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.
Free Motion Option of the Quilt Magician
Using the Free Motion option on the Quilt Magician you can create and save your own original designs. These designs can then be edited in the same ways that other patterns are edited.
While in the Quilt Magician Mode:
Touch the House > Free Motion.
You will see a field with crosshairs indicating where the needle is positioned.
On the right-hand side is START. As soon as you touch START the recording begins. It does not record time, but movement. You may record while stitching or not depending on your preference. The Quilt Magician will record until you touch STOP.
When STOP is touched, a SAVE option appears on the screen. If you are happy with the result touch SAVE. A New screen opens with a key pad to name the pattern.
If you are not satisfied with the result, simply touch START again and when you begin moving the new recording will appear.
When you are ready to save touch the SAVE option and then key in the name you prefer and touch the check mark to save.
To retrieve the pattern is it as with other patterns.
Touch the House èAdd Pattern. You will find the new saved pattern at the end of the pattern list. You are able to move your pattern to your preferred folder by the following procedure.
Touch House > File Manager
You will see a window with SPOURCE at the top left. Choose INTERNAL since that is where the pattern is. Then touch the blue search sphere at the right to find the pattern you want to move. A window with the list of patterns will open. Locate your new pattern at the end of the list and touch it. Touch the check mark for okay.
Now Touch the DESTINATION option in the lower left of the screen. Make sure the INTERNAL option is chosen because you are saving it to an internal folder. Touch the blue search sphere to find the folder where you would like the pattern to go. Notice you have an option to create a new folder. You may want to create a folder of your own patterns rather than placing the pattern in an existing folder. Choose the folder to place your pattern and touch the check mark for okay. You now have the options at the bottom of the screen to save or delete. Touch save and you should have a message saying SAVED.
If you would like to move the pattern to a USB stick, just choose USB instead of internal in the DESTINATION option.
If you are tracing a printed pattern that has repeats in it to convert it to a .qcc file in the Quilt Magician it is advisable to trace only one repeat and then add as many of the repeats you need on the quilt in the EDIT option.
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.
Quilt Magician: No Stopping at a Jump Stitch
How to get your Quilt Magician to stitch without stopping at a jump stitch
If you want to stitch row after row without stopping and cutting your thread at the end of each row or just eliminate the jump in a multi part pattern this is how it is done.
We can tell the quilting machine to jump stitch or not or just exactly how far we will allow the machine to jump stitch.
First let me give you a couple of instances where you might not want a jump stitch. You might not want the machine to jump stitch from one part of a pattern to another if it will get tangled up in its own jump stitch. Therefore if you have a pattern that has two parts like an Easter bunny and an Easter egg with a jump stitch between you should watch the machine stitch out one full set of patterns before you decide to set the jump stitch perimeters. Also if you are stitching edge to edge rows you should watch the machine complete row one and see if the thread you are using has enough strength to be pulled all the way back to the beginning edge of row number two,
Most of the time here in the shop we just let the machine jump stitch on everything and then we can come back and cut all the jump stitches all at once. It is just your personal preference.
To change the settings on the jump stitch first go to the “Home Button”
Then click on the “Setup Button”.
Then click on “Constants” Even though the button appears to be grayed out it is active.
The “jump stitch” button is now in view and is set at 0. Zero means that we are not allowing the machine to jump stitch at all. This measurement is in inches. To change the measurement all you have to do is tap right on the number showing in the screen which is 0.
Once you tap the number you will get a number keyboard. You must set the number higher than the actual jump you will allow the machine to make. I often set my jump stitch to 150 because it is longer than any jump stitch I would ever make being that the machine is 144.
Now your machine will continue to stitch without stopping until everything that you have set up to stitch is completed. Then you can go back and cut all the jumps at once.
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.