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Thread: Janome Artistic Quilter 18

  1. #1
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Wondering if any of you have gotten a chance to see this yet; and if so, how much it is going for. It will be on display at my Janome dealer the month of May; but not sure I can get there with hubby's upcoming surgery.
    It is Janome's version of a longarm, and I think it is made by Tin Lizzy for Janome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
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    There was a picture and write up about it in my Quilter magazine I got this week. I think the suggest retail was just under $9000 or somewhere around there. I did look like a sweet machine, though.

  3. #3
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    It is a sweet machine...looks almost identical to my Tin Lizzie 18DSL I just got. I'm glad to see Janome finally came out with a longarm.

  4. #4
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    I just bought one and it's still in the boxes, it came with the Grace Majestic frame. I went to the show in Denver not quite two weeks ago and was really disappointed it wasn't there to test drive. I bought it over the phone from a sewing store in Texas and got a fantastic deal (way below the $9000). I did test out the Tin Lizzie's at the show and liked the way they felt. If your interested you might try calling or visiting Thomas Sewing Center in Mesquite, Tx. Their website is thomassewingonline.com. I dealt with Karen but all of the people there are really friendly and willing to help. Tin Lizzie does make these, and I found out they also make the Viking Mega Quilter 18. Another Handi Quilter dealer told me that HQ makes the Babylock Crown Jewel, interesting...

  5. #5
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    hi, was wondering if you have opened the box and started to use your Artistic 18?
    i purchased one about a month ago and am looking to find others so we could trouble shoot issues.
    Can't seem to get the answers i need from the dealer or Janome.

  6. #6
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi am setting machine up this afternoon got the frame done last weekend. Whatkind of problems are u having? Judy

  7. #7
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    even with the stitch regulator it does not stitch evenly. the top of the quilt doesn't look to bad, but the back is awful!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    If the back is awful, you are having tension problems. I recommend a Towa bobbin gauge to take out the guess work on the bobbin, then all you have to do is mess with your top thread tension. Good luck and enjoy the wide world or mid arm quilting.

  9. #9
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi, Set up the machine last night. Am wondering if I can ask you a few questions and also if you were able to adjust the tension to get it to stitch better. The first question is about the encoders...the back encoder is not touching the track, the side one seem to be riding fine and turning also. We noticed that when we screwed these onto the carriage they would only go in so far, no matter how many times we tried, and they are kinda loose, not snug up to the carriage. This morning I went to Joann's to see how they set up their Mega quilter 18 and whoever set up their machine put a wire between the head of the screw and the two plastic spacers to tighten it up snug to the carraige. Is this okay to do and should they be really snug to the carriage? I'm thinking this may solve the back encoder problem of not touching. 2nd question is my stitching was awful and I used the Towa bobbin gauge to check the bobbin tension and even though I adjusted the bobbin case screw nothing changed, it wasn't tightening up anything. I went online later and found if the bobbin thread is 'eyelashing' the top tension is too loose so I am going to try that shortly. Really hope you were able to fix your stitching problems. I will post later after doing some more testing with the top tension.

  10. #10
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    sorry to hear your also having some problems..it gripes me to NO END to pay this amount of money and the dealer and Janome don't really want to help.
    my encoders went on fine and seem to be working the right way. My machine is set up on the Pinnacle table, we had to buy an up grade to make it work. The Grace Co. are great helping me with anything to do on their end.
    Hubby said he followed the direction sheet, didn't have to do anything different than that.
    I just can't get the stitching to look uniform..the quilt loads great, no wrinkles etc.

  11. #11
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi and thanks for writing back. I have joined several longarm groups on Yahoo, different brands but the Tin Lizzie group says if you are trying to do the lizzie stitch and seem to be having problems it is either the tension, the encoders or the encoder wiring. Alot of the members have had to buy new wires but I am not sure how old their models are. Tin Lizzie had some problems with the old style encoders. I think the Lizzie stitch is our equivalent of the stitch regulator but not sure. Oh, and one more thing have you adjusted the needle in anyway? One of the groups said if the needle is slightly off that will affect the stitching also. Have you possibly taken a sample of the stitching to your dealer to show them what is going on? Just a thought.
    I double checked my instructions on installing the encoders and missed a crucial sentence. I have the Majestic frame and the back track needed to be pulled back as far as it would go (which, of course I didn't do) so I will need to take everything off and move that track back which will affect the front track and the table as well. So I am not sure of all the sticky stuff I put on the table, how that will turn out. The instructions said if the back track wasn't all the way back the encoder will not ride on the track, which it doesn't. Good luck Judy

