Finding Confidence for Longarm Quilting

Posted by on May 9, 2017

myrl

We Learn By: Observation, Imitation, Repetition

—Denis Waitley

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

—Helen Keller

Here’s some inspiration to help you along your quilting journey!

Attend quilt shows.

Volunteer at shows.

Take pictures.

Take classes including internet subscriptions.

Sketch what you see.

Doodle.

Make an inspiration notebook.

Do charity quilts.

Join quilting groups.

Join the longarm group on Facebook.

Pinterest is a great resource.

Subscribe to magazines that teach about quilting skills, not only piecing skills (be selective).

Be patient with yourself.

Teach what you have learned.

Save your practice pieces (you will feel encouraged about your progress when you see how far you’ve come).

Go away from your work when you are tired. It always looks better when you are rested.

Use positive self-talk. Shun negative self-talk (I am capable. I am confident. I know with time and effort I can achieve. Each step is taking me to where I want to be.)

Practice. Practice. Practice!

 

Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Wandering Patterns while Nesting

Posted by on May 13, 2016

shutterstock_366697169

When nesting patterns start to “wander” there are a few issues to consider.

1-First is to note before putting the quilt onto the frame if the quilt is square and if the borders lay flat. If borders are stretched or not attached appropriately they will be “wavy” and cause problems rolling the quilt evenly.

2-Second, after the quilt backing is pinned onto the leaders roll the entire quilt back onto the take-up rail so that the leader is extended completely out. Roll the backing back onto the lower rail until the other leader is extended out. This makes sure that the leaders are rolled evenly and not causing your quilt to roll unevenly. I sometimes have to do this two or three times to get everything even.

3-Next make sure that the top and bottom centers of the quilt are matched with the center of the leaders. This will help with keeping the quilt square on the frame.

4-When basting the quilt top onto the batting and backing make sure that it is perpendicular with the take up rail and not crooked. I highly recommend basting the sides of the quilt when you are nesting. (You will baste the sides as you roll.) This secures the quilt and helps to tame any wavy borders. Baste sides with a long stitch about 1 stitch per inch.

5-Now everything is square and secure check the cables. The Y axis cable bracket likes to slip because of the powder coating. When the bracket is not level with the carriage it will cause a Y error or cause the pattern to stitch out incorrectly. Roughing the bracket up with fine steel wool will make it less slippery and it will stay in place better.

6- It is best to get out of the habit of leaning on the quilting frame or quilt while it is on the frame. Leaning will change the position of the pattern box and pattern.

I hope this is helpful. Happy quilting!

Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips

Why do my patterns always come up the wrong way in computerized quilting boxes?

Posted by on November 13, 2015

It’s the way you have selected your pattern box. You either did not select the left most point of the base line or you did not go counter clockwise. You need to re-select the pattern box and start over.

In digitizing software you are designating the bottom of the pattern just by drawing it right side up. Then when you import the pattern into the quilting machine the computer knows where the bottom is. You have to tell the computer somehow how to place the pattern into the pattern box so that the bottom is where you want it. Therefore, select the left most point of the baseline first and work your way around the pattern box counterclockwise.

Pay attention now because here is the tricky part that can fool you.

As quilters have triangles around the edge of the quilt the baseline of the triangle will stay at the left most point of the base of the triangle. That first point you are selecting will rotate with the triangle around the edge of the quilt. Sooooooooo—the bottom triangle first point will be appearing to be on the left. The triangles that are on the right side of the quilt will have the first point at the bottom. (Still is the left most point of the baseline). The triangles at the top of the quilt will have the first point on the right. (Still it is the left most point). The triangles on the left of the quilt edge will have the left most point at the top.

Take a look at this quilt and see.

SCREEN1

SCREEN2

Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Thread Breakage and Tension

Posted by on September 25, 2015

shutterstock_100413079

The very first thing I would do when thread keeps breaking is change the needle and check the threading path. Make sure the thread is not catching on any of the thread guides or looping under the thread stand. Make sure the thread is going through the thread guide directly above the spool first, pulling the thread off the top of the spool. Another problem with thread breakage is the tensions are too tight. The bobbin and need thread tensions need to be equal. If the bobbin tension is too tight, then the needle tension has to be tight to balance it and that can cause breakage in the needle thread.

