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Have your dealer sew on your Long Arm before bringing it to your home.

Have your dealer sew on your Long Arm before bringing it to your home.

Old 12-15-2016, 05:36 AM
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Default Have your dealer sew on your Long Arm before bringing it to your home.

I have had many problems with my HQ Avante long arm since the day I bought it. I have had a repairman out three times now and this last time he repaired the timing again. He told me that he thinks all dealers should take the machine out of the box and check the timing before selling it to the customer as over half the time the timing is off. He said he believes my machine has a timing issue in the main body of the machine and he will take it apart the next time he comes to repair my machine. He is not affiliated with the dealer of my machine but works at another company. He told the owner of the store where he works that he wants to open all the boxes of the machines and check certain things to make sure the long arms work and the owner refused. The repairman said he makes calls for over half of the machines sold because of this one problem. The customers are always upset because they have started sewing and have nothing but problems and it's not their fault. I have had to pick an entire quilt apart because I didn't know what was underneath. I have learned to take an extra piece of fabric and sew on it and then use a mirror to see if my bobbin stitches are OK. Right now my machine is OK but I wonder when the timing will go out again.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:02 AM
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My LA was a demo so it had been used quite a bit but when I bought my dealer came to my house, set it up and then we put the machine through its paces together. I can't imagine making such a large investment without this kind of service, like buying a car without test driving it.

I agree, that one should always insist the machine be thoroughly inspected and run before coming to the end user.

But you should always test your stitches every time you start quilting AND with every thread change, bobbin change and needle change. So many things can affect tension. In my experience, bad timing will keep the machine from making a stitch or will cause skipped stitches, tension issues are usually caused by other things. I have had a blob of lint get lodged in my tension case spring and mess up my tension and this happened after I tested so had to rip out a whole row of quilting. This is a big reason I prefer poly threads over cotton. Thankfully when tension is bad un-stitching is relatively easy.

I have also had thread color change cause me to have to change my tension settings, same brand and manufacturer of thread, just a different color. So I test every time I change thread, same with bobbin. You just never know. Additionally, I make it a point to check the back with every advance, every single advance. I crawl under the rack with a strong flashlight and I check again once I have advanced and the backing is clearly visible on my takeup bar and between my dead bar and takeup. There is no way I would quilt an entire quilt without checking the back with every advance of the quilt.

I like to have my backings be at least 5" larger on every side of the quilt, so I have ample space to test my tension. I keep a pile of precut pieces of fabric right next to my LA for testing tension. Testing your tension often is a good longarming habit no matter what or how your dealer tests your machine before delivery and no matter how you quilt (pantos, free hand from the front or computer guided).

I am so sorry you have had so much problems with your Avante. Not having your machine work right is definitely discouraging and really impedes the learning curve and most of all it sucks the love right out of thing we love the most. Hope things get right for you from now on, but definitely do not stop checking your tension both front and back often as a lot more than timing will cause problems.

Last edited by feline fanatic; 12-15-2016 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:13 AM
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I'm surprised longarm dealers don't do that automatically - I never really thought about it but I would have just assumed that's something they'd do.

My Janome dealer won't let even the least expensive machine go out the door without them test-sewing on it, making sure all the stitches work, and adjusting anything that needs adjusting. Maybe he's just extraordinarily thorough? He's the only dealer I've worked with so I just assumed that was a standard thing and part of the benefit you get by buying through a dealer vs. shopping online.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:03 AM
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I visited the Handi Quilter factory while at a training class. All HQs get used before they get boxed up. They have many, many huge rolls of quilt sandwiches they use for the final sewing that they later have bound and given to charity. I understand something can get shaken out of place while shipping, but I am always surprised at timing issues. Timing is not at all hard to fix yourself. HQ even has a kit and video to do it.

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Old 12-15-2016, 07:31 AM
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You really should work with your retailer. He is either trained or has someone who is trained from Handi Quilter to service these machines. He is the one to report back to HQ if there is an internal problem. They will fix it!
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
I'm surprised longarm dealers don't do that automatically - I never really thought about it but I would have just assumed that's something they'd do.

My Janome dealer won't let even the least expensive machine go out the door without them test-sewing on it, making sure all the stitches work, and adjusting anything that needs adjusting. Maybe he's just extraordinarily thorough? He's the only dealer I've worked with so I just assumed that was a standard thing and part of the benefit you get by buying through a dealer vs. shopping online.
We used to ALL do this when I worked for a Singer shop. Now, you don't often GET any real service.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:56 AM
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I also have an HQ Avante. I love it! No problems with the machine at all, but I did have the dealer install it. When they did this, they told me to have fabric & batting ready to quilt and we tested the machine before he left.
I agree with Feline Fanatic. I test the tension often, certainly at the start of every project. As she mentioned, you sometimes have to change the tension when you change thread colors. I think some dyes make the thread a bit stiffer so they behave differently, even same weight, same manufacturer.


Also, I'm puzzled about the diagnosis of your machine being out of time. The symptoms of timing being off are usually skipped stitches, no stitches, or broken needles.
If you quilted a quilt and then saw issues on the back, it sounds like a tension issue with the TOP thread. Almost always issues on the back are top thread tension problems, issues on the front are bobbin issues.

This is how I set my timing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:01 AM
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The dealer's livelihood is tied to these machines being out the door as soon as possible and then deal with any problems by saying This is something that hasn't happen before, we'll try and figure it out. I stopped buying from sewing machine dealers, I want to be able to return any machine for a refund if it doesn't work like it should. Lots of places that allows refunds to be stuck with a dealer. I returned one sewing machine twice until I got one that worked just how I expected it too. I won't buy something new then have to have it repaired a month later. It is then a repaired item from the get go.

I was test sewing several machines at dealer Tues. When I asked if I could get refund if the machine messed up within 60 days, proven not user error. She said No, no dealer does that they would have most of them coming back! I said sorry I'll have to pass. But I did buy a lot of fabric and thread so she profited for the time spent with me.

Last edited by Onebyone; 12-15-2016 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:29 AM
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I too am sorry You're dealing with this. My Avante was also a demo model, only a few months old and with a very low stitch count. My dealer brought the machine and set it up for me and I've not had one issue with it. I love my machine and my dealer. She's always available to her customers for any reason.

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Old 12-15-2016, 11:08 AM
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I bought my Innova from the closest dealer (in Washington State) when I lived in Oregon. My in-store training was done on my machine head, set on another frame in the dealer's shop. I knew that machine was working and had a chance to become familiar with it before bringing it home. The dealer also partially assembled the frame, and showed us what needed to be done to complete the assembly, so that DH and I had no problems setting it up at home. I would have been extremely unhappy if the machine had been untested and I didn't find out until I got it home.
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