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Thread: Help!! Issues with my long arm!

  1. #1
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Help!! Issues with my long arm!

    Yeeeeeooooowwww!!! I am so new to long arm quilting and I am getting so frustrated!! I have the 30 inch Nolting Pro. I quilted a quilt last week and it was perfect. I put another quilt in and I am getting some long stitches every now and then. I'm talking some of them are 5 stitches long!!!! I don't know which way to turn. I have cleaned my tracks for any lint, threads, etc. I have tried to adjust my tensions. I'm still getting them. But, not as often. So, I dragged out the owners manual. I'm wondering if maybe it might be because I used a high loft batting on this quilt where I have been using Hobbs 80/ 20. I know that changing threads can often cause problems. So, could the batting be my problem??? Any body have any suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    What kind of material is it? If it is Batiks, it may be the needle. I quilted a Batick quilt once and had some longer stitches until I changed the needle to a smaller size needle. I normally use a size 18 needle on my PQS Freedom but if I do a Batik quilt, where the material is tighter woven, then I switch to a size 16 needle. It is certainly worth a try for you to switch to a size smaller needle than what you have in your Nolting right now and see if that solves the problem.

  3. #3
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Call a Nolting dealer. When I have problems with mine, they can usually talk you thru how to fix it yourself. My dealer has helped me many times.

  4. #4
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    I am very new to longarm quilting too but I say yes, batting changes do affect the stitches. I found this out very quickly when I tired to use very cheap lofty batting to practice when I first got my machine. Didn't want to waste good batting. But I was very frustrated with the outcome - horrible tension issues, etc. Changed to good batting and all problems were fixed. A couple of long frustrating days before I tired it. I will never use cheap batting again. I like the warm and Natural or Hobbs 80/20.

  5. #5
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    I think it's a needle issue, too. I'd put in a new needle and try that, even if all I had available to me was the same size. So sorry you are having a problem.

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    So sorry, not sure what the problem could be, Probably contacting Nolting would be your best bet.

  7. #7
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    First, your best source of info is Nolting or your dealer. I am sure they can walk you through your issue. Your first course of action is to call them from a phone where you can easily access your machine while talking to them so they can walk you trhough step by step what to try.

    Some things to expect...
    Does your take up bar need to be adjusted for the higher loft batting?

    Another thing, perhaps your stitch regulator encoders need a cleaning. I take a q-tip with rubbing alcohol and gently clean the encoder wheel that rides on the rails, make sure you turn it to clean all sides and make sure you get both the front to back encoder and the side to side.

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Can you tell whether your long stitches are caused by the needle going down and not making a stitch, or by the needle not going down at all? In the second case, it's probably the encoder wheels that aren't making good contact, so the stitch regulator (assuming you are using one) doesn't know how fast you're going. In the first case, it could be the needle.

  9. #9
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I did change the needle. And, that wasn't the problem. I just consulted with my dealer and she told me it might be the batting. But, she thinks that maybe I had my quilt too tight. Or, my bar too high and had my quilt out of line. After the thunder storm passes, I'm going to try and see if that helps. Wish me luck!
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  10. #10
    Junior Member sandyquilts's Avatar
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    You might want to join the Nolting yahoo longarm group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nolting_longarm_quilters/
    Sandy
    http://sandyquilts.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's also possible that the needlebar needs to be adjusted up slightly to accommodate the higher loft batting. I don't know about Nolting, but that is an adjustment that can be done on my Voyager.

  12. #12
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    An easy way to tell of it's the encoders vs a skipping issue is to check to see if there are needle holes between stitches.

    If yes, then it's skipping stitches and you need to troubleshoot tension of the quilt, take up bar height, needles, etc.
    If no needle holes between stitches, it's stitch regulator related.

    HTH

  13. #13
    Super Member Ruby the Quilter's Avatar
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    if the bar is too high it can result in the long stitches, if it is too low then the thread breaks - at least that is how it is for my Tin Lizzie.
    Quilting in the Desert

  14. #14
    Gay
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    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    This was the post I gave to someone else yesterday with the same complaint, though I have to say I think the machine itself is beautiful to use, and I love it.

    Your problem may be the weight [too light] of the encoders on the tracks, they do not press down hard enough, this in turn affects the stitch regulater. I bought a TL 18 few years ago and had the same happen to me. Sometimes the needle would stay down in the fabric for 5/6 stitches, and it took me nearly 3 yrs to find the cause and fix, both encoders were involved. I bought some mechano-like bits from the hardware store and attached to the back of the carriage, then wedged some styro chunks between that and the tops of the encoders. It has fixed my problem. Even the shop I bought it from wouldn't admit to knowledge of this. I was sent new encoders, but the same again. The dealer must have known about it, because now , at the shows, they have a new carriage with different encoders. You should be very persistant in making your dealer fix this or return your money. [easy for me to say] But these things cost too much money to have so much trouble.
    Will try posting a photo of my encoders, yours may not be the same.

    Hope this helps you, it nearly drove me nuts.
    Name:  Encoder 1.jpg
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  15. #15
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I think it may be the needle. I change my needle with each quilt. I took a class and this was recommended and so have done it since the beginning of longarming and rarely have any problems.

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