Showing posts with label longarm quilting machine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label longarm quilting machine. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Can you see me now?

I've gone to great lengths to be able to see my stitches.   
I'm keeping it real....yeah, I'm a dork.


With or without the led lighting on my longarm machine,  sometimes, I have no idea where my stitches are going - I just cannot see them amongst the fabric.  I have a plan - but I can't see a darn thing.   And it isn't a vision thing...


My machine has a black light which I discovered -  and I kind of giggled with glee that it did...memories of night clubbing all over again...sigh. ( I really need to find those old Cure and Smiths cd's)

But my black light doesn't work on everything.... :( 
 blinded once again.  
I have tried turning all lights off, using my headlamp, etc.  Any suggestions from the audience out there?     

I discovered my headlamp is also great for checking my tension and stitches underneath the quilt.  

I also have a new secret.   Under this machine,  it is really quiet and a super great hiding spot...where no one can bother me.   It's now my number #2 spot behind shower time.  






Monday, February 25, 2013

Longarm Quilting Machine - assembly complete!

 A pictorial tour of the 4 hour assembly process of my new APQS Millennium!   I could have paid someone to come out and do it for me, but it was important for me to know the ins and outs of this setup...plus,  500 dollars can buy a lot of thread! ;-)  

 We did our setup in two sessions.

Session 1 after dinner:  
The big rail was mounted to the table legs. easy.

 Trent tightening everything up...

I got a hydraulic lift for the table -  being 6' tall, I thought it might help with posture and position over time.  Here I'm unravelling the lifts and getting them ready.


Figuring out how the brackets fit onto the lifts....

My amazing helper #2 putting the brackets on the lifts.   

Putting the crossbar connection support for the hydraulic motor, only to find out I put it on backwards.  The power box was different than in the manual diagrams and therefore we had to figure this out a bit on our own.   

Helper #1 and #2  tightening the hydraulic motor....

Me trying to figure out if we mounted them correctly -  the lift works, but I wished it would lift more..
Hydraulic lift installation - moderate difficulty. 
By this point, we were 'done' for the night.

So tired!!!
I'm still a bit unsure if I can adjust the hydraulic lift to go higher somehow, but in time I will figure it out.   I assembled it with my table legs adjusted in a comfortable 'base' position -  but the hydraulic lift has to lift that extra 5", but also loses that extra 5"to lift higher.   Not sure if that makes sense?  Maybe there is a way to mount it differently? 
 So my lift only really lifts a couple of inches instead of a lot of inches.  

Session 2:  a morning fresh start:

Helper #2 greeted me this morning with:  are we ready to setup Millie now?  Coffee first, buddy!

Felt pads on the crossbars to lay the pantograph table..very easy.

 Poser pretending like he is so accurate and careful in laying down the table. 

Helper #2 putting Millie's handles on...easy

 Assembling Millie's carriage - easy



 She's on the rails, and she moves and glides! - easy - you need two people to make sure the wheels all align when you slide her onto the carriage


 Trent doing some kind of connection. There were plugs to plug in and ground wires to mount. -easy

 Two of the leader bars have been put into place.  These were really easy to do except for silly errors.

We were cracking jokes at this point about the poles - there's a 'male' end and a 'female end to the poles, and sometimes we had to swing the 12 ft poles all the way around because we had the wrong end....so the jokes started flying.  You know the point you start getting giddy because you're tired and ready to be done?

 The brake was installed...

 Reading how to install the fabric advance.  This part we forgot to take photos of.  It was relatively easy.  The motor fits onto the 'male end' of the leader pole.   The only difficulty we came up with was the actual connection couldn't be tightened because the motor was in an awkward position.  Trent had the brainy idea to plug the motor in and advance the mechanism so it could fit properly.

 Loading a practice quilt.  Loaded it wrong...ha!
 I love my Millie!
I love my man...we did it!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Longarm Quilting Machine Unpacking

She came with a bow!   I don't want to take it off, ever!  
First thing I unpacked:
Update on my boxes: -  it looks so far like there is no visible damage to my items.  I did however, receive an extra table leg that was to be delivered to someone else.   I didn't realize it until I got the call from the freight company.   
My dealer Matt Sparrow -  is such a gem. I emailed him about the condition of the shipment and he called me immediately and talked me through it. 

The 8 boxes of items were not difficult to move. The 12 foot pole boxes were definitely heavy, and a two person job.   Before you even consider buying a longarm quilting machine - make sure it will fit into your space...by that I mean make sure you can get the 12 foot poles around stairs, corners, etc.   A 2x4 piece of lumber was recommended to test out if they will fit. 
Confession:  I cheated and used 3 hockey sticks taped together.   

Unpacking the boxes was fun.  Kind of like Christmas actually.   


I was supplied with a selection of threads of Aurifil,  Omni, Filtec, Superior, Signature and KingTut.
(I want to get my hands on some of the new Aurifil longarm quilting thread that was announced)  
I received two pantographs (12 foot long sheets of paper with an allover cool design on it.  You basically trace the design with a laser pen and the machine stitches it for you)
One thing I was very happy to receive was a sampler guide of batting.   It is only from one company (Pellon Legacy), but it is great to have a feel for what each type is like.  There's 100% cotton with and without scrim, wool, poly, rayon, soy and the 80/20 blends.   Now I know what kind to order without guessing! 


 Also received these cute stickie note pads.  I'm going to wallpaper my studio with them.

I was able to assemble not much on my own yesterday.  Poles and rails are heavy, but I did get a start on two things.

Here I am putting the cross bars in.  Yes, I put the damn timer on the camera and ran over to the space, tripping on my way....and still managed to smile and pose.  LOL


The instruction manual is NOT LIKE IKEA.  CHEER!!!  It is so thorough and detailed and dare I say easy.   But I only did a few things so far. 


The manual should state that you need lots of soap and or wipes in between steps.  :-) These are my hands after putting ONE crossbar on.  please don't judge my dry cracked hands...I live in such a dry place!


The next thing I was able to do was adjust the height of my table legs....that was easy.  

This next part looked easy, but when the instructions say 'may need a helper', they are right.  This is where I left off.  The ladder/rails are super heavy. See?  Not much done.

Also,  if you notice, the photos in my studio are all light and bright.  I had daylight fluorescent fixtures put in and I cannot believe how awesome it is down there now!   All of the photos were taken without a flash....awesomeness.

The rest of the setup will be assembled tonight and tomorrow with my husband.  I'm sure we'll have lots of laughs and snarky remarks as we put this thing together.   We never fight when we do this stuff as many people we know do.   We just resign ourselves to being feeble at it and laugh our way through it.  :-)  I love him for that.

I'm working on a quilt right now that I detest.  I've ripped the layout apart twice now, with hopes that this next layout will look better.  Thank god for the design wall to help me through it.  I'm just not into the colours or fabrics so it's making it a bit tough.  I want to share it with you for feedback and suggestions, but I have a feeling the recipient reads this blog on occasion.