Wednesday, June 5, 2019

OMG (One Monthly Goal) for June, 2019: Modern Baby Clam Shells and Longarm Troubleshooting

I'm still riding the high from finishing Mission Impossible, my son's graduation quilt, a few days ago (either that or I'm high on Mucinex Sinus medicine), but it's a new month and that means it's time to set a new OMG (One Monthly Goal).

The next quilt on my agenda is my Modern Baby Clam Shell quilt, which was promised to a baby who was born on December 14th.  The nerve of these babies, sneaking out of the womb before their quilts are finished!  I'm sure her mommy wouldn't have minded entering the Guinness Book of World Records for having a 12-month pregnancy, if it meant getting the baby quilt before delivery day, am I right?!

EQ8 Rendering: My June WIP Focus: Modern Baby Clam Shells, 40" x 40"
So far all I've done with this one is coming up with the design in EQ8 that you see above, purchasing the fabrics for the quilt top, backing, and binding, cutting out the print clam shells, and arranging their layout on my design wall:

Print Clam Shells On My Design Wall
I still need to cut out all of the turquoise before I start piecing, and decide whether I'm going to do traditional curved piecing or use the invisible machine appliqué piecing technique that came in so handy on Mission Impossible.  Then I'm also toying around with different ideas for personalizing the quilt, either with the baby's monogram in the center circle and/or some machine embroidered monarch butterfly appliqués that would have special meaning to the baby's mom and grandmother.  

HOWEVER...  Although that's my project focus and it's definitely something I'm hoping to finish cutting out and at least start piecing this month, that's not my OMG.  

My June OMG: Call APQS Tech Support & Resolve All Issues WIth My Longarm Machine! 
Two years ago, I bought my 2013 APQS Millennium longarm machine secondhand from a dealer who had been using it as a rental machine in her shop.  My husband set it up for me, following the assembly instructions in the APQS manual, and I have been assuming that all of the challenges I've faced with this machine have been part of the learning curve for someone who is brand new to longarm quilting.  However, before I loaded Mission Impossible onto my frame, a friend of mine from my quilting guild who is a professional longarm quilter and has the exact same machine was gracious enough to come to my studio and help me troubleshoot some of those issues.  She thinks -- and I was so RELIEVED to hear this! -- that I might have some pieces missing from the back of my machine that would reduce how much it bounces and vibrates (making it difficult to control for precision custom quilting), that my stitch regulator/motor speed are not working correctly, and that there is something not right with my upper thread tension assembly.  We got the machine working well enough for me to get my son's quilt done on time, but my number one priority in the Studio now that the graduation quit is finished is to connect with the wonderful people at APQS Tech Support and troubleshoot the issues I've been having with tension, machine vibration, motor speed and stitch regulation on this machine.  There are lots of adjustments that tech support can talk you through over the phone (they already helped me to level and adjust the height of my hopping foot and make an adjustment to the needle positioner previously), but the absolute worst case scenario would be to box my machine up in its original shipping box and ship it back to APQS for a "Spa Visit" where factory technicians would go over the machine from top to bottom, replace any worn or defective parts, make any needed adjustments, and then ship it back to me, good as new.  If I end up going that route, I'll want to have them switch my hook assembly from the current L-sized "Smart Bobbin" to the Jumbo M bobbin, which requires retiming the machine.  

My OMG for June: To Work Out All the Technical Kinks with my Longarm Machine So I Can Get Back to Quilting!

I'm linking up with One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

hope you can get the tech support without shipping it off and I do hope you get it all taken care of. Nice to have someone look at it with you that has one to go over it all though - that sure was nice.
love the baby quilt

Patty said...

I loved that mission impossible quilt! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.

Vicki in MN said...

I hope you get your machine issues resolved, it is no fun when they aren't working properly. Because we longarmers love our machines! I hope you will post what happens in the end.