Tuesday, December 30, 2014

FOR SALE: Bailey Home Quilter 17 Pro SOLD








After spending the day with The Bailey on Sunday, I decided it was ready for a new home.  It is working well, I enjoyed using it but I need a bit more speed. I also need more practice without the stitch regulator. I found a low shank hopping foot and I am planning to play with that later this week. 

I loaded the OBW onto the frame, this time using pins rather than chain stitching the quilt to the leaders  The OBW is 50 by 60.  I thought it would load rather quickly.  It did, but I had to re-pin it because I didn’t pin the back on straight.  I also raked my right ring finger on one of the pins and left a bit of DNA on the quilt.  Sigh.

It is a great starter system.  I am including the Grace GMQ Pro frame with the machine.  It is a freebie, more or less.  I would prefer local pick up, but am willing to ship the machine (not the frame)  to the lower 48 states for shipping costs alone. 

Contact me via the Contact info at the top of the page. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tidy Up

I tidied the wires on the Bailey today before I quilted the OBW.  I finished the 50 X 60 quilt in an afternoon.  I am practicing without the stitch regulator.  I prefer the sound of the machine "naked"

The many, many, many seams in the hexagons proved a challenge with the foot I was using.  I wonder if a low shank hopping foot would work.  Might have to try it.


TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD

I sewed most of Christmas Day.   If I hadn't had to roast the turkey I might have been able to at least start #3.  As it was I finished the second one on Friday morning.

I have been distracting myself with thoughts of upgrading the quilting system by spending HOURS on line looking at the various systems available.  Steven and I took a drive out to South Glens Falls yesterday to visit a HandiQuilter dealer there.  Adirondack Quilts

Bill and Shannon are absolutely lovely people.  If money were no option, I would have bought the system then and there just because I liked them so much.  But I am really not ready to spend a small fortune on a hobby.  I learned a lot, though.  Bill brought out the service manual and showed me photos of the insides of the machines.  He explained that the bearings are treated with a heat sensitive grease that lubricates as the bearings warm up. He tried to assuage my fears about the electronic components of the machine.  He showed us the features of the Studio Frame; strength and ease of use.   I was sold.  I just don't have the cash.  (I did buy a lottery ticket in a silly attempt to raise the ten grand.  I lost. No quilting machine for me, sigh). 

Bill claims that Handiquilter makes the Baby Lock Crown Jewel and others.    I suspected as much. I saw the Baby Lock  when I was in Asheville last week . It looked  just like the Handiquilter.   I also saw a Husqvarna sit down model at Joann's that was identical to the Handiquilter Sweet 16.

  I was talking to another Long Arm dealer who also teaches Long Arm quilting.  She advises that beginners start without the stitch regulator.  Most stitch regulators add close to, if not more than, a thousand dollars to the price.  The Bailey Sew control is 675. I took her advice and disabled the Sew Control on the Bailey.  I had to put the original handle back on the machine and use the original power cord/foot controller.  I had to find a place for the foot controller so I taped it to the top of the sew control.  It looks funky, I will attach it with velcro sometime, but it is a perfect place for it.  When I am at the front of the machine I can use it to position the needle.   I gently press down on the controller to slowly place the needle up or down.



 I put a small quilt sandwich on the quilt to see how I would do "naked."  I like it.  Let's just see how I do with a whole quilt.  The OBW is up next.














Sunday, December 21, 2014

How I spent the FDOW 2014 (First Day Of Winter)


It didn’t really take ALL DAY.  It just felt as if it did.  I  had some Warm Window fabric left over from the house project.  It is taking up room in the sewing loft.  In an effort to reduce, re-use and recycle, I decided that today would be a good day to make a couple of window treatments for the guest apartment.  I am spending a fair amount of time out there quilting.  I like it warm, oddly enough, when I work.  Given that it is now winter (Hark! The first day is today!) baby it’s cold out there. 

I turn the heat up, of course, and then turn it off when I will not be using the space for several days.  For those days when I can get out there to quilt, I want to conserve.  While Cuomo, not my favorite politician [now there’s an oxymoron], banned Fracking in NY, it is in everyone’s best interests to conserve.  I am just trying to do my part.  I turn the heat down to 50 F at night and poke it back up to 65 F in the morning on days when I can play with my Bailey (which I am appreciating more now that I have priced other Long Arm Quilters, such as the HQ 16.)

I have four more to go.  I am not thrilled with this result.  It will fit the bill and the others will be better as I remember better how I did it the first time around. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quilting in motion on the Bailey


I made this little video to demonstrate the Bailey 17 quilter.  I am quilting with one hand and holding the camera with the other.  This is my actual line of vision. 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

QUILTING COMPANIONS

I finished the practice D9P today.  I got into a rhythm and Wilson kept me company.  