  12. #12
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    Judy, don't worry about the sticky stuff when you re-do the table..we had to do the same. and even though some came off there was enough left on so that it didn't cause a problem.
    thanks for your tips, no i didn't touch the needle. heads up..if you need to wind a bobbin when not quilting, the directions don't tell you BUT you need to push the fast speed button! Took them 3 days to get to me on that gem.
    Guess it will just be practice practice till i figure it out. and yes, i did take a sample of my sewing to the dealer...BUT there quilt on the frame is MUCH WORSE than mine!
    of course, they didn't have one set up before i bought mine.
    Good luck, and just put on practice material till you have it set right. Oh by the way, my machine hates the larger cones of thread!!! it prefers the smaller ones.
    Happy stitching, Suzy

  13. #13
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi again,
    Dont' mean to bother you but wanted to let you know, if you already don't about the trunk show this coming week-end at the Sarasota/Bradenton airport in one of the hotels around there. DekKt's Out Quilting Supply will be putting it on with classes, supplies and a class on maintenance as well. I have emailed them and really hoping they will have the maintenance class again on Saturday, that's the only day I can go.
    Their website is www.dekktoutquiltingsupply.com
    email is dekkt.out@gmail.com. Their shop is in Ohio and travel around doing shows and classes. They are a certified dealer in Tin Lizzie 18 and said it is very similar to our and not only are they willing to help solve any problems but are willing to make house calls too. Steve will even set up the frame/machines for you from what I read.
    Well, I practiced this afternoon and for the most part it went really well. The bobbin miracously worked and the stitching looked really good. I did tighten the top tension knob a little and made sure that the tension lever was down (ouch!), I won't say how many times I forgot to lower that little jewel.
    When I changed gears, went from speed to ruler and cruise she balked, quite a bit so I am not sure if it's because the back encoder hasn't been fixed yet. She did work really well in the stitch mode. I did use the bigger cones and noticed that the pull coming off the cones was really tight, thread shredded a couple of times. I will try your advice and put on some smaller ones and see if that drag stops. Oh and thanks for that tip on the bobbin winder, I didn't know that.
    I do whole heartedly agree with you on the support issue. Spending this much money should at least give one a better manual, trouble shooting guide and dealer support. You wouldn't believe the reception I'm gotten from a couple of local's in the area about private lessons, guess they don't want the money and the Tin Lizzie dealer over in St.Pete said absolutely not, you didn't buy it from here. I just don't understand, don't they realize that if you help one customer they tend to buy more stuff there and spread the word? Judy

  14. #14
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I happened to think of something this morning and wanted to share it with you, maybe something for you to check. My regular sewing machine was stitching awful and I tried adjusting the tensions (both) until I was blue in the face. I lived near a really good dealer then and took my machine in to see him. He found it right away. Seems I had a small, tiny, thread stuck in the bobbin area where I couldn't see it and when he pulled it out I was shocked. It was lodged on the inside of the bobbin case between the thread slot and where it gets hooked around before exiting the case. I also took a maintenance class there as well and he said to take an index card and slide it in the tension disks to remove any build up or loose thread. Maybe this will give you a few more options to check. Good luck Judy

  15. #15
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    thanks Judy for all the info...i'm thinking of making the 50 mile treck to the dealer tomorrow. gosh i hate doing that.

    i didn't know about the show you told me about. sounds great.

    trying to figure if i want to load a quilt or something to play around with...just getting sick and tired of wasting good material, batting & thread.

    can't wait to be singing oh happy day!!! keep telling myself it will happen (lol)

    PS...did you take a leveler and make sure your table was level? my hubby said that was one of the things he found to help him.

    happy sewuing, Sue

  16. #16
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi Suzy,
    Yes, my sister helped me set everything up and she had a long level that we used. Everything looks good on that end. Am planning on tackling the table take-a-part tomorrow night. The people putting on the show this week-end emailed me and they are giving a beginner's class and probably a maintenance class on Saturday so I will try my best to get down there. Good luck, I know what you mean about that batting & material, thread. I went through 2 1/2 yards in no time yesterday so now have to figure out where to find $1 yd material that will work so I don't go broke just practicing.. lol Judy

  17. #17
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    lol...Judy i got in the linen closet and am using up all the twin sheet, since we no longer have twin beds.

