Helping To Make Your Quilting Journey A Delightful One
DQS NOLTING LONGARM CLUB
Tips, hints, and information for owners of Nolting longarm quilting machines and Quiltmagine
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DQS At These
2015 Quilt Shows

June 5-7, 2015
Genesee Valley QuiltFest
Rochester, NY

June 26-28, 2015
Vermont Quilt Festival
Essex Junction, VT

July 30- Aug 1, 2015
Nolting Booth
AQS Syracuse
 Syracuse, NY

August 8-9, 2015
Caledonia Quilt Guild
 Caledonia, NY

October 24-25, 2015
Candlelight Quilt Guild
VanBuren School
Baldwinsville, NY

November 6-8, 2015
Kenan Quilters' Guild
Lockport, NY


If your club is having a show in 2015, we would love the opportunity to be a vendor at your show.  Please email me.
DQS at show
Visit Us At The Show
                                        
May 2015


So nice to see the sun, feel the warm breezes and know that summer is around the corner.

Have you been busy getting quilts ready for upcoming quilt shows?  I have.  You think you have a lot of time to get the quilt(s) done, but somehow these show dates sneak up on you.  I finally got the last quilt pieced and only have one more quilt to quilt.  It is such a good feeling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In this issue I will address causes of needle breakage and what, if anything, you can do to prevent that.  There are more hints and ideas for Quiltmagine owners and summer maintenance and operating tips for this more humid time of year.
 
Happy Quilting,

Joyce
frustration

threadbreakageYikes! A Broken Needle

Nothing is more scarry than having your sewing machine or longarm needle break with needle parts flying in different directions.  Fortunately, in most cases there are no injuries, however, there is always the search to find all of the needle parts.  If a needle part can't be found, there is always the question of whether it is buried in the quilt batting - not a good location.

Causes of Needle Breakage
  • Needle fatigue.  Needles do a lot of flexing with longarm quilting and over time the metal will fatigue possibly causing the needle to break.
  • Bulky seams.  Generally normal seams do not cause issues sewing with Nolting longarm machines.  Bulky seams where four, six or eight seams come together may prove to be more taxing on the machine's capabilities.  The needle being the weakest part may break.
  • Mechanical issues.  We have seen two times when a mechanical issue has caused the needle to break.  When the needle was not aligned correctly it became pinched and broke.  In both cases the collar on the shaft that the hook assembly is mounted on loosened up allowing the hook assembly to move very slightly pinching and breaking the needle.
  • Machine seizing up due to lack of oil in the hook. 

What Can Happen When The Needle Breaks

 

When your nerves settle down after the needle break, it is important to first find all the needle pieces, then, take a look at what has happened.  Because needle breakage is not common, we recommend taking a much closer look to make sure there is no damage to the hook, throat plate, and to check the timing.

 

What damage to look for:

  • stop - caution Turn the power OFF.  Remove the throat plate, remove any remaining needle and look for damage around the needle hole.  Damage might include needle pricks, scratches or gouges around the top of the needle hole or in the needle hole.  These must be smoothed out.   
  • Brush or blow the lint out of the hook area.  Slowly turn the front hand wheel clockwise and look through the throat plate opening at the hook assembly and hook shield for any pricks, gouges or scratches.  These must be removed.
  • From the under side, grasp the hook assembly and see if it moves front to back.  It should be tight with no movement front to back.  If it moves, it needs attention.
  • Check the hook timing.  Sometimes hitting a bulky seam will cause the hook to rotate slightly on the shaft out of the timed position.  Do not assume the machine needs timing.  First address all of the above issues and deal with the timing last.

Fixing the Problems 

 

Once the problems are determined, each must be corrected before attempting to replace the needle and sew.  Any scratches, pricks or gouges in the throat plate, needle hole, or on the hook assembly will cause the top thread to shred after  sewing only a few inches.   

  • Fixing gouges, pricks and scratches.  Use emery cloth or from an auto parts store purchase wet sanding paper in both 600 grit and 1000 grit. 
    • The emery cloth can be torn into narrow strips and fed through the needle hole in the throat plate.  Have someone hold onto the throat plate and sand back and forth to remove the damage in the needle hole. 
    • Use a 1" wide strip of the wet sand paper, 600 grit first, then 1000 grit to finish and sand any damage on the hook assembly.  A drop of sewing machine oil can be put on the scratched area before sanding.  If the damage cannot be removed, the throat plate and/or hook assembly will need replacing.  Make sure to wipe clean with a oil damp cloth to remove all filings.
  • Fixing the movement back and forth in the hook assembly/shaft.  Call your dealer or Nolting tech for guidance with this repair.
  • Timing the machine.  The position of the timed hook is specific and takes some practice to do correctly, however, it can be learned.  Do not try timing your machine if you do not feel confident in doing it.  Call your dealer or Nolting tech to walk you through the procedure.  It is good to learn how to time your machine, however, never assume that every problem is because of timing.  If you do not feel confident timing your machine, at least learn how to check for correct timing.  Again, your dealer or Nolting tech can help you with this.

