Adjusting the Hopping Foot on the TinLizzie18
There are a variety of presser feet to choose from for the TinLizzie18 long arm. The original presser foot is used for general quilting and comes with each TinLizzie18. In addition to the original foot there is a template foot that has a higher fence and a consistent clearance around the entire foot for even stitching around any template. Also available is a minimal open toe applique presser foot that is small and allows the quilter to easily view the quilting area.
It is important that the feet are attached and adjusted properly. If a presser foot is too high, it may cause skipped stitches or broken thread. If it is placed too low it may cause the machine to become out of time. To adjust the presser feet properly follow this procedure.
Place the foot so the needle will clear it when lowered and so the screw for securing the foot is loosely connecting the foot. You should not tighten the screw at this time. Move the machine away from any quilt that may be on the frame. Lower the needle to its lowest point. You may use the needle down option. With the needle at its lowest point, place a dime under the edge of the presser foot to make sure the foot is at the proper height and tighten the screw. Remove the dime and raise the needle. The presser foot should be at the optimal height. This procedure should be followed any time a presser foot is placed on the TinLizzie18.
Please note that if there is a quilt with thick seams and the presser foot is having a difficult time clearing them you may raise the presser foot temporarily to avoid the thicker seams. Then follow the adjustments above to return the presser foot to the optimal height.
Loading the Quilt onto the Table
We will be using three of the rails. Each bar has a ratchet-type action that keeps the quilt taut. The rail at the back of the table is called the Take up Bar. Eventually, most of the quilt will be rolled up onto this rail as it is finished. There are two rails in the front of the machine. The rail closest to you is called the “Belly Bar” because it is at your belly. The quilt back will be pinned to both the Take up bar and the Belly bar. The bottom of the quilt top is pinned to the other rail. Mark the Centers of your rails. (The lowest rail is used to keep the batting off of the ground and doesn’t have any tension to it.)
Leaders are pieces of fabric that are attached to the ends of the quilt to enable the machine to reach the entire quilt. The quilt may be basted, pinned or zipped onto the leaders. Leaders are attached to the rails in various manners. At TinLizzie18 we attach them with Velcro. The leaders should hang off of the rail in the opposite direction than the rail rolls when the ratchets are engaged.
After assuring that the quilt back and batting are 6-inches longer and 6-inches wider than the quilt top, mark the center of both the quilt back top and bottom.
Mark the Center of both the top and bottom of your quit top. Mark the center of the batting top.
- Load the quilt back first. We will begin with the bottom of the quilt back. Lay the quilt back across the Longarm table with the right side of the fabric facing the floor and the top draped over the take up rail. Match the center of the quilt back to the center of the leader on the Belly Bar. (Remember: Quilt Back Bottom on the Belly Bar.) Using T-pins or florist pins and beginning in the center, pin the quilt to the leader with the pins on the canvas side. The sharp end of the pins should point out towards the outside of the table. Carefully, roll the quilt back onto the rail, smoothing out any wrinkles and keeping it straight. Continue until the top of the Quilt back is touching the take up bar. Starting at the center pin the top of the quilt back onto the take up bar leader. (Make sure that the quit back is under the third rail, not over it.) Always pin from the center out. The Quilt Bottom should be coming off of the bottom of the Take up bar and over the top of the Belly Bar.
- Next the quilt top will be pinned to the remaining leader. Lay the quilt top (right side up) over the table with the majority of the top towards the back of the table. Starting in the center pin the bottom of the Quilt Top to the remaining leader. (This rail rolls in the opposite direction from the others and is able to be raised out of the way.) Carefully roll the quilt top onto the bar, smoothing and making sure it is going on straight. Roll it until the top edge of the quilt falls off of the Take up bar.
- Drape the unpinned edge of the quilt over the rail you just pinned the top onto. This rail is able to be lifted out of the way to place the batting. Lift it now.
- Mark the center of the batting and lay it over the quilt back and placing the top of the batting just along the take up railing and even with the pinned edge of the quilt backing. Place the rest of the batting between the rails in the front of the machine using the lowest rail to keep the batting off of the floor. Make sure the batting lays flat and smoothly across the quilt back.
