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Wow, learning to longarm has a tough tough tough learning curve

Wow, learning to longarm has a tough tough tough learning curve

Old 05-20-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thanks for the great suggestions... dancing mmmm, that could be a royal treat -- no Youtube videos please. The glass of wine might be the best suggestion. The needle is new as we watched them take it out of the package and put it in the machine while we were there.

It was the floor model and our instructions consisted of several staffers offering suggestions and saying to call them if there were problems. We'll have to talk with them some more but that weekend (when we picked it up) was awful as my Dad was in hospital from having a stroke and we picked it up in a super fast hurry. Dad is staying with us for a short time so I haven't gotten to play as much as I would like.

The tension has been adjusted several different times and I think we may have that fixed. The thread is what they said they always used in those machines.

We have a couple charity quilts to practice on but I'd be embarrassed to tears if we did the work on them like we're seeing right now. I know we can do this because my DH & I can do anything we put our minds to do. Now where oh where did we put our minds?
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:29 PM
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Oh no... I'm shooting myself in the foot reading this post I just know it! I'm impatiently waiting for my drywall to be finished in my quilting room. My machine is sitting on the dining room table for the moment. I fully expect to have the same 'trouble' you do... so I'm definitely going to refer to the many helpful posts on this thread. You guys make a great cheering section!
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:22 PM
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Keep working on it, don't give up, I rather do free hand than use a lazer, I took a LA class on patterns and the first thing our instructer told us was buy a dry erase board to practice on. practice your patern on it over and over to teach your brain how to do it. Then try it on a quilt sandwitch. It really works well. I tryed to make feathers for over a year and never got them right, after using the board for about a week, about an hour a day I can make feathers, 4 kinds of leafs. all kinds of ropes, vines, flowers, and a lot more odds and ends, They are not show quality but I'm not ashamed to show off my quilts now.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:28 AM
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The tension also breaks thread. I can't sew a straight line either, I laser pantographs all the time.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:17 AM
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This video was put out by a different long arm company, but explains needles, thread and tension very well. This would be good for any machine you own, all the important things to know to stop breakage, loops, eyelashing, etc

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:20 AM
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I had a mega quilter and a inspira frame. I went through everything you are talking about. Very furstrating. I finaly got the hang of it and everything just fell into place. Just keep playing with it. They have videos on utube that may help. I don't have it anymore, decided it took up too much room and sold it on ebay. After all that...
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:23 AM
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OK. Relax. You are right. There is a learning curve. Tension varies according to the thread and bobbin thread. It is easy to adjust once you get past the mind-set of a DSM where a little alteration goes a long way. On the top, turn at least 90 degrees to expect to see any change. Problem (eg, eyelashes) showing on the top? bobbin. Problem on the bottom? top thread tension. The quilt is not to be loaded too tight. You should be able to poke the quilt from the bottom and still squeeze your finger from the top (I know, clear as mud). Keep your elbows tucked into your body and keep your knees somewhat bent, not locked in position. And play. what looks awful to you will still be loved by someone if it's a charity quilt. To help with straight lines, use a ruler made for LA machine quilting. Check out the gadget girls' website, for rulers. Check out Superior Threads for threads as well as lots of information about the threads for LA quilting. Don't be afraid to practice, practice, practice.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:20 PM
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nyc... I understood exactly what you meant about finger poking...that is scary lol. Gadget girls website is pretty cool..thanks for that info too.

Too bad I have to work full time or I'd probably be good (or at least gooder ) by now.

Thanks again for the suggestions...keep'm coming too please
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:51 AM
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Friend and I took lessons and now rent time to use long arm machines. My mentor is still in the room whenever something goes wrong. I still do a lot of swirls. It has gotten better with time. I've got a couple of tops to do where I'm planning to expand my skills. Going to put pen to paper to practice what I want on the quilt.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:07 AM
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Yep. Been there and still doing that! I'm still struggling with tension and thread and even something as simple as.bringing up the bobbin thread. Straight lines are what DSM and rulers were made for so they cause me too much stress, especially if I can just avoid having to stitch a straight line! I started last fall without a laser or pantographs. I tried the laser a few months ago and detested it, but quilting is not one size fits all, so if it works for you, keep at it. And doodle, doodle, doodle! I was never a doodler although I always liked to draw. Now I draw in notebooks, large tablets, on whiteboards, and on my niece's Magnadoodle.

Good luck and keep at it!
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