Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fighting with my machine

Just a note.  I feel stupid and yet vindicated.  I have been struggling with my quilting on the Avante since I got it.  The installers set it all up but I could never get the tension on the fabric right.  I kept saying that something was wrong.  The machine appeared to be set up right according to the manual but while the front locking mechanism locked the back take up roller with the hand crank would not lock properly and so the quilt was always loose. I kept looking at how tight and beautiful others' quilts looked on their machines while mine sagged drearily. It finally got so bad with my dad's quilt that half way through stitching in the ditch I couldn't keep everything aligned (probably because it was so much larger than the test piece and mom's quilt that I have done since I bought the machine). 

I decided to go back over the manual and the video provided by Handi Quilter.  Part way through the video they showed how the leaders on the take up pole were attached and low and behold mine draped to the front rather than to the back. The installers had put the leader on backwards.  I don't know why I didn't twig on this earlier because my other set up is similar and those leaders hang the right way (I put that one together myself). 

I finished stitching in the ditch and took the quilt off the frame.  I noticed that the backing is slightly crooked, obviously operator error combined with the quilt's shifting on the poles. Luckily the quilt is one I am doing for family and I will be able to live with some of the imperfections... Adds character.  (Ahhhhh).

But my machine is now set up properly with the locking mechanisms giving just the right amount of tension!

Note to self.  If you think something is wrong...just because it was done by experts doesn't mean you are not right!  Trust your gut!

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