Here is what I understand about tension. First of all, it is a tug of war. If you remember as a child playing tug of war the goal was to pull harder than the other team to get the center flag onto your side of the field. In achieving good tension on the sewing machine we want the tensions to be equal and that “flag” to stay in the center. There is no magical number for the tensions, but keeping the tensions equal is the goal. For this reason I always teach adjusting the bobbin tension first, then adjusting the needle tension to match that. I like my bobbin tension fairly loose. By that I mean when laying the bobbin case in the palm of your hand you are able to lift the bobbin case up onto its side holding the thread that is placed in the tension strap, but not in the “piggy tail.” (The piggy tail is the little spiral shaped wire on the front of the bobbin case. I place the thread in the piggy tail when I have finished adjusting the bobbin tension.) As you pull your hand away from the bobbin case it should gently fall with your hand. There should be tension felt, but it should drop gently, not like a rock. If the bobbin case does not move or has to be shaken down it is much more difficult to achieve a balanced tension. If the bobbin case does not drop, turn the tension adjustment screw (the large screw) left 3 to 5 minutes as on a clock. If is drops like a rock, turn the tension adjustment screw right 3 to 5 minutes and try the test again.

Test the tension by sewing a figure 8. Examine the result. Has the stitch locked inside your project? Yay! You got it. Can you see the bobbin thread peeking out on top? If so, then loosen the needle tension by turning the adjustment knob counter clockwise. The needle tension is MUCH less sensitive than the bobbin tension strap. Turn the tension adjustment knob AT LEAST one full turn when making adjustments. Can you see the needle thread peeking out underneath the project? If so, then tighten the needle tension by turning the adjustment knob clockwise at least a full turn. Pay no attention to the numbers on the knob. Use them to know if your turned a full or half turn.

ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THE NEEDLE THREAD IS FLOSSED INTO THE TENSION DISCS. The thread may appear to be in the discs when in reality it is only resting on the edge of them.

Please note that the thread may be hampered by lint from moving smoothly. Take a business card and slip it under the tension strap to clear any possible culprits from under it. Use a brush to clean inside the tension discs that the needle thread runs through.

There are many elements that effect tensions.

Thread weight and drag. Weight is indicated by # and a number or WT and a number. #40 to #60 (40 WT to 60 WT) are common weights used in quilting. The higher the number, the finer the thread. To add to the confusion there is another measurement of thread called TEX. This measurement is the opposite. You will see it on the label as TEX and a number like TEX 30. The higher the number, the heavier is the thread. TEX 30 is close to #40. This method of measurement is less common. I prefer using a three ply thread. Stay away from the serger threads because they aren’t as strong as they need to be for quilting.

  • You should be using equal or less weight and drag in your bobbin than is in the needle.
  • Drag is caused from thickness of thread or loose fibers. When cotton thread is created fibers are twisted together leaving small ends. That is why people sing the praises of Long Egyptian cotton because the fibers are longer and leave fewer ends. These ends drag on the tension disc and strap and increase the tension. There is nothing wrong with this, but you need to be aware of what is happening and that you need to loosen the tension.
  • Polyester thread is one continuous fiber, often twisted over a core of polyester. It has less drag because of the lack of loose ends. A wonderful combination is Cotton like King Tut in the needle and a nice polyester like PeraCore in the bobbin. Having less drag in the bobbin makes it easier to get better tension.
  • There are other threads that are REALLY slippery. An example are the trilobal threads that are polyester, but the fibers have been forced through something like a sieve to create three sides. Three fibers are twisted together to make these threads shine. They are very slippery and have very little drag. You need to tighten the tensions on these.

Another element influencing tension is batting. The thicker the batting, the easier it is to get the stitch to lock inside the project. If the project is thicker there is more wiggle room for the stitch to lock.

  • 100% cotton batting is among the thinnest battings and requires a little more adjustments to get great tensions.
  • High loft polyester is among the thickest and easiest to achieve perfect tension.
  • I love the 60/40 blends. That is 60% cotton and 40% polyester. It has the finished look of cotton, but is easier to get the adjustments on tension because it is a bit thicker.

