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Thread: Oh Dear...such a learning laughable moment with a long arm

  1. #1
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    Oh Dear...such a learning laughable moment with a long arm

    So I just got a Baby Locks Crown Jewel with a Pearl frame. Did one practice run with some cheap material. Was feeling confident (after figuring out how to adjust tension and get the bobbin in correctly) so decided to do my first quilt. My daughter started a t-shirt quilt in 2006 when she graduated from high school but never finished it, so I figured this would be the perfect quilt to do a practice run. I think I was more concerned about getting the tension correct and making sure my bobbin was good and really didn't think about how I was loading it on to the rollers. So, I have everything checked, did a few practice stitches to check tension, and felt I was good to go. After I finished my first round, I was ready to turn it to take it up. Well, don't you know it, I could turn the darn thing. Come to find out that I must of loaded it on backwards or something because it wouldn't turn. I ended up hand adjusting it up with each pass. It turned out ok but sure was a process. Don't think I want to make that mistake again. Now I need to figure out what my mistake was so I don't do it again. Has this happened to anyone else? I just keep telling myself that each "oops" is a learning experience.

  2. #2
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    First, congratulations on getting such a great machine! I've heard nothing but good things about the BL. Now, as for mistakes on a long arm, I've made so many it's unbelievable, although yours isn't one of them. I'm constantly amazed by the ladies here who just get their machine shipped to them and somehow manage to put it together and learn to use it on their own. I took private lessons to learn and honestly, I still call my dealer/instructor with at least one question pretty much every time I use my machine. I just don't have the natural talent that many others have, but I do have tenacity on my side!

    Have fun learning! I'd love to hear how it's going and see pictures as you learn.

  3. #3
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new machine and go for it girl!!

    That actually was not as bad as I had anticipated when I read the title of the post. At least it was "fixable"! We all have had our moments like that. I have a Voyager on a Hintenberg frame and my "reoccurring" error is that I get in such a hurry to advance my fabric, that I sometimes have forgotten to put down the presser foot. THAT make a big mess but I have unfortunately done it enough times that I can hear and feel the differences within a few stitches.

    You will have lots of fun I am sure with your new machine - hopefully this is the only snafu that you have!!
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Search youtube for "Loading a quilt on a longarm" and you will have plenty of videos to help you.

  5. #5
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new set up!!! I have the same machine and frame, I love it. Not sure where you went wrong with the loading. Did you pull up the little black tabs on the ratchets?

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    I think it is how I am pinning on to the cloth leaders and the way I turned it when loading. It seems like my pinning is awkward on the leaders. The directions said to have the front of the leaders facing the back of the machine then pin right side to right side. Then turn the backing and quilt rollers towards the center. Is this how you do it? So I am wondering which way the cloth leaders should face before starting and how to pin the material on to them. It is a great machine and now the user needs to get up to par.

  7. #7
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    Try looking for the red sticks that are used instead of pinning....I can't remember the name, I saw them on a u-tube video and sent the info to my friend that has a long arm. She bought them and raves about the ease of loading with no more pins...takes less than 10 minutes to load a large quilt! Red Snappers????

  8. #8
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    Thank you..I will start an internet search for them. I saw one tutorial on you tube that had zippers instead of pins...oh how I want anything that saves time and is easy...thank again

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    Renae's Red Snappers is what you're looking for and they are sold at quiltsonthecorner.com. I just bought some and I love them!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Red Snappers, Mondo Clips, and Leadergrips are all very similar products. Also, one thing that I didn't know for a long time that messed me up is the direction. Your quilt should be loaded in such a way that it makes an S. It goes over the top of the front roller bar and under the rear roller bar.

  11. #11
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    RE:Red Snappers. I got the clear equivalent (leadergrips maybe?) at a quilt show a few months ago. I got home and sewed a channel into my leader cloths, then went to put them in and realized it wouldn't work for me because I don't have enough room beside my long arm (the room is 14ft, the long arm frame is 10ft) to connect the pieces with the heat gun then slide them in. I've gotten used to pinning now and it really doesn't take me too long so it's okay, but that's one more lesson I learned the hard way. I tend to learn a lot of my lessons that way...

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    Thank you, and I just peeked at your blog. I love your work! It was fun watching you and makes me want to get some rulers. All in good time.

