll be OK.

    Wish me luck! I'll be back after awhile to let you know how it goes. :shock:

  2. #2

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    I have one too that i haven't used yet i'll be looking forward to hear about yours

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Good Luck! Sounds like you are off to a great start!

  4. #4
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I'm baaaack.... I need to take a break! Quilting with the frame, as opposed to FMQ that I've been doing, is certainly going to take some practice before I'll be happy with it.

    It's physically easier not having to wrestle the quilt around, but it's a whole new motor skill to develop for sure. I think I'd better practice drawing designs sideways to mimic the direction of travel with the machine and frame.

    I've also got to figure out what to do with the cords so nothing drags when I'm moving the machine... And then there's that coordination problem; turning the control on, adjusting the speed, AND watching where I'm going all at the same time. It's kind of like learning to drive with a manual transmission; lots to pay attention to all at once! :roll:

    On a good note, our cat is going to LOVE his new quilt to sleep on just in time for winter! :lol:

  5. #5
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Wendy, as we cat lovers know, if the cat is happy everyone is happy!! haha
    Oops- I forgot to wish you good luck! :)

  6. #6
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    I practice drawing with a dry erase pen, search the internet for free quilting patterns, put the patterns in sheet protectors and trace with pen, wipe and redo until you get the hang of it (turning the book side ways also helps with that). Soon you will have trained your brain to move with the machine. It actually does wonders learning to do this.

  7. #7
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Use cable ties to hold all the wires together in one bundle. Then if you have a curtain rod nearby, attach a strip of elastic from the curtain rod to the cable bundle to take the sense of 'drag' off. leave lots of slack.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    I was told with my Juki to always quilt from left to right and not go backwards. I don't know why but that is the way I do it.

  9. #9
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    i made templates out of heavy cardboard then trace around with pencile then i connected the images with lines so it is continous i made a lot of dog blankies have fun and rember to relax

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    I will be watching this thread! :)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    I bought a speed control for my Juki. Cost was around $60.00. That helps with the speed problem. Now if I can get my stitches right without a stitch regulator. Those cost around $500. and can't afford one.

  12. #12
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    Congrats!!! Don't forget to breath while quilting. Relax and have fun. One thing I find new quilters might not think of is to kept the quilt sandwich as "level" as possible. This means to load the sandwich so the quilting area is straight across between the rollers and/or adjust the rollers to keep the sandwich fairly level. Such helps with the tension.

  13. #13
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norene B
    I was told with my Juki to always quilt from left to right and not go backwards. I don't know why but that is the way I do it.
    I go left and right, up and down and she behaves very well...

  14. #14
    Super Member twistedstitcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaR
    Quote Originally Posted by Norene B
    I was told with my Juki to always quilt from left to right and not go backwards. I don't know why but that is the way I do it.
    I go left and right, up and down and she behaves very well...
    Me too and I've not had any problems doing so.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    Good, glad to hear that. The lady at the quilt shop told me not to go backwards. Can't figure out why not, but maybe because it is her machine????????

  16. #16
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norene B
    Good, glad to hear that. The lady at the quilt shop told me not to go backwards. Can't figure out why not, but maybe because it is her machine????????
    I know I go backwards a LOT when I free-motion quilt with my Juki and it works great. Besides, how would the machine know whether you are going backwards or not; the needle just goes up and down in the same spot anyway.:thumbup:

  17. #17
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    I know, lol.

  18. #18
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    my understanding from "kathyquilts: machine quilting with Kathy" is that the Juki is more like a DSM, and if you go right to left you experience thread breakage and needle breakage. As it is designed like a domestic machine, if you go right to left you would be pulling against the way the machine works.

  19. #19
    Senior Member MisDixie's Avatar
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    Now don't laugh but I kept cutting the threads with the cutting button on the handi handles...the 'girls' kept gettin into the action...SOOOOO I disconnected the little cable. LOL and as a friend of mine said...only you!

  20. #20
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisDixie
    Now don't laugh but I kept cutting the threads with the cutting button on the handi handles...the 'girls' kept gettin into the action...SOOOOO I disconnected the little cable. LOL and as a friend of mine said...only you!
    I didn't even hook up the cable for the tread cutter yet! LOL! I have enough trouble keeping my foot off the tread cutter when I'm sewing with it...I can imagine how much trouble it would be when I'm trying to sort out which little black button to push (or NOT to push)! Maybe after I've had some practice, but for now, I can always use the button on the front of the machine.

  21. #21
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstoner
    I practice drawing with a dry erase pen, search the internet for free quilting patterns, put the patterns in sheet protectors and trace with pen, wipe and redo until you get the hang of it (turning the book side ways also helps with that). Soon you will have trained your brain to move with the machine. It actually does wonders learning to do this.
    While you were posting this I was sitting on the sofa with my dry erase board on my lap practicing drawing designs sideways. :thumbup:

  22. #22
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    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!

  23. #23
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstoner
    my understanding from "kathyquilts: machine quilting with Kathy" is that the Juki is more like a DSM, and if you go right to left you experience thread breakage and needle breakage. As it is designed like a domestic machine, if you go right to left you would be pulling against the way the machine works.
    I checked for any indication that the "eyelash" problem I'm having is related to this, but it doesn't seem to be...

    I am still a little unclear on this though, and hoping you can explain a little further. When doing a design that includes loops, circles, feathers, etc. I seems to me that for part of the design the machine would be going left to right, and the other part (half of a circle for instance), I would be going right to left regardless of which direction I am traveling over-all.

    Thanks

  24. #24
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norene B
    I was told with my Juki to always quilt from left to right and not go backwards. I don't know why but that is the way I do it.
    I've heard you have to do this with sewing machines that have been converted to quilting machines...the needle gets deflected away from the hook and the hook can't grab the thread from the needle to make the stitch. Makes it a bit more difficult to quilt. A machine that is designed to quilt only doesn't have this problem, probably built differently in the hook area, so quilting in any direction is easier. You may be able to adjust the timing of the machine to help with this. Also, if you go very slowly when going backwards, the needle may not deflect so much and you can get the hook to grab the thread to make the stitch.

  25. #25
    Senior Member lizpatterson1's Avatar
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    You lucky quilter. Have fun with it. congrats.

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