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Long arm quilting question

Long arm quilting question

Old 04-14-2014, 05:57 PM
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Default Long arm quilting question

How can I gain better control on the free motion side of my machine. It just seems like when I go to work over there that the machine has a mind of its on. I'd like to be able to follow some patterns but the machine just wants to jump around whether I have the stitch regulator on or not. Help!!!
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:07 PM
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Mine does that too - it really takes practice (that is like a four letter word) - then you learn how your machine works and how quick you need to move for curves and straight lines. Sometimes it looks like I am drunk when I am quilting - other times it looks like I know what I am doing (just a lucky day). I look at some longarmers work and I have no idea how they do it - mine looks ok from a distance - but up close you can see my heart beat or hiccup in every stitch so I know how you feel.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 0tis View Post
Mine does that too - it really takes practice (that is like a four letter word) - then you learn how your machine works and how quick you need to move for curves and straight lines. Sometimes it looks like I am drunk when I am quilting - other times it looks like I know what I am doing (just a lucky day). I look at some longarmers work and I have no idea how they do it - mine looks ok from a distance - but up close you can see my heart beat or hiccup in every stitch so I know how you feel.
I saw your feathers the other day. They looked great!! I'm glad to know that I'm not alone though. I think I am just so nervous on that end. I hate to mess up!
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:45 PM
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I think my long arm is not balanced good. It actually comes toward me [turned off] when I put it in the middle of the frame, it will just start coming toward me. I've gotta get husband's level and check it. Maybe that is your problem.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:47 PM
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I'm new to longarm quilting, and am always looking for ways to improve my quilting. I've found that when I slow down my stitching improves. I just purchased Deborah Poole's book "You can quilt it", and one of her recommendations (besides slowing down) is to put some weight on the throat plate (I don't quite understand how to do that), or lower the take-up bar to rest on the throat plate. I plan to try doing this on my next quilt.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:52 PM
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I am FAR from an expert at this but have been told as already mentioned to be sure it's level. Also, you can't have any lint (NONE) in the wheels , tracks etc. and must be sure there isn't even a tiny bit in your bobbin case. It helps if you can actually relax your hold on the machine and remember to breathe! Are you getting good stitches? I have a hard time with my machine tension every time I change threads. Good luck and don't give up! It really is fun. Get yourself some cheap fabric - you don't have to like it - and practice on it. Did you know that batting has a right and wrong side up? Maybe not all of it, but a lot does. Someone else will probably address that. Above all, have fun with it.

An after thought - don't wind the quilt and backing so tight things bounce off it. Too tight causes problems.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dmnorden View Post
I'm new to longarm quilting, and am always looking for ways to improve my quilting. I've found that when I slow down my stitching improves. I just purchased Deborah Poole's book "You can quilt it", and one of her recommendations (besides slowing down) is to put some weight on the throat plate (I don't quite understand how to do that), or lower the take-up bar to rest on the throat plate. I plan to try doing this on my next quilt.
I'll try that. Maybe if I roll it down to where the front bar is touching the machine, it will hold it to where it can't move unless I move it. Now, that sounds reasonable. Maybe I need to get that book! thanks for the info. It's got me thinking.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:08 PM
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I truly believe some of it depends on the machine you have. I currently have two different brands, also used to own a third brand, and each one behaves a little bit differently. With some of them I have better control over going fast, some of them going slow, some with the stitch regulator on, some with it off. I also once quilted on a friend's machine, WELL know, highly advertised brand, and it looked like a kindergartener quilted on it! And this was after I had 5+ years experience and had won awards with quilts quilted on my machine. Try different speeds, with/without SR, etc, and see if you can find what works for you. And it also takes experience - the longer you do it, the easier it gets, so don't give up! Just practice, practice, practice!!

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Old 04-14-2014, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by katkat1946 View Post
I am FAR from an expert at this but have been told as already mentioned to be sure it's level. Also, you can't have any lint (NONE) in the wheels , tracks etc. and must be sure there isn't even a tiny bit in your bobbin case. It helps if you can actually relax your hold on the machine and remember to breathe! Are you getting good stitches? I have a hard time with my machine tension every time I change threads. Good luck and don't give up! It really is fun. Get yourself some cheap fabric - you don't have to like it - and practice on it. Did you know that batting has a right and wrong side up? Maybe not all of it, but a lot does. Someone else will probably address that. Above all, have fun with it.

An after thought - don't wind the quilt and backing so tight things bounce off it. Too tight causes problems.
I've tried to remember all of this stuff. Sometimes, I just have to go through and check to make sure all of them have been done. I'm going to devote a lot of time to learning how to control this baby. I want to get super good at that end of the machine. Just for me!!! Thanks for all the helpful advice.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:06 PM
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If your machine is jumping around a lot, you might need to weight it down. I have a friend who had to hang a weight off the front end of hers, it did help a lot with the machine bouncing.
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