Sunday, May 7, 2017

She's Here. She's Looking At Me!

Oh. My. Gosh. I realize I should be excited. But what I'm feeling now, is utter terror!

Lenni arrived over the weekend, and it was delivered and assembled by my local APQS dealer, Quilt Barn Studio. After teaching the usual including loading, bobbin, maintenance, threading, and tension adjustment, we turned her on to test her out. That's when everything went up in flames.

I ran into a whole gamut of problems right away. First there were a lot of tension issues, then, lots of skipped stitches. After that, the top thread broke repeatedly, followed by loops on the top and a whole mess on the bottom every 30 stitches or so. After a lot of troubleshooting and fixing most of those issues, something really strange started to crop up. My top thread broke every once in awhile, but only after the stitch is formed. The top looked perfect and continuous, but the bottom had top thread tails hanging out. We couldn't figure it out, and it eventually went away, but now I'm afraid it'll come back with a vengeance. In fact, I was so paranoid that I find myself checking the bottom of the quilt every 30 seconds!

I placed the machine in my basement storage area, for that's the only place it'll really fit. It's a bit distanced from my sewing room where all my supplies are kept, so I'll have to figure something out in terms of storing thread and other supplies.

I figured the best way to get better at quilting on a longarm is to ... quilt on a longarm. As soon as the dealer left, I unloaded the practice top, and loaded a real quilt. I then did some simple piano key ruler work.

Yowza. It's tough work. I'm hurting all over just from that little bit! (Partially caused by excessive crawling around checking the tension on the back of the quilt.) But I'm not going to give up.

My first day of longarming certainly didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. But I tell myself that this was the hardest day. From now on, things can only get better, right?


  1. Congrats on your new addition! Hope you can get all the issues worked out quickly!

  2. Practice will make perfect! Good luck getting those issues all worked out.

  3. First, CONGRATULATIONS! :) Second, I'm scared! My machine will be here in a week or so and I've been afraid since the day I ordered it. LOL I hope you get all the issues worked out and it's smooth sailing from now on for you. But most of all, I hope you have FUN quilting!!

  4. Congrats on the arrival of Lennie! I've learned our machines can smell our least that's what I tell myself. Just keep working with your machine. You'll quickly learn how to make her (or him) happy. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your quilting on your new baby.

  5. Absolutely...things will get better. You'll get lots of assistance via your dealer, on-line, youtube. You just need to ask. Practice, practice, practice, too. I remember being so frustrated the first few times using it that my husband asked if I should send it back. Heck no. I love my Millie. You just need that learning curve and you will be going gunho really quick. Good luck and enjoy.

  6. Definitely the learning curve. We all have to live through it. And you will, too. Remember you can always call APQS directly and get phone support from them. I've done it many times. What thread are you using? Poly is the easiest to get good tension. Glide brand by far is my fav. APQS sells it, if you need to get your hands on some. Try some simple meandering. There's nothing like mindless meandering!

  7. Congratulations! I am sure you and Lennie with be best friends, just a few learning bumps! Can hardly wait to see what you do next with Lennie.

  8. Liz, I am so happy for you and I know you're going to do some amazing long arm quilting. Be patient, I know you can do it and can't wait to see the quilts. BTW, I use to sew upstairs but moved my studio to the basement but now am looking for an upstair spot to do some sewing.


Thank you for visiting and for your comments! I try to reply to comments, so if you don't hear from me, check if you're a no-reply blogger. Have a nice day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...