Longarm Update – The Story Continues…

Yesterday I told you that the leaders would be installed on my machine and I would get a lesson from the dealer on how to operate the Fusion. That did happen. The leaders were installed, and after watching Tim’s demo I loaded a baby quilt. We basted down the top and sides and were ready to start quilting.

After that the day got a little disappointing.

While stitching a simple meandering loop design we noticed that the stitch length wasn’t consistent. I had seen that on the sample I stitched a few days ago but figured it was something I wasn’t doing right. Wrong. I was doing everything right…yay!

Inconsistent Stitches

See how the horizontal stiches are longer than the vertical ones?

After running diagnostics and making a call to Handi Quilter support, we discovered that the encoder that controls the horizontal stitches was not working. When set at 10 stitches per inch, it was only giving me 5. If I set it to 20 I could get my 10 stiches, but then the vertical stitches were at 20. Not gonna work. Well, if I only stitched horizontal lines or vertical lines it would work I suppose. But a loopy meander runs vertical and horizontal so……

Handi Quilter is sending a new encoder but with the weekend here and a holiday on Monday it will be close to another week before it’s here and installed. Sigh.

I can use the machine in manual mode without stitch regulation. Bummer. But at least I can quilt with it so that’s a positive. And I’m use to manual mode as that is what I’ve been using for the last two years on my Sweet Sixteen. I just hate that I bought a brand new machine and it doesn’t work the way it should straight out of the box. Totally frustrating.

Then, as if the machine quilting gods weren’t having enough fun with me, the lights under the handles on one side of the machine don’t work. I’m sure it’s just a connection that needs to be tightened or jiggled or something, but by the time I finished quilting the baby quilt I really wasn’t in the mood to mess with lighting. So I left it and walked away.

On a positive note, I have to say that I am super excited at how quickly I can quilt a top now. Even with the issues we had and me picking out several lines of vertical/horizontal stitching, I finished that baby quilt pretty quickly. I can mentally see that pile of quilt tops in the guest bedroom shrinking quickly.

I can honestly say I haven’t lost my excitement for my longarm yet. I have even permanently named him. Yes, him! Felicia just wasn’t the right name. His name is Freddy. The name fits perfectly. I know Freddy and I will be good friends soon. We’re just getting off to a slow start. But I’m positive we’ll be playing together nicely before you know it.

Take that, machine quilting gods!!




About Beth

I’m a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get “licking the spoon” mixed up with “licking the fabric”!!

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15 Responses to Longarm Update – The Story Continues…

  1. I’m sorry to hear that your machine had some issues right out of the box! How discouraging. But at least you got a lesson in how to load a quilt onto the frame. Since we picked up my demo machine and put it together ourselves, I had a heck of a time trying to find instructions that were clear enough for someone like me who had never seen a quilt being loaded in person! I’m glad your machine is getting fixed and I’m sure this is just a little hiccup — HQ makes great machines. And your meander looks really good!

  2. It’s helpful to hear the reality of buying and using a longarm. Too often, I think getting my hands on one will solve all my quilting woes, but longarms are complicated machines; plenty of things can go wrong. Hang in there, girl — you and Freddy will get in a groove soon enough! Good luck!

  3. I am sorry the longarm is giving you problems, hopefully it gets straightened out with the new piece this week and it will work perfectly.

  4. It’s always frustrating to have something new not work when you get it set up. Hopefully they will resolve all the issues really quickly.

  5. Cate says:

    I can’t wait to see more of your adventures with Freddy. I’m dying to get a longarm myself.

  6. Cocoa Quilts says:

    I am sure Freddy is just resting up from his long journey to your house and then the man handling to put him together. After he has his weekend off and gets a few new gadgets, he will be ready to roll. Can hardly wait to see what you do together.

  7. Doesn’t it always happen on a holiday weekend?!! Hang in there.

  8. Shauna T says:

    It is better that you get all the kinks out early, then you and Freddy will have a long and happy relationship together!!!

  9. SarahZ says:

    A positive attitude makes all the difference! Getting the challenges behind you right off the bat, instead of out of the blue 6 mos from now might not be such a bad thing, eh? Next stop:quiltmania!!

  10. I hope you can get all the kinks behind you and you’ll be quilting up a storm soon!

  11. Don’t get discouraged, these machines are finicky and take a bit of TLC. I’m sure you will be humming along soon!

  12. Cindy says:

    All these problems can be a strain on a new relationship, but I’m sure once they are all fixed you and Freddy will make an awesome team.

  13. Liz W. says:

    I’m so sorry things are broken out of the box! That’s insane. I hope HQ fixes it for you real soon with a profuse apology. But it’s great that you’re being so patient with Freddy, I’m sure you’ll be best friends soon!

  14. You are being very patient with Freddy. I hope these start up problems can be resolved and he becomes a reliable quilting friend.

  15. I am so glad that the technicians were so diligent in noticing the stitch length and a solution was found. I’m sure Freddy will appreciate working better, too!

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