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Thread: I finally did some actual quilting on my Longarm

  1. #1
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    Well, I jumped in with both feet last night. I used a pantograph and it went ok. I had a few problems, but made some progress. My thread kept breaking because it winds around the pin above the spool. I found that the first place you thread through moves, so I am going to try moving it so it is directly over the top of the spool and see if that helps. My mom said to try that, but if that doesn't work to flip the spool over, maybe it is catching on the little notch.

    The only reason I didn't try that last night is that after the last thread break, I couldn't get the first stitches to lock. I did the stitch and then pulled the bobbin thread up to the top, then did a couple of stitches in the same place. I gave both threads a little tug and they didn't stick.

    After sleeping on it, I wonder if my bobbin is in backwards.

  2. #2

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    It can get really intmidating (sp?) wokring on the frame. May I suggest something? Before I start working on the frame, each time I start a new one and each time I rest and go back to it I have a practive piece at the very end that I "Warm up" on and get the feel back for the carriege and it also tells me if I need to make some adjustments to anything on the machine. What frame and machine are you working with?

  3. #3
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    So when you load your quilt you load a practice piece the same length at an end? That is a great idea. I did something similar last time, but it was shorter and I had to partially unload the quilt. But if I just put a sample strip at one end that would be much easier.

    I have an older Nolting SMS16 that is on a 14 foot frame.

  4. #4

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    My practive pice is about 8 inches across and runs 102 inches it stays loaded on the frame so that when I advance I still have it to the side.

  5. #5
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    So you have to at least partially reload it with each new quilt? I think I am going to do that too. I think my quilt is not loaded quite right anyway. I have a hard time with these old instructions figuring out which way the rollers are suppose to roll. Each time I look at it I have to refigure it out in my head.

  6. #6

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    Well I have to roll it each time. My rails use this tubing like IV tubing I just dont take it all the way out of the grooves. But yes each time I load I just roll it along with the new.

    As far as loading the frame. Here is what I did because I get confused as well. I typed up my instructions and took pictures along the way. I printed them out, laminated them and punched a hole in them and put them on a keyring that I hung on the end of the frame. So I have a picture pictorial to use as refrence and it stays fresh because its in laminate. IF you dont have a thermal laminator you can get the send sealing kind at wally or any office supply.

  7. #7
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    That's a great idea too. I'm really glad your online today.

    Thanks! :D

  8. #8

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    You are so welcome dear! I am glad you are here too. I dont know where the day has gone today, O my its alread 45:46 here. And I have not gotten much done at all today. O well I guess I deserve somewhat of a lazt day, yesterday I acomplished a lot.

  9. #9
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    You've been busy helping me! Relax and enjoy your day.

    The weather is warming her in MN finally. I'm going to go visit my daughter and granddaughter after work today. She's making a pork loin on the grill. Then home to try a few things, see if I can get this thing working smoothly for me.

  10. #10

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    Have fun with your family! It is starting to get really hot here in Mississippi. I think I need to drag out my shorts now. I have been putting it off but I think its time. Post pictures of your work and let us know how you are doing with the frame.

  11. #11
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    I will once I get a little further along with it. It doesn't look great, but at least I'm doing something with it. I think it will be interesting to see if each row gets a little better as I go along.

  12. #12
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Boy, have I been there. I have a Gracie full length but I had not heard of putting a practice strip on at the same time as the quilt. How do you do thst? I've only been quilting on the Gracie for a short time but I did put a big practice piece on first and sewed and sewed and sewe......d. I think I'm ready to put a good quilt on but procrastinate for fear that I'll ruin it. Say a prayer for me. And I've been sewing for seventy years.

  13. #13
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    I'm still having problems. My machine was still not put together right, but I think it is now. My boyfriend came over and switched two of the rollers and made a few adjustments, including lowering the whole works since I am only 5'3" and the lady I bought it from is about 5'9".

    It loads nicely now. I took my quilt out and put two ugly peices of fabric with batting in the middle and used black thread on top with a white bobbin so that I could see better what was happening. I think my top tension is too loose, but when I tighten it the thread breaks. Any suggestions?