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    LOL Nilla, seems like I learn the lessons the hard way too. Seems like people are talking a foreign language until I try something, make a mistake and then can say "oh that is what they meant" I heard learning new things will keep our brains sharp!

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nilla View Post
    RE:Red Snappers. I got the clear equivalent (leadergrips maybe?) at a quilt show a few months ago. I got home and sewed a channel into my leader cloths, then went to put them in and realized it wouldn't work for me because I don't have enough room beside my long arm (the room is 14ft, the long arm frame is 10ft) to connect the pieces with the heat gun then slide them in. I've gotten used to pinning now and it really doesn't take me too long so it's okay, but that's one more lesson I learned the hard way. I tend to learn a lot of my lessons that way...
    Couldn't you take the leaders off the frame, slide the leadergrips in, then put the leaders back on?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Couldn't you take the leaders off the frame, slide the leadergrips in, then put the leaders back on?
    Well that would have been an option, but needless to say I didn't think about it and now I've gotten used to pinning. Sometimes it's hard being me....

  16. #16
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    I think I learn something new about my longarm each time I use it. Grads on your longarm and finishing your quilt.
    Beate Keith

  17. #17
    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    Are you, by any chance, left handed....My son is my LAmer, and he is left handed. He can't teach me one single solitary thing--everything in his mind is back-assards to me.....When I get ready to quilt, I have to pull out my CD or DVD (whatever) on my machine and watch it. Add two hours to my loading time for that little step.....and needless to say, I wait a lot for him to get over here and do some quilting for me. Sometimes I just don't feel like "learning", so I go out and start piecing another quilt. or go load the dishwasher, or bake some cookies.....

    Congratulations on your acquiring a LA, and learning to use it.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtnquiltinglady View Post
    Are you, by any chance, left handed....My son is my LAmer, and he is left handed. He can't teach me one single solitary thing--everything in his mind is back-assards to me.....When I get ready to quilt, I have to pull out my CD or DVD (whatever) on my machine and watch it. Add two hours to my loading time for that little step.....and needless to say, I wait a lot for him to get over here and do some quilting for me. Sometimes I just don't feel like "learning", so I go out and start piecing another quilt. or go load the dishwasher, or bake some cookies.....

    Congratulations on your acquiring a LA, and learning to use it.
    try standing directly in front of him, facing him when he shows you something. This is how a lot of left-handed quilt teachers teach.

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    got my Gammill in April, had knee surgery about 3 weeks ago (until then basically could not stand for long, but did get a practice "picnic quilt" played with). Thought I was all ready to roll after the plain practice quilt where I did "everything" only to find that the tension was wacky on it. Of course did not figure that out until I'd already put a practice/charity quilt on the frame and had even worse tension! Spent 2 days looking at all the directions, DVD's, and YouTube on tension I could lay hands on and finally noticed that, duh!, I had the darn thing loaded wrong (the backing and batting were about 4in away from the top!). So unpinned, unsewed, and started over. Not bad--still have lots of problems with my start/stop knots! Then loaded another practice/charity quilt 2 days ago and same problems even after all the adjustments on the last quilt! Took 45 min to figure out that the thread was not "flossed" in the intermediate tension--once I figured that out, it's been fine. Just seems like a lot to remember to do--when I got my new domestic machine 3 years ago I no longer had to check/adjust stuff like with my old machine and now I'm back to that routine with my longarm! But sure love to quilt on it instead of domestic machine, so it's sure worth it. Think I need to develop a check list like airplane pilots do though!

    Any tips for the start/stop issues? just looks sloppy and otherwise it's not secure.

  20. #20
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    Congrats. on your new machine..how fun...Isn't that how we learn is by our mistakes...Now you know, Just think how much fun the next quilt will be...

  21. #21
    Senior Member AlaskaAlice's Avatar
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    Yes! Congrats! How fun! It sounds like you are learning quickly...I have an old Pfaff 1200 quilter..love it when it is set up and I can just sew like dancing and swinging out the curves, feathers, hearts and vines..Sometimes I get in a hurry and forget to do a tension check or ? but most of the time it works pretty fun, would love to have a longer arm and be able to not roll so often and do bigger spaces!

  22. #22
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    Each time I load it does get easier and I sure know to check that it can roll up before I start quilting. I certainly agree that a check list would be very handy to have. So much to learn and remember but so fun once everything is set! I hate dealing with the tension but I hope as I get more experience, I will really have a "feel" for the correct tension and it will not be so time consuming.

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