Fabric density also effects tensions.

  • Think of the difference of Home Spun or flannel type fabric as opposed to 800 count sheets. The fibers are more densely woven in the sheets making is harder for the needle to pull the thread through the fabric. Try to match your quilt top and quit backing to be the same type of fabric so you aren’t battling the loose weave/tight weave battle.
  • Painted fabric also requires the needle thread to pull harder to get the threads to lock. An example of painted fabric is batik.
  • None of these are “bad” fabrics. It is just important to know what adjustments need to be made to be successful.

There are some mechanical items to notice to make sure all is in proper order with your machine. There is a check spring attached to your tension unit where the needle thread runs through. It is important that the thread is in this check spring. Its job is to lock the stitch by pulling on the thread. Notice that when you pull on the needle thread near the needle the check spring will move. If it is not moving, check to make sure the tread is running through the check spring. Also check to make sure that the check spring is positioned at about 11 o’clock. If it is not in the correct position, you will be able to adjust it slightly by using a screw driver in the center screw of the tension unit and turning it in the direction that is needs to move.

Hope this is helpful. Let us know.

Myrl Breinholt
Education Coordinator

Filed under: Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips

A Discussion on Tension

Posted by on September 2, 2015

shutterstock_151206683 Here is what I understand about tension.  First of all, it is a tug of war.  If you remember as a child playing tug of war the goal was to pull harder than the other team to get the center flag onto your side of the field.  In achieving good tension on the sewing machine we want the tensions to be equal and that “flag” to stay in the center.  There is no magical number for the tensions, but keeping the tensions equal is the goal.  For this reason I always teach adjusting the bobbin tension first, then adjusting the needle tension to match that.  I like my bobbin tension fairly loose.  By that I mean when laying the bobbin case in the palm of your hand you are able to lift the bobbin case up onto its side holding the thread that is placed in the tension strap, but not in the “piggy tail.” (The piggy tail is the little spiral shaped wire on the front of the bobbin case.  I place the thread in the piggy tail when I have finished adjusting the bobbin tension.)   As you pull your hand away from the bobbin case it should gently fall with your hand.  There should be tension felt, but it should drop gently, not like a rock.  If the bobbin case does not move or has to be shaken down it is much more difficult to achieve a balanced tension.  If the bobbin case does not drop, turn the tension adjustment screw (the large screw) left 3 to 5 minutes as on a clock.  If is drops like a rock, turn the tension adjustment screw right 3 to 5 minutes and try the test again. Test the tension by sewing a figure 8.  Examine the result.  Has the stitch locked inside your project?  Yay!  You got it.  Can you see the bobbin thread peeking out on top?  If so, then loosen the needle tension by turning the adjustment knob counter clockwise.  The needle tension is MUCH less sensitive than the bobbin tension strap.  Turn the tension adjustment knob AT LEAST one full turn when making adjustments.  Can you see the needle thread peeking out underneath the project?  If so, then tighten the needle tension by turning the adjustment knob clockwise at least a full turn.  Pay no attention to the numbers on the knob.  Use them to know if your turned a full or half turn. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THE NEEDLE THREAD IS FLOSSED INTO THE TENSION DISCS.  The thread may appear to be in the discs when in reality it is only resting on the edge of them.  Please note that the thread may be hampered by lint from moving smoothly.  Take a business card and slip it under the tension strap to clear any possible culprits from under it.  Use a brush to clean inside the tension discs that the needle thread runs through. There are many elements that effect tensions.