This one is my favorite.  It seemed that the machine was working well, I had the frame just right and I was CRUISING !
 Then then needle jammed.  Just like that.  It happened after I rolled the quilt.  I think I tightened the quilt too much.  It took a bit to get the needle out.  It always does.  I remember when I used to jam the needle several times in one session.  This was the first time I did it on this whole quilt.  I must be getting more proficient. 
Frannie joined Wilson after lunch.  She thought I was in the sewing loft at first.  I had to send Wilson out to get her.  She's a bit deaf, so I can't really call her when she is barking at the door of the loft (which I can see from the bottom of the stairs to the apartment). 
 I can see that I must tidy up the apartment.  The pillows and down comforter need homes.  The pillows I can stash in the bureau.  The down comforter needs to go to Sal's

I am heading toward another milestone for the blog: half a million page views.  Might happen this week.  Then what? 



Sunday, December 7, 2014

HELP


OK.  I am an old hippie.  So when I took the photo of my sewing loft today and looked at it on the computer, I thought HELP! and the song popped into my head.

But maybe there is no help for this space.

The key is less stuff.  I know that.  Bit by bit.  Pecking away at it.  I could spend time tidying up or I could spend time creatively.  I prefer to create.

I decided to give  a Singer 328 instead of the Monty Ward to the young woman in our Christmas family.  It is a simpler machine is some ways.  I made this draw string bag today.  I used the serger for the edges; otherwise the whole thing was created on the 328.  I feel good about this choice.  I will make a small bag for the outside to hold some little sewing notions and thread.  I will include a free lesson, too.  Of course I will write a little info page about the benefits of vintage over new.  



Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Should Have Known Better

The Bailey was working so well on the practice quilt.  I was pretty sure that the tension problems I was having had to do with the batting, the frame, the carriage, the Sew Control, the needle, the bobbin winding, the needle, the bobbin case, the bobbin winding,  the needle, the hook, the needle, the frame, the carriage, the needle, the Sew Control, the carriage, the foot.   I addressed each of these issues several times. 

The last time I ran out of bobbin thread I decided to clean the darn thing.  I always clean the hook, the race and the bobbin case with each bobbin change.  It is a class 15 machine so I replace bobbins about every time I wind the quilt onto the take up bar.  Or more often.

This time I took the cover off of the gears and oiled the shaft behind the gears.  The cover comes right off.  See photo below.

  The gears were fine. There was very little lint on the gears.   I would be happier if the gears were both metal.  One is, one is not.  Go figure. 

I oiled and cleaned the shuttle driver shaft.  I just flushed it with oil, ran the machine and wiped away the spewed off dirt.  The second time I did it I found this.

The shuttle driver is clean now.  I flushed some more Tri-flow through there, ran the machine and wiped the spew until the Q tips were no longer dirty.
I also spent some time looking through my stash of hooks and found one that looks very similar.  It was noisier, I thought, so I polished the OEM hook (if you can call it that) that came with the Bailey and put it back in.  The thing is still noisy but the stitches are much improved and I am back to having some fun.

The Bailey needs a permanent home.  I have no room for the Behemoth anywhere in the house.  OK, it will fit in the living room but that would require moving the TV and the couch and a chair.  I am willing.  I think Steven might be, but I haven't suggested it.  For now it is in the guest  apartment.   Next time I need to move it for company I may have to reconsider.
 I pin a piece of fabric on each side so that I can quilt right up to the edge.  The bungie cord clamps help keep the sides taught and if I have enough extra border fabric on the sides, I don't have to do this. 

I found these magnets amidst the South River Parts stash.  I have found a good use for them, I think.

The little white things are L size Magna Glide prewound bobbins.  I am winding Signature thread bobbins.  I do like the Magna Glide.  They produce a nice consistent stitch.  You have a choice of colors too, black or white.

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CHAIN CHAIN CHAIN

Yes, indeed, it is a chain stitch adapter.  I have four of them in three different variations.  I was absolutely thrilled when I figured out how it works.   I had been basting the zipper leaders to my quilts for easy frame mounting (why does that sound vulgar?).  It isn't too hard to remove the basting but it is so much easier to remove chain stitching  WOW.

This little gold box has been a mystery to me for years.  I learned, somewhere, that it is a chain stitch adapter.  I have had no occasion to use a chain stitch until now.   Two quilts are ready for the frame.   I need a chain stitch capable machine that also winds a nice bobbin.  I cannot stress how important a well wound bobbin is for the Bailey Home Quilter.  My Kenmore 158.1760 winds the nicest bobbin.   I am sad to report that the 1760 is not chain stitch capable.

