Sunday, July 28, 2013

Singer 66 on a Grace Machine Quilt Frame

I spent the morning servicing this 66-18.  The motor needs work.  I futzed with it for long enough to realize that I should put it away for another day.  I rewired its foot controller and mounted a different motor.  I removed the feed dogs and placed it on the carriage.  Now I have to set it up to sew.  Because I bought a big spool of machine quilting thread, I may have to rig up something for it.  For now, I have had enough of this project.
LATER THAT DAY.

OK.  I really couldn't stay away.  I tried to baste the layers together and had an awful time with the  tension.  I finally had to take the stupid machine off of the frame and take it to the shop.  I adjusted the bobbin tension and tested the stitch by FMQing with a small sandwich.  I finally got a decent stitch.  I had to loosen the bobbin tension quite a bit.   I truly thought about taking the tiny little screw all the way out but did not.  Still, I had to tighten the top down quite a bit.  The problem with old fashioned tension dials,  no numbers.  I know, I know, the numbers are arbitrary but the top tension sure does seem tight.

I also had to rig up a stand for my cone of thread.  I stuck a stick in a piece of styrofoam and cut a grove the size of the bottom of the spool so it would stay stable.  It fits at the end of the carriage. Then I had to make a new thread path.  A couple of paper clips (Numbers 1 and 2 in the photo below) and I was in business.  I used the persuader to bend the top thread guide against the machine.  (Number 3 in photo below).  I think I will have to close that off completely, though.  The thread did jump out and when that happens the top thread just gets too loose. I should have bought smaller spools.  Just didn't think about it. 

I must admit that I made that pass down the frame with some trepidation.  All my hard work paid off.  Decent stitches.  The loopy ones were made when I tried the first pass before I made all the adjustments.  I made a second pass just to be sure I was good.  WHEW
Here you can see the position of the machine relative to the carriage.  I think it is supposed to be flush with the carriage but I need the room for the thread. 
I think I will trim the Styrofoam so that I can back up the machine a bit, though I am not convinced that it is necessary.  Seems as if there is plenty of room before it would hit the rail.

Now that it is all set up I am ready to do some FMQ.  I would love to be able to do some real designs but I think I will just stick with the meandering.  I seem to get good results with that.  


15 comments:

  1. I did not know you can put any machine on a quilting frame like that!

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    1. Sure can! That is how it is designed. For the domestic machine. It's a lot of fun.

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  2. Wow! I didn't know you could do that, either! I'll be sharing this information!

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  3. This sort of set up is in my mental 'future plans' file!

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  4. Drats I had a grace frame briefly I bought used from a friend who was needing to sell it and sold it as I really didn't have a place to put it and it had taken over my garage. Love how you have this set up and the quilt on it. I never got to this stage sadly. I have a lot of factory cones also so was very interested in your strofoam and clip arrangement with the grace trolley.

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    1. It is fun to use, for sure Though some set up is required AND it takes up some space.

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  5. Gulp! That's impressive. I see something new on this blog everytime...

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  6. I am not a quilter but that rig sure is impressive. Is that a wool blanket you are using as a filling? Nice!

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    1. I think it might be wool. It was one that I brought home from my mother's. I remember sleeping under it as a child.

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    2. It could be what they called a "part wool" blanket, which was a blend of wool and cotton and/or rayon. They are very warm, too.

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  7. A thread net might keep the thread coming out of the spool smoothly enough that it doesn't jump out of the machine's thread guide.

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  8. Hey! How do you rig the speed control for the machine? I have been pondering this-- I got a cheap frame and want to put a vintage machine on it too. :-)

    Thanks!

    -jennifer

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    1. The frame should have a carriage and some way for the motor controller to be functional on the frame. Depends on the frame

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