  1. Thread weight and drag.  Weight is indicated by # and a number or WT and a number.  #40 to #60 (40 WT to 60 WT) are common weights used in quilting.  The higher the number, the finer the thread.  To add to the confusion there is another measurement of thread called TEX.  This measurement is the opposite.  You will see it on the label as TEX and a number like TEX 30.  The higher the number, the heavier is the thread.  TEX 30 is close to #40. This method of measurement is less common.  I prefer using a three ply thread.  Stay away from the serger threads because they aren’t as strong as they need to be for quilting.
    1. You should be using equal or less weight and drag in your bobbin than is in the needle.
    2. Drag is caused from thickness of thread or loose fibers.  When cotton thread is created fibers are twisted together leaving small ends.  That is why people sing the praises of Long Egyptian cotton because the fibers are longer and leave fewer ends.  These ends drag on the tension disc and strap and increase the tension.  There is nothing wrong with this, but you need to be aware of what is happening and that you need to loosen the tension.
    3. Polyester thread is one continuous fiber, often twisted over a core of polyester.  It has less drag because of the lack of loose ends.  A wonderful combination is Cotton like King Tut in the needle and a nice polyester like PeraCore in the bobbin.  Having less drag in the bobbin makes it easier to get better tension.
    4. There are other threads that are REALLY slippery.  An example are the trilobal threads that are polyester, but the fibers have been forced through something like a sieve to create three sides.  Three fibers are twisted together to make these threads shine.  They are very slippery and have very little drag.  You need to tighten the tensions on these.
  2. Another element influencing tension is batting.  The thicker the batting, the easier it is to get the stitch to lock inside the project.  If the project is thicker there is more wiggle room for the stitch to lock.
    1. 100% cotton batting is among the thinnest battings and requires a little more adjustments to get great tensions.
    2. High loft polyester is among the thickest and easiest to achieve perfect tension.
    3. I love the 60/40 blends.  That is 60% cotton and 40% polyester.  It has the finished look of cotton, but is easier to get the adjustments on tension because it is a bit thicker.
  3. Fabric density also effects tensions.
    1. Think of the difference of Home Spun or flannel type fabric as opposed to 800 count sheets.  The fibers are more densely woven in the sheets making is harder for the needle to pull the thread through the fabric.  Try to match your quilt top and quit backing to be the same type of fabric so you aren’t battling the loose weave/tight weave battle.
    2. Painted fabric also requires the needle thread to pull harder to get the threads to lock.  An example of painted fabric is batik.
    3. None of these are “bad” fabrics.  It is just important to know what adjustments need to be made to be successful.

There are some mechanical items to notice to make sure all is in proper order with your machine.  There is a check spring attached to your tension unit where the needle thread runs through.  It is important that the thread is in this check spring.  Its job is to lock the stitch by pulling on the thread.  Notice that when you pull on the needle thread near the needle the check spring will move.  If it is not moving, check to make sure the tread is running through the check spring.  Also check to make sure that the check spring is positioned at about 11 o’clock.  If it is not in the correct position, you will be able to adjust it slightly by using a screw driver in the center screw of the tension unit and turning it in the direction that is needs to move.

Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Green Lock Icon Explained

Posted by on April 6, 2015

What is the green lock icon for in the scale menu in computerized quilting?

If you click on the EDIT menu and then click on the SCALE button you will notice the green lock button in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

SCREEN

Lock button is in the upper right corner of this screen.

The slider bars on the top and right hand side are for manual scaling. The two slider bars are locked so that the pattern will stay in proportion if manually scaled. In other words, if you tap on the plus button (of either slider bar) the pattern will grow bigger but stay in a triangle shape as you see it here. If you click on the green lock icon, the lock will turn gray and is off. Then if you tap on the vertical slider bar plus, the pattern will grow bigger only in the vertical direction. If you tap on the horizontal slider bar plus, then the pattern will grow horizontally but not vertically. Sometimes we call this morphing a pattern.

Normally we click on SMART SCALE and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proportion question. Every once in a while we will want to change a pattern and have a little more control. For instance, you might want to change a feather wreath into a feather oval.

If you ever have lost the SMART SCALE button from your machine screen, it means that you’ve selected the pattern box coordinates incorrectly. If you are in a hurry, you can use the manual slider bars to scale. Although normally we would go back and re-pick our pattern box and then re-select our pattern and correct the problem.

The green lock icon turns back on just by tapping on it. If you go into SMART SCALE mode it will automatically turn back on.

Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

<< View all posts

© 2017 TinLizzie18. All Rights Reserved.   |   2263 West 7800 South   |   West Jordan, Utah 84088   |   888.784.5818   |   Site Map   |   Legal Disclaimer   |   Privacy Policy