Back to Quilting  

 

Now that the issues that caused the needle to break are all taken care of.  Replace the needle with a new one.  Always purchase your needles from your dealer or directly from Nolting to make sure they are compatible with your machine.  When ordering from Nolting or your dealer, make sure you specify which hook your machine has, L (smaller) or M (larger) hook, as the needles are not the same.  Before replacing the throat plate, turn the hand wheel and observe the needle position, whether timed correctly, and that the needle is not flexing when the hook passes by.  If all is OK, then put the throat plate back in place and tighten the throat place screws.

 

Time to quilt again. 

quiltmagine
Quilt magine Tips 
quiltmagine computer guided quilting
Computer guided quilting from Nolting.


Accurate Pattern Placement

For blocks and pantos to sew out perfectly, they must be placed accurately using any one of several placement methods.  Each placement method, however, uses the needle as the placement point.  If you "ball park" the placement point, whether four point, two point, or one point, and it is not exactly where you want it, your block or panto can not possibly sew out the way you would like it to.  Close is not good enough. 

Tips For Perfect Placement
  • Adjust and use your laser light for placement.
    • Move your laser light to the laser post on the top front of the machine head.  If you do not have a front laser post, these can be ordered from your dealer and cost about $7- $8.
    • The laser post should be positioned to the right side of the machine and slightly toward the back when looking straight on from the front of the machine.  
    • Tape a piece of paper to the throat of the machine and rotate the hand wheel to make a needle hole in the paper.  Position the laser light so that it shines directly on the needle hole in the paper.  It may take a little fiddling to get the laser light adjusted, but it will save a lot of time and make your block and panto placements accurate.
  • Ingenious solution for panto placement from new QM owner, Sue Minnie.
    • When the next panto row is out of the safe area, the next row must be "placed" before advancing the quilt by marking the next row starting point, either a left, right or center point.  Sue created a very helpful template (cross hairs stickers) to accurately and easily pinpoint the next row placement point. 
    • Have QM move to the next row placement point.  Place the sticker under the hopping foot, target the laser light onto the center of the cross hair and stick the sticker to the quilt top.  Carefully move the machine head after placement, then "scroll" the quilt. 
    • After advancing the quilt, move the hopping foot over top of the sticker and position the laser light on the cross hair and tap the positioning button.  You are ready to "pull bobbin" and "sew." 
    • Click to download the cross hair file that can be printed on address labels (30 per sheet, 3 wide x 10 high).  Thank you Sue for sharing this ingenious solution to accurate panto placement.  I love using the cross hair stickers.  It makes panto placement so easy.
 
YouTube Videos

If you own Quilt magine, or are thinking about purchasing Quilt magine, check out the videos on YouTube.  Each is designed to help you learn more about Quilt magine's many capabilities.   More videos are planned so check back from time to time.

Facebook page for Quiltmagine.

 
Quiltmagine has its own Facebook page.  This is a place for sharing QM information, tips and photos of projects.  Weekly on Mondays new tips and techniques are posted on FB.  If you are not receiving FB notifications, we invite you to "Like" the page.
summermaintenanceSummer Maintenance Tips

Typically our summer weather in the Northeast varies between hot and humid, warm and wonderful, and cool and often rainy.  These varying conditions can affect how our Nolting longarm machines perform, not so much a problem with the machine, but how the machine reacts to changes in the weather.  Following are tips that will keep you quilting happily through our changing summer weather patterns.
  • Oil your machine following the same schedule
    Nolting machine oiling
    Four red oiling points.
    as normal, the 4 red dots on the top of the machine every 8 hours of quilting and the hook every 2-3 bobbin changes.  If a lot of lint, oil the hook more frequently.  If you have not quilted in some time, oil the machine head and bobbin area before warming up the machine.
    Nolting machine oiling
    Correct position to oil hook with needle down.
  • Warm up your machine.  Yes!  Even in the summer the machine must be warmed up for about 5 minutes.  I am finding that if I let the machine warm up (run at mid-range speed) for about 5 minutes the internal running parts are warmed up to the temperature they need to be for optimal use and I have far fewer problems adjusting the thread