I’m all spun up!
Most people that spend a lot of time with their Quilting machines purchase a box of prewound bobbins. It is a time saver, and a convenience. Of course, these prewounds come in both small(size L) and large size(size M) bobbins. The question that has been asked over and over is if we like these prewounds in the longarm machines.
Several of the bobbin companies have given us choices of paper prewound bobbins, plastic prewound bobbins or paper with one magnetic side prewound bobbins. They also give us choices of cotton thread, poly thread, colors and sizes of threads. Therefore deciding if we like them would take trying them out.
Prewounds have certainly found there place in and among the longarm community. I think everyone should try the prewounds. I think everyone should have a box of mixed colors on hand. You should be the judge yourself if you like the convenience of using prewounds—it is a personal choice. Yes they are a little more expensive and yes you might have to special order them to get a specific color.
Here are some of the things we have heard as comments from longarmers:
1. They like the prewounds on hand in case anything happens to their bobbin winder they can still keep going with the prewounds.
2. Many like the prewound with the magnetic side and have claimed that this resistance of the magnet can allow you to do without your backlash spring.
3. Because the prewounds are professionally wound there is more yardage on the prewounds and the longarmer has to change the bobbin less times.
All in all, the majority of longarm quilters have prewounds on hand and will use them, but not on everything. It is a choice that is nice to have and convenience that we love.
Rip, Rip, Rip all the way Home!
Of course we never want to admit that we have had to un-quilt in the past, present and I am sure to come in the future! But in case that it does happen to you, here are 2 tips that might help.
1.Ripping out stitches has a method that works if you follow it and have normal sized stitches.
First pull the thread tail from the underneath stitching. Pull until you pucker up or gather the thread as far as you can go before it breaks. Second, scratch at the stitching on the top in the area that you just pulled from and grab the loose tail of the top thread. Pull the top thread until you gather the thread as far as you can go until that top thread breaks. Then go back to the underneath thread and repeat. If you alternate back and forth from top to bottom you can pull that stitching out in just a short time and have eliminated the use of a seam ripper and the chance of cutting your quilt.
2. After the stitches have been pulled out you might see the stitching holes where the sewing was. You can eliminate those holes by brushing with a wet toothbrush.
Don’t Miss out on our TLC!!!
We are excited that we have our new TLC ( TinLizzie18 Chronicles) available for download! http://tinlizzie18.com/newsletters/
We strive to give educational information to help our TinLizzie18 community, Written by Quilters for Quilters.
Do you have a topic you would like to see in our upcoming TLC? We want to hear from you.
Let’s Go! With a Panto!
Let’s Go! With a Panto!
Quilting the same design, in rows, edge to edge, on a quilt, using a laser light to follow a paper pattern is called pantograph quilting. We have just nicknamed the process quilting with a “panto”.
Some of the longarm quilters absolutely love following a panto as they feel secure in the fact that they know exactly what look they are getting before they start on the quilt. Pantos can be purchased in just about every theme so you can customize the pattern to the quilt or to the quilt owner. Also, the learning curve for running a panto is very short and most longarm quilters agree that once you learn, all the pantos are the same as far as difficulty. A new owner of a longarm is encouraged to learn panto style quilting first to gain control of the movement of the machine and it is considered one of the easiest forms of longarming.
First, qualifying the Quilt.
Deciding to use a panto usually has to do with a couple of factors. It is considered the fastest form of finishing a quilt, so maybe you want to complete your quilt quickly. The quilt will end up being evenly balanced as far as the quilting and that makes a nice quilt to sleep under. Maybe the quilt that is to be finished would be laundered frequently and with a panto the quilt is secured with stitching all over and would hold up better. The quilt itself might have enough dominating patchwork on it so that a custom quilt pattern selection wouldn’t be seen, so why spend the time if you cannot enhance the quilt with a custom job. Therefore, panto would be a great choice.
Second, prepare the quilt
I know, we all hate the math but, you will get good results if you plan and also you will get good at estimating. We want to place chalk marks on the edge where the rows should begin so that we are sure about row placement. It is important to place the chalk marks because typically a 100 inch quilt will stretch on the longarm frame to approximately 103inches. In order to come out at the end of the quilt with full rows and not with a half a row you should estimate the number of rows you would be quilting.
