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Terry replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 2:58 PM | Locked

I am a longarmer. I bought my Gammill Opt+ in Aug. 2002. I quilted for others in upstate NY and they were growing with me and my experience. Mostly pantos altho I was starting to explore a combination of both depending on the situation. Then life happened and I had to close my business in 2005. I packed it up and moved to NM. This place is loaded with wonderful outstanding art quilters so I decided to keep my specialty at the pantos and reopened my business in 2007. Not much going on but it allows me to work on my own projects and that's good.

Terry

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Sallyquilt replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 3:50 PM | Locked

I have had my APQS Millenium since Dec of 2009. I bought it used and have added a few upgrades since then. Most recently (last week) I added the Bliss system and hydraulic lift. I bought my longarm in order to finish my own projects, but so far my family and loving friends have supplied me with plenty of their projects to use as practice pieces. LOL! I am ok with that if they are ok with the fact that these truly are practice pieces. That means I am trying new threads, pantos, batting, freehand designs, rulers, ad infinitum... I must say I am quite a work in progress. I am excited about using my longarm but do fall into long periods when I don't touch it (even though it sits in the middle of what used to be our family room that has become my sewing area). I am having issues with using the machine everyday--or at least a few times each week. Anyone have that issue also or, for those that don't, how do you keep your motivation to use/practice everyday?  I am glad I didn't purchase with the plan to have a business quilting for others. I am too much of a perfectionist (read that as hard on myself) to ever reach the point where I would be comfortable taking on someone else's beloved project.

Sally in NE Ohio

 

 

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 6:52 PM | Locked

Terry - Thanks for introducing yourself.  I think it really does make a difference when running a longarm business what the quilty demographics are.  Somehow we need to put our own spin on what we can personally offer that others don't.  Sounds like you are getting settled in your new home.  I look forward to you sharing some of your experience here.  I have just started with this and have much to learn.

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Granny M replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 6:54 PM | Locked

Couple of pages back I said something about not finding the needles I was looking for, well I had remembered the number wrong.  It is not 134 R for the baby lock it is 134 FG.  Can't find those either.  There are also several other numbers on the needles that came with the machine, guess I will just have to bring a pack home to have in front of me while I go looking.   Where do the rest of you get your needles.

On thread, I love the essential cotton thread in my brother.  I am hoping it will work in the jewel. 

Granny M

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Nana replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 6:59 PM | Locked

Granny M

I always ordered my midarm needles from the manufacturer.  I couldn't find them in stores.  I love the essentials thread but I could never get it to work on the midarm.  It constantly broke when I tried to use it.  I hope you have better luck with yours.

Vinton, Virginia

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 7:01 PM | Locked

Hi, Sally.  Glad to meet another Millenium owner.  Did the Bliss system make a noticeable difference?  Mine came with it so I guess I don't know what the difference is.  I hope you share some of you practice pieces with us...what worked, what didn't work so good... LOL!  It is nice to have quilts to practice on.  I run a quilt ministry so I have a never ending supply.  Right now I'm just trying to throw them on and do a meander just to get a little caught up.  I also like to try some custom quilting on them when I have the time to think about that more. 

 I am lucky NOT to be a perfectionist I guess.  I feel like I do a good job on what I do and also know the opportunity for improvement I have.  But I'm good with where I'm at and look forward to growing a business...slowly...as I also work full-time, run a quilt ministry, and last month volunteered to quilt two quilts a month for Quilts of Valor.  I'm not sure where I think this business will fit in but we'll see how it plays out.

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 7:16 PM | Locked

Granny M:

Couple of pages back I said something about not finding the needles I was looking for, well I had remembered the number wrong.  It is not 134 R for the baby lock it is 134 FG.  Can't find those either.  There are also several other numbers on the needles that came with the machine, guess I will just have to bring a pack home to have in front of me while I go looking.   Where do the rest of you get your needles.

On thread, I love the essential cotton thread in my brother.  I am hoping it will work in the jewel. 

Granny M

I found a couple sites that carry your size needle.

http://www.sewingpartsdirect.com/needles-groz-beckert-type-134fg-10pk.aspx

http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/needles-groz-beckert-type-134fg-10pk.aspx

I think essential cotton would not work well as it is 50wt but their new line of Essential PRO is meant to be used for the longarms.  I have some but have not used it yet so I can't give a testimonial.

 

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 7:21 PM | Locked

Patti:
Do any of you use a white board and marker to practice your free motion designs?

I have before but since I don't do a lot of custom quilting, I don't think about it.  I do like to think through designs on paper or white board before I actually do it.  I know it does help get the design in your subconscience if you can practice it.  I was told you should hold the marker out so you are at a 90 degree angle from the whiteboard to simulate the feel of the longarm.

 

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Marge P replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 7:38 PM | Locked

[

Patti:
Do any of you use a white board and marker to practice your free motion designs?

I have before but since I don't do a lot of custom quilting, I don't think about it.  I do like to think through designs on paper or white board before I actually do it.  I know it does help get the design in your subconscience if you can practice it.  I was told you should hold the marker out so you are at a 90 degree angle from the whiteboard to simulate the feel of the longarm.

 

A tip I have learned from Cindy Roth from the Longarm University in Renton WA is to take a piece of plexiglass about 18" x 24" or a size that will fit on your stitching area for your longarm - APPLY BLUE PAINTERS TAPE ON ALL FOUR SIDES - THIS NOT ONLY COVERS THE CUT EDGES BUT IT ALERTS YOU AS TO WHERE YOUR EDGES END!   Then you can put the  plexiglass directly over a particular block and use a Vis-a-Vis pen (wipe off pen like you use on white boards)  and practice drawing  your pattern until you feel comfortable with it and then stitch it.  She does this in all her online classes and it is pretty neat.  You really don't want to screw up and draw over the blue tape. 
Marge P
Twisp wa

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Sallyquilt replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 7:49 PM | Locked

Jeanine - Yes, I definitely notice a difference with the Bliss system. Could occasionally make round curves prior but now it is so much easier. Also the machine, being easier to move, feels lighter to me and my shoulders and back don't complain as much as before. I haven't done a panto since getting it, but look forward to seeing the difference with that. I've got a floor mat on order to use with my saddle stool at the front so I can try quilting while seated. That was one of the reasons to add the hydraulics. Can't wait to see how that goes too.

Sally

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 8:32 PM | Locked

Sallyquilt:
I've got a floor mat on order to use with my saddle stool at the front so I can try quilting while seated. That was one of the reasons to add the hydraulics.

Let me know how that works.  I have the hydrolics but I really didn't know when I would use it much.

 

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 8:45 PM | Locked

Marge P:
Then you can put the  plexiglass directly over a particular block and use a Vis-a-Vis pen (wipe off pen like you use on white boards)  and practice drawing  your pattern until you feel comfortable with it and then stitch it.

I love this idea.  I wonder if I have any plexiglass around here.  I'll put that on my husband's list...

Thanks, Marge.

 

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Joan L. replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 8:45 PM | Locked

Jeanine, I like to sit when I am doing small stippling. It helps with the vision for me.

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MNnancy replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 8:57 PM | Locked

Granny M:
I love the essential cotton thread in my brother.  I am hoping it will work in the jewel.

Granny M, I use the Essential cotton with my HQ16, and the stitches look great.


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Jeanine replied on Tue, Aug 16 2011 9:03 PM | Locked

Joan L.:

Jeanine, I like to sit when I am doing small stippling. It helps with the vision for me.

What type of a chair do you use?

 

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