  14. #14

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    You need to find a happy medium for both tensions top and bottom. And always remember when adjusting tensions to adjust very little, sew to check it, then adjust more as needed. I barely turn my screw for the bottom and barely turn the knob for the top.

    Also, have you oiled lately? Have you checked your needle and plate both for burrs? These are all things that can make thread break. What sized needle are you using and thickness of thread? For quilting on a frame I use a titanium blue jeans needle myself because the eye is bigger and I put some oil on a rag and oil the eye of the needle so it runs smooth as well. If you keep breaking top thread, try another spool of thread. Sometimes we can get bad spools. I know I have had a couple in the past. And would bread constantly. Changing the thread almost always worked when I had breakage problems.

  15. #15
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    I might be turning it too far. But I'm sure the tension needs adjustment because on the back side you can see the white thread never goes into the fabric, the black thread that I am using on top leaves loops on the back. So it looks like a white line with black loops around it. Then on the top, the stitches are all black, but large and fairly loose looking. You can pull them and get a loop on the top.

    I am going to the Twins game tonight, but Thursday I will be back at it again, trying to get the adjustments made so I can make some real progress.

    I will try changing the needle before trying again too, and try a little oil. You just never know.

    Thanks for the tips.

  16. #16

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    If you are having loops it could be one of two things. Either you do not have the bobbin winding the right way, or the tension is bad off. Take your machine of your frame if you can do so, if not then lodge it so it will not move and try sending some fabric through it. Make only slight small turns on your adjustments and try again. Also remember, each day you sew you need to apply a drop of oil in the bobbin area speciafied in your manual. One more thing, make sure that your machine is clean and free of lint and small pieces of old thread, this too can cause a machie to not sew properly.

    I wish the best of luck getting it all going ok. I am off to work on a custume now.


  17. #17
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    OK! I oiled the machine and loosened the tension quite a bit. Then I just started going back and forth and watching the back side. I tighted the tension little by little until I could see no black thread on the back. The thread didn't break, so it looks good. Until.....

    I ran out of bobbin. I changed the bobbin and now the tread keeps breaking again. must be the bobbin thread. I walked away. It was fun while it lasted. I actually made a pretty decent feather for my first attempt!

    I will go back to it tonight. I think I need to do a little each day for sure. So that I remember my lessons learned every day. So that I don't forget and have to relearn them. haha

    I will have to get lots of practice. I bought this machine to start a side business at home, as I work fulltime. Once I get good at it, does anyone have ideas on how to market it? I joined a machine quilters group, but they all have longarms and don't want to give me their customers..

  18. #18

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    Start getting customers by word of mouth. while you are learning make some quilted projects for family and friends and give them away. Always made a label for your quilt, and get yourself some business cards to pass around. After that you can do some projects and sell them on etsy or some site like that, you will be surprised how much work really will come your way. But until then practice, practice, practice.

  19. #19
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    A neighbor lady has one and I was talking to her and she said "You'll be surprised at how quickly this machine will pay for itself.

    I'm hoping that is true.. :-)

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiebooboo
    I have a hard time with these old instructions figuring out which way the rollers are suppose to roll. Each time I look at it I have to refigure it out in my head.
    I wrote on my leaders how to pin each piece and which way to roll it up. Seems to work for me.

    Donna

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    Try putting a new needle in your machine, sometimes a dull needle will cause it to break

  22. #22
    Super Member tellabella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiebooboo View Post
    Well, I jumped in with both feet last night. I used a pantograph and it went ok. I had a few problems, but made some progress. My thread kept breaking because it winds around the pin above the spool. I found that the first place you thread through moves, so I am going to try moving it so it is directly over the top of the spool and see if that helps. My mom said to try that, but if that doesn't work to flip the spool over, maybe it is catching on the little notch.

    The only reason I didn't try that last night is that after the last thread break, I couldn't get the first stitches to lock. I did the stitch and then pulled the bobbin thread up to the top, then did a couple of stitches in the same place. I gave both threads a little tug and they didn't stick.

    After sleeping on it, I wonder if my bobbin is in backwards.

    When you lock your stitches don't stay on the same spot..make tiny stitches close together til you feel they are secure.

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