- Baste the “quilt sandwich” at the top of the quilt just below the take up rail starting at the center marking. Using the Longarm machine baste from the center marking to the right edge of the quilt, then down along the right side of the quilt. Go back to the center mark and baste towards the left side of the quilt and down the left side of the quilt. It may be necessary to smooth the quilt with your free hand as you stitch. Baste as close to the edge of the fabric as possible or about ¼ inch. Every time the quilt is rolled baste the edge before quilting.
- Tighten all of the rails for a taut quilt. Remember, rolling too tight will misshape the quilt. Taut, not tight.
- You are ready to quilt. The batting and backing of the quilt are cut larger than the top because quilting takes up more of the backing than the top. You may take advantage of the larger backing to use as a test area to assure that the tensions are correct.
- When you need to roll the quilt, release the rails in the front of the machine and carefully roll the take up rail until it is positioned correctly for your next quilting area. Replace the ratchets on the rails and roll the rails for a taut quilt. Each time you roll check the layers of the quilt to ensure the wrinkles are smoothed and the batting is flat.
- The Take up rail is able to be raised as the quilt becomes more bulky on the rail. Keep enough room for your finger tips under the quilt. If the rail is too low the quilt will drag on the machine bed. If it is too high there may be thread breakage or skipped stitches.
- When the quilting is finished, carefully remove the quilt from the leaders.
How to Put Borders on a Quilt
Here’s a quick tutorial for those who want step by step instructions on perfect borders.
Determine the width of your border or borders. It is generally best to increase the width of each succeeding border. An example would be the first border could be 3” wide the second 5” and the third 8” wide. Of course you may choose any width you wish.
Measure the quilt in three places to determine the length to cut the border. Once near the center and on each side.
Let’s say the center measured 45 ½” and the right measured 45 ¼” and the left measured 45”. Now add these together. 45 + 45.5 + 45.25= 135.75. Now divide it by three. 135.75 ÷ 3= 45.25 45 ¼” is the length you will cut the first two sides of border. (♥Only cut two sides since the third and fourth sides will be longer to accommodate the added borders.♥) Since one side actually measured only 45” you will need to ease it to fit.
Mark the center of the border strip. Mark the center of the side of the quilt where you are going to sew the border. Pin the border, right sides together, on the quilt at the center marks. Now pin each end of the border to the end of that side. Ease the rest to fit and pin frequently enough to help you sew the border on evenly. Sew the opposing side border on in the same fashion. Press the seam out.
Now measure the quilt across the width in the same manner as the first measurements. Let’s say the center now measures 51 ½”, the top measures 51 1/4” and the bottom 51 ½ inches. Add them 51.5 + 51 + 51.5 = 154. Now divide it by 3 and you get 51 1/3 inches for the next border measurement. Cut the next two border strips 51 1/3 inches long.
Mark the center of the border strip. Mark the center of the side of the quilt where you are going to sew the border. Pin the border, right sides together, on the quilt at the center marks. Now pin each end of the border to the end of that side. Ease the rest to fit and pin frequently enough to help you sew the border on evenly. Sew the opposing side border on in the same fashion. Press the seams out.
Repeat for each additional border. ♥Note: It is best to use the same method of matching centers and ends to pin pieced borders on as well.
Some people like to cut their borders in one continuous strip and some don’t mind piecing shorter strips to get the required length. It is a personal preference.
10 Ways to Use the Channel Lock on the Quilting Machine
Note: You must have a Quilt Magician attached to your machine in order to use the Channel Lock feature.
Clicking on the H would command the quilting machine to lock onto the horizontal cable so that the machine can only be moved vertically. Clicking on the V would command the quilting machine to lock onto the vertical cable so that the machine can only be moved horizontally.
- Use the channel lock when floating a top onto the backing.
- Create a straight line on the batting once it is laid into position on the backing and awaiting the placement of the top fabric of the quilt.
- Use the channel lock to keep rows of pantograph straight.
- Baste a straight line across the quilt while you have the channel lock on. Then double check your pantograph layout to see if it appears to line up with the basting line accurately.
- Use the channel lock to create grids
- Mark the top and left hand side of the quilt with chalk marks is the spacing you which your grid to have. Choose either to channel the horizontal lines or the vertical lines first and the other direction second.
- Use the channel lock to create channels as wide as 9 inches apart with really deep batting to create an English comforter.
- Use the channel lock to create channels that you can stuff with feathers for a feather comforter and then sew the opposite channel to create the squares that will lock the feathers into position.
