apqs · Design · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Quilter’s Hideaway

apqs · Challenge · English Paper Piecing · EPP · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Millie Hums

We went on vacation this last week and I completely checked out on technology. It was wonderful, but I am happy to be back!

I missed WIP Week for this month, but I did spend some time working on an unfinished project. I hope you did too! See my last post for more about my WIP Project. It was an English Paper Pieced quilt designed by Mickey Depre (Her patterns are fabulous!).

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We flew back home late Friday night and yesterday (Saturday) I spent on a date with Millie. If you remember, we had a few boxes delivered the week before I left town. Those boxes turned into an amazing, APQS longarm machine. I AM IN LOVE! Sorry My Love, you might have a little competition.

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Back to Millie- Her full name has turned into Millennium Falcon thanks to one of my awesome Brother-in-Law’s suggestions. For short, we will still call her Millie. The week before we left I was able to get her all assembled, we plugged her in, saw lights turn on, then I had to leave and drive back to my house. This was so tough! It was just before midnight when we saw her lights turn on, so we were not able to actually hear her hum.

The week was crazy and I wasn’t able to get back to her before leaving town. Thankfully, I had a great distraction-Disney World. Though I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about sewing with her every day.

Back to yesterday. Yesterday I finally got to not only turn her on and hear her hum!

At first, I loaded on a couple fat quarters to check tension and play with settings on QuiltPath, the computer program she is able to work with and we have conveniently named “Millie’s Brain”. Here is what we came up with.

After this was finished, I decided to work with a larger area and loaded a little over a yard top and a backing then played more. This time I didn’t have a plan and just wanted to try different things.

I wasn’t looking up tutorials or spending too much time fighting through settings because I am taking a two-day class next weekend. This was just a time to get my hands dirty.

The first row I was hoping to alternate a teddy bear and crosshatching. Everything went well for the teddy bear, then it moved to do the crosshatching, but instead of making a jump, it sewed the transition line. “It is just a test piece,” I reminded myself, though I was already looking for a seam ripper to mend this mistake. On the next jump from crosshatch to teddy bear I thought I could trick it and stop her right after finishing the crosshatch then move it to the start of teddy bear and search for closest stitch. In theory it sounded like a fabulous idea, but in action it just didn’t work. I moved along to a new row.

Another issue I came across was that sometimes after starting a block, setting the safe areas and where the block should sew, Millie would move through the pattern, but wasn’t stitching. I was able to jump in the middle of it and get her to start stitching again, but I couldn’t figure out how to back up and get her to fix what she missed.   I’m hoping to clear this up with a YouTube video or in class next weekend.

I’m very happy with how everything is going so far even with this learning curve. I’m glad I was able to start playing and come across these issues ahead of time.

After coming across a few issues I decided to take a stab at freehand quilting. I turned QuiltPath off and unlatched her from the belts to give me full control. Once ready, my mind went blank and I had no idea what to quilt. I started with a simple “hello!” and I forgot halfway through how to write cursive- brain fart!

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Next up I played with writing “Quilter’s Hideaway.” Remember that surprise I hinted at a few posts back? Here is another part of it. I’m going to let you slowly put pieces together as I share hints and clues.

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With that, I moved on to some meandering, straight lines, and a box. I also tried pebbles in a smaller box, but my goodness, this will need some work.

I hope you enjoy this journey with Millie. I cannot wait to continue learning and sharing along the way.  I already realize I will need to come up with a better option for getting pictures of the quilting.  Often it was hard to get the stitches to show up.

 

See you at the machine,

Care

apqs · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Welcome To The Family! 

Well, if you have seen Instagram, we received a few boxes the other day and I asked what you thought they held. 

If you guessed a longarm you are correct!

This feels like a dream come true, but even better than that because I never knew I could have this dream. 

I was one of those crazies that could walk around a quilt show and then spend hours staring at the longarms, trying each one, looking for my favorite. It wasn’t long until I had my favorite- APQS, Millie, to be more specific.

If you have ever wondered the journey of a newbie longarmer, you are in the right place. I will, of course, continue sewing, sharing, and designing quilts, I will just add in this ginormous tidbit.

I thought I should share a little back story for you.

Several months ago I started sewing at a fabulous quilt shop in Barnsdall, OK (Red Barn Quilting) who is an APQS dealer. Brenda is the owner and such a fabulous person. I started renting from her to learn more, still never in my wildest dreams thinking one would come home in the future. I love learning new things and diving head first.

After spending more time around the APQS machines, watching hours upon hours of videos, and reading hundreds of blogs I was convinced and in love. 

My mom is the actual owner, I’m just like the big sister. Monday evening Millie found her way to my parents’ house which is only about 45 minutes from where I live and work. By Tuesday, I was antsy and trying to find any way to get my hands on Miss. Millie. Tuesday after work, my car was pointed north and I was on the way to Millie (Errr I mean my parents).

My mom and I picked up dinner then headed to the house to begin assembling Millie. There were many freak out moments, lots of laughter, and maybe even a few squeals. Once we finished dinner, we gathered the tools listed for assembly. 

A quick trip to the neighbor’s house for something we couldn’t find (or really didn’t want to waste any time looking for) and we were ready to go!

The first thing we opened was THE box. The one where lights shoot out, angels sing, and everyone squeals. That box would be the one. It even has notes around the box warning of such things.

A red bow adorned the machine and I was smitten. Even the bow was perfect, not scrunched or flattened—amazing!

Now with the manual and fabulous step by step instructions and pictures we were armed and dangerous. At one point I did compare the process to assembling IKEA furniture but with MUCH BETTER instructions. There are literally pictures of each step, what to do, what each part looks like, close ups, and so much more. 

Although there were quite a few pieces (it could have been much, much worse), APQS makes it so user friendly and simple to assemble. 

On with the show!

It took us about 4 hours, but if we were trying to, it could probably be assembled a little quicker. We had chatty moments and needed to clean more to make room for Millie.

The finished product was well worth the wait.

Follow along with our journey towards getting to know Millie now that she is a part of the family.

See you at the machine,

Care