If you measure the quilt in a relaxed state and place the chalk marks on the quilt it doesn’t matter where the gained inches from stretching occur as when the quilt goes back to the relaxed state the rows will still be evenly spaced.
When doing the math you must remember that a good rule of thumb is a ¾ inch spacing between the panto rows. Plan a little spacing at the beginning and at the end of the quilt. You can choose a small space or a large one. If you choose a large space at the end you might want to consider meandering or something to fill it out to the end and keep a balanced look to the quilt. I know that all of you that are perfectionists you will be figuring down to the last 1/8th of an inch but will a product as large as a quilt you will not see small amounts of variances, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
One thing you might consider when you get your pattern and quilt on the machine frame is where the center of the quilt is and where the center of the pattern lays under the laser light. Just Bring your sewing needle to the center of the quilt and position the pattern where you want it with considerations to where the center pattern goes and what part of the pattern will fall on the outside edges.
1 inch allowance on each end
Measure the space remaining and divide by the width of your pattern plus the ¾ inch spacing. You only need to mark the left side with chalk as that is the starting place for the machine.
Tip: If you decided to eliminate a row and have larger end spaces you might wish to freehand meander those ends. It really looks nice and finished that way.
Third, get the laser light ready
Be sure that your laser light is tight and will not move during operation. We do not want that light to slip and reposition the rows while we are sewing along.
Fourth, get the paper pantograph ready.
Secure the rolled pantograph pattern with tape or with a plastic pattern protector made for pantographs so it cannot shift during use. Even if you decide that you want to stagger the rows you will do that entirely by moving the laser light and never by shifting the paper pattern.
Fifth, line up your quilt with the pantograph.
Tip: I like to use the little dot stickers that you can buy at the office store to help me mark my laser light positioning for each quilt. If you have pattern protectors you can place the little stickers on there to help you or some of those pattern protectors can be marked with a dry erase marker and then wiped clean.
Tip: When sewing with the machine, side step at selected points of each repeat to keep from showing any wiggle in the pattern from stepping. I usually choose a point or tip where the pattern changes direction because I can actually stall there undetected for a moment while I move my feet.
Tip: Remember the term “lowest”.
Bring the machine to the center of the quilt frame and place a dot on near the edge of the machine but on the panto. Each time you re-measure you will come to that same spot with your machine. Then bring the needle to the “lowest” spot on the quilt that you want that first row of stitching to come to. Last, position the laser light to the “lowest” point of the pattern, and even if the light falls between the themes of the panto make sure that the level that you adjust your laser light to is the “lowest” point of the design itself(not the paper). Tighten up on the laser so that it cannot jiggle loose while stitching. Tip: Always start your pantograph row to the right if you are standing on the back of the machine.(The back has the power cord on it.(Standing on the front would make that starting position on the left). End on the left. (Standing on the front would make that the right). Cut your thread and roll the machine back to the right to begin the repeating rows.
Sixth, roll your quilt and repeat.
When you complete the pantograph rows that fit into that space nicely then you are ready to roll the finished quilt area up onto the pickup roller. Leave a little of the last row visible because you are going to want to double check your spacing between rows and you will need to see that portion of the last row.
Long Stitches OH MY!
When I quilt I am experiencing long stitches when in Lizzie Stitch Mode. What could this be?
If you are experiencing long stitches in either direction this tells us you may have an encoder or connection issue. You will need to check the encoders to insure they are spinning freely and making contact with the track. If the encoders are moving freely and spinning in both directions and you are still experiencing the long stitches while quilting. This could indicate a lose connector on the encoder or a lose plug connection at the power box. Depending on the age of your machine you will have either a 6 pin plug or a RJ 12 connection. Insure all connections are mated properly.
If you are still experiencing an issue. A simple test to determine which encoder or connection is causing the issue, is to turn on stitch regulator and move the machine front to back ONLY, then Left to right ONLY. The direction the machine does not stitch is the problem encoder or connection. Quilting in any circle or curve is not a proper test. To determine whether it is an encoder or cable disconnect cables at the encoder and swap connections by plugging the opposite cable into the other encoder. You should now have both cables connected to the opposite encoder. Run the Simple test again. If the long stitches change direction it is a cable. If it does not change direction it is a most likely an encoder.
Do not hesitate to contact your servicing TinLizzie18 dealer to assist with any troubleshooting.