- Use the channel lock to create a vertical line of basting along the starting edge of the quilt when you are running rows of pantograph. The quilt may not be straight but the line will be straight. You can easily adjust each row when you match up your starting point to the line.
- Use the channel lock to run a basting line across the quilt after you have rolled your fabric to see if you have rolled the fabric evenly. Your patchwork should line up with the line.
- You can put the channel lock on and put the computer in record mode and record
- straight lines that then can be run as a computerized pantograph.
- For whole cloth quilts you can mark off the boundaries for blocks and borders with the channel lock. Then with the computer pick your box and set in your patterns.
- You can put the channel lock on and stitch alone the edge of the quilt in a perfect line. This line will be used to trim and add a nice straight binding.
Why do my patterns always come up the wrong way in computerized quilting boxes?
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.
Quilt Magician Properties Options
Do you want to learn more about your options under the Properties area? Read on!
1. Properties under the Edit Icon which is at the top right of the screen.
a. Local X and Local Y: This is the location of the pattern start point in relationship to the pattern box that was selected. X is the horizontal position and Y is the vertical position. When the reading is Local X: 0.00 and Local Y: 0.00 the position of the start point of the pattern is at the top left of the pattern box.
b. Current X and Current Y: This is the location of the pattern’s start point in relationship to the quilt area that was selected. X is the horizontal position and Y is the vertical position. When the reading is Current X: 23 and Current Y: 7 the position of the start point of the pattern is 23 inches from the left side of the quilt area and 7 inches from the top of the quilt area.
c. Width and Height: This field shows the dimensions of the pattern box that was selected. You may change the size here.
3. Move Start Point: Move start point is handy for taking a pattern box and pattern you have already edited and stitched out then telling the Quilt Magician to stitch it out in a different location without having to create a pattern box. Simply move the machine to the new desired start point and touch the “MOVE START POINT” field. Touch the “Move All” box if you have more than one pattern in the pattern box.
a. Local X: tells how far the new start point is from the last Local X position. If it reads Local X: 4.5 the horizontal position has moved 4.5 inches right from the previous start point. If it reads Local X: -4.5 the horizontal position has moved 4.5 inches left of the previous start point.
b. Local Y: tells how far the new start point is from the last Local Y position. If it reads Local Y: 2 the vertical position has moved 2 inches down from the previous start point. If it reads Local Y: -2 the position has moved 2 inches up from the previous start point.
a. Using the Properties local and current readings can help to place the starting point of the pattern in a more exact place. Move the pattern and then look in the Properties option area to determine if the pattern is placed where is desired.
b. Using move start point is an easy way to stitch side borders. Calculate how many repeats are desirable. Create the first pattern box accordingly. Edit the pattern choice to fit well. Stitch out the first pattern box. Go into Properties and select “Move Start Point” without bringing up the bobbin, cutting the thread or moving the machine. The Quilt Magician will then start the new pattern where the last one ended. If a pantograph pattern has been selected there will be a seamless continuation of the pattern. Remember, though, that the Quilt Magician will still prompt you to bring up the bobbin and trim, but there is no need when using this method since a continuous pattern is desirable.
c. Moving start point is nice when there are several of the same blocks or areas in a quilt where the same pattern, scaled and edited, is desired. Simply select the first pattern box, place a pattern in the box and edit as preferred. (Notice where the start point is in the pattern box.) Stitch it out. Then you may move the machine where you would like the start point of the same pattern to be. Touch the Edit Icon. Touch the properties option at the bottom of the menu. Now touch “Move Start Point.” The pattern will stitch out where is indicated.
d. Move Start Point is different than Set Start Point. Set Start Point is used when a problem arises during a stitch out. (Thread break, bobbin change, etc.) After resolving the problem and the Quilt Magician is told to resume there will be the warning about the needle being up and the choice to start or to set start point. Place the machine where it left off in the pattern. There will be cross hairs to help in lining it up properly. When the check mark is touched the machine will take a stitch to bring up the bobbin thread and also ask if this is the place where you want to start. If it is, then touch yes and the machine will begin at that point. If it is not where you want to resume touch no, move the machine to another spot and the process will continue until you are satisfied with the choice. It is best to have the start point a few stitches back from where it actually stopped when the problem arose.