  18. #18

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    Hi girls:
    I got my Artistic Quilter a month or so ago and I have torn my hair out ever since. I put it on a Bernina frame, as my dealer assured me it would fit on this frame I already owned. The trouble with the left to right encoder sounds a lot like what you guys are having. It kinda dangles there and it's hard to tell if it is actually "riding" on the rail. Thus the back and forth stitch regulation seems to work but the left right (back encoder) is all twitchy and sporadic. I have basically given up on the stitch regulation. Don't know what else to try. The eyelash on the back problem was solved by tightening the upper tension, a few more turns than you would think after making sure the bobbin tension is about right. Also the "speed" version works pretty well but it's zero to sixty in a heartbeat. You better be prepared for that. One of the reasons I got this was the ruler mode as my dealer sold this one and regulation tin lizzies. Sigh. It's a load of cash for no stitch regulation. Plus the machine was too low on the carriage so I had to put door stops under it to raise it. For 6,000 dollars it's kinda disappointing.

    M

  19. #19
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    sorry to have you join the Artistic Blues Club!

    my encoders seem to be fine. did you try putting a washer in between the screw and frame? also if you put white out on the encoder (just a little bit) you will be able to see it move much easier.

    think we've all learned that sales people will say anything to make a sale!

    try talking to the maker of the table...Grace Co. was wonderful in getting me an upgrade for the table i have.

    Good luck...i have someone coming out on tuesday to help me with mine.

  20. #20

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    Thanks Suzy. I appreciate your kind words of sympathy. If I discover any amazing work arounds, I'll be sure to post them here. Meanwhile I will continue to practice my lightspeed free motion quilting. :-)

    M

  21. #21
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Really sorry to hear someone else is having problems. Originally I couldn't get either the ruler mode or cruise mode to work and discovered the back encoder wasn't even touching the rail. After I adjusted the tracks and made sure the encoder was riding on the track it magically started working. The speed control should adjust the speed/stitch length while you are stitching in speed mode?? I would try backing that off and see if it slows down for you. Went to the show today in Sarasota and learned so much I am sooo glad I went. Good luck Judy

  22. #22
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    Judy,
    so awsome you made it to the show. needless to say i didn't. BUT...the dealer is sending someone out to the house on Monday to check things out.

    and on my own i set up an appt. with a teacher that will come to the house on Tuesday....Hope this is the beginging of happier days :-)

    Now that your encoders are touching how is your stitching? wondering if the back of yours looks better than mine.

    take care

  23. #23
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    Hi Suzy,
    Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I had to take a quick out of town trip. Ever since I adjusted the top tension and changed threads my stitching on both top and bottom have been fine. I am practicing the differences between the modes and speed/length ratio.
    Here are a couple of things I learned yesterday at the show talking to Steve. He said his preference for bobbin thread is Bottom Line and didn't recommend using anything smaller than a 40wt in the top. I was using 50/2 cotton quitling thread and was having problems with it breaking, (even though it was a very expensive brand). The top tension controls the bottom stitching and after I saw all those eyelashes I was having and adjusted the top it has sewn out fine. He also recommended using the Majic Genie washers in the bobbin too. (Posted on the quilting groups are all kinds of threads and bobbin threads that seem to work fine for others but for me, just starting off, I am going to take his advice until I get more comfortable and then want to experiment more). Also, I found out how absolutely wrong I was loading the quilt and that that also affected my stitching, so I have to reload and will try it again. I really hope between both of your visits that you will be able to get your problems solved and start enjoying her. Good luck Judy

  24. #24
    Member j3intampa's Avatar
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    LOL,
    Is your dealer willing to make a road trip to your house and verify the frame is a good fit? Like Suzy said, maybe an upgrade would be available. I think I would be calling my dealer to come take a look see for sure. Sorry to hear you are having problems, good luck Judy

  25. #25
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    Judy,
    thanks for the new tidbits about the thread, i took notes on that.

    Well Girls...my salesgirl came out this evening after work. She changed the tension to #3 and it is sewing so much better!!! She's a sweetheart for driving the distance to help me out.

    my stitching is still not the perfect uniform stitching that they promise for using the encoders. But hopefully with much practice it will get to where I'm happy with it.

    Keep me posted as to how things are working out for the both of you.

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