I was working on a 158.1802 and wondered if the chain stitch adapter would fit.

I removed the needle plate insert and tried one.  It fit.

 I actually removed the shuttle and the race cover to examine just how that silver gizmo fit in the hook.  There is a hole in the hook. Turns out, you don't have to remove the shuttle hook at all.  The adapter snaps right in. 

 Of course, you have to be sure to get the tab on the adapter lined up with the hole so that it snaps in and doesn't spin around.
That's it.  The machine threads the same way as for regular sewing.  The only difference is that at the end of your seam you must turn the balance wheel backwards (ACK!) to release the last stitch. HOLD THE STITCHING! as you remove the work from the machine.   There will be a loop on the bottom.  Pull the thread to the bottom to lock the stitch, other wise the stitches will come out very fast.  AMHIK.
I can't watch the stitch formation because the slide plate must be in place to secure the needle plate insert.  Lady Google, however, provided a link: http://home.howstuffworks.com/sewing-machine1.htm

The 1802 winds a fine bobbin as well.  But it is not my machine.  It is  Betsy's.  While what's hers is mine and mine is hers, the 1802 is too nice a machine to relegate as a chain stitcher/bobbin winder only. 

An 158.1814 I bought a few years ago accepts the very same chain stitch adapter.  However it will not form a chain stitch unless the SLR is set at about 10.  Set at a longer stitch length, the sucker just won't pick up the thread.  I can live with that but I am not so fond of the 1814.  It has an odd thread path and it just growls when it runs. Plus,  it winds a lousy bobbin.  OK.  It winds an adequate bobbin but not good enough for the Bailey.  AMHIK. 

Because I  have three chain stitch adapters  I looked for machines to match.  I checked out my 158.1803.  Voila, hole in the shuttle.
 
The  photos above are of the chain stitch adapter in my 158.1803.  It winds a fine bobbin; a very fine bobbin. However  it is impossible to disengage the drive shaft in BW mode without taking the top off of the machine to manually compress the release.   This I can live with.  The top of the machine pops off easily.  I will be using the machine primarily for BW anyway.  When I need it for chain stitching I can engage the drive shaft easily.   It is the perfect combination. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WHAT IS IT?

Name the part replacing the bobbin case in the shuttle in the above photo.  You will know you are right if your post is not published right away.  Gotta keep the suspense up !

Friday, November 28, 2014

One Thursday in November

Thanksgiving morning I arose and made a list.  I knocked off 8 of the 13 items  by 10 AM.  I felt downright VIRTUOUS.  True, I included: get dressed, turn up the heat and eat breakfast.  I did not include make the bed.  I should have.  Just the same, my list was shrinking and the day was ever so young.

 Days off, I walk the dogs.  Usually they start to torment me around mid morning. They don't whine.  They don't bark.  They just follow me around relentlessly and look at me, THAT WAY.     Since I had been so diligent already in accomplishing so much, I took them up the hill. (Mind you,  I did  take credit for it and gained much needed endorphins by adding the walk to the list and then, TADA, crossing it off.)

We were forecast to get ten inches of snow Wednesday into Thursday.  I predicted five and I think I was right.  It was a heavy snow that blanketed branches and packed well under foot.  Perfect for snow creature creation, which I did not do.  It wasn't on the list.


It is hunting season.  Thanksgiving day is prime hunting day.  I dressed the dogs accordingly.  Wilson hates his vest.  He loves his walk.  He endures.  Wrigley doesn't care a hoot.  Frannie won't be caught dead in orange.  She prefers red.

Item number 6 on the list was "remove practice quilt from frame."  I did that.  Before I did that I took a couple of shots of the quilting.  I post them here because, where else will I post them?



I practiced and practiced with ink and paper.  I definitely have a hard time twirling right. Doodling helps for sure.  I am pleased with the stitches.  The machine seems to be working well.  The frame is much better now too.  Steven attached leg extensions and replaced the blocks I had been using for added height.  I tried a different carriage but went back to the original, wooden one.  The so called upgraded carriage created too much vibration. 

 The DNP is ready to go.  If we get a delivery of propane tomorrow,  I may be able to quilt.  If not, I will work on machines.  I need to service a Kenmore 158.1814.  I have it set up for chain stitching.    It is a noisy sucker, likely needs oil.  I use it to attach the cloth leaders to the quilt.  I also need a class 15 machine for bobbin winding.  I don't use the BW on the Bailey.  I don't like to re-thread the machine that often.

Yes, you noticed the not so subtle reminder in each photo.  Those of us who are white must end our oblivion.  Racism exists in our country.  The tragic events in Ferguson, MO indicate so.  The culture of violence and injustice must end.  NOW. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Insomnia

I awoke at 4:15 AM.  Since I could not enter another sleep cycle, I got up, motivated by the fact that we don't have to pay for our internet usage before 0500.   We have a dish and have almost maxed out our usage.  We recharge tomorrow and are perilously close to the slowdown.  We never lose connectivity.  It just S   L   O   W   S     W   A   Y    D   O   W   N.

Our department is providing gifts for a local family.  The thirteen year old girl wants a sewing machine.   I have just the one for her.

It came with a home made, plywood, weighs a ton carrying case.  I think I will make a tote for it instead. 

I have the quilt frame set up with some cute winter fabric.  It is a practice piece but I could use it for the tote.  Think I will.
   


Saturday, November 15, 2014

I like this one better.....

It is sixty-three by eighty and almost as busy as the OBW.  This is strictly a stash quilt.  I did not purchase any fabric for this.  Yes, it is true, I carried the narrow white and wider dark green border over from the OBW.  Actually, I decided on these borders first.  

I wanted to use the Wittenberge 201.  What a nice machine.  It is so quiet.  It took me a while to get it set up in the treadle stand.  The coil spring belt worked great for the 15-90 but it was too tight for the 201.  The machine worked, but it was just too much effort to treadle.  If I want to switch these machines back and forth, I guess I will have to replace the coil spring belt with one that is just a bit longer.  I found a leather belt, set it up and went to work.  What a nice machine.



 It is so quiet.  The Necchi is a thunker (must have something to do with the mounting in the cabinet.)  The 15-90 also clunks along, but I forgive it because it will go through anything. This 201 is almost silent.  It is a pleasure to use. 

video

I am now ready to quilt.  I have been practicing swirls with paper and pencil.  I suck.

I watched this video (for some reason it will not load to Blogger directly from YOUTUBE.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KArxAF600Sg

She demonstrates this on a table.  I will use my frame.

There is another demo using the frame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1AMt9QgOCw

Next up, getting the 24 ready so that I can use it to chain stitch the leaders to the quilt. I suppose I could use the Wilcox and Gibbs.  Now, there's an idea. 

UPDATE.

OK.  So I had to publish the post before I could see how the video came out.  I must be somewhat deaf.  The machine is much quieter in real life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hard to tell.....

if it is any better with borders. 
I guess I will just have to wait and see how it quilts out. 

The DNP is just as busy, but less disagreeable, probably because of the variety of color.
It is bigger.  Seventy-seven by fifty-one. 

Both will be ready for the quilt frame by the weekend.  That means I will be setting the frame up again.  We tucked it away in September when we used the apartment for guests.

I would love to finish the OBW.  Then I can do something fun. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

ONE BLOCK WONDER

I wish I were in love with this quilt.  I am not.  It includes my favorite colors but I don't like Christmas fabric.  True, I selected it.  I was going for a twenty four inch repeat and the price was right.  When the piece arrived, I found that it has a twelve inch repeat. According to the book, a twenty four inch repeat is ideal.  I could have cut twice the strips, but I chose to make a throw.  Mostly I wanted to experiment with this pattern. 


There is no straight edge when you work with hexagons. Your choice: remove a half hexagon or add a half hexagon to fill in the open spaces along the edge.  I chose to fill in the spaces.  Thus,  the very edge, every other row, has no match.   Follow the rows and you can see the pattern in each block.  I think this quilt might have benefited from some half triangles in between each block.  Too late now.

As I was about to piece the fourth column to the first three, I noticed a mistake. Luckily,  I only had to  partially rip out the seam between the BA strip and the A strip.  I then had to remove the  B and A hexagons from the rest of that strip and flip them around.  WHEW.


There is another mistake. It is subtle and I did not fix it. Since I don't throw up when I look at it, I figure it isn't that bad.  But I do wish that I had noticed it before piecing.  


Border decision time.  I will add half triangles to the top and bottom to create a straight edge.  I think that I will have to use green.  I hope I have something that will match.  Then I plan to sew on a narrow, white border.  I think that the outer border will be a some of the original fabric.  No getting around it,  this is a Christmas quilt. 




UPDATE:
When adding the half triangles, it is helpful to know that this is the plan ahead of time.  That way, you can sew the half triangles to the hexagons before sewing them into strips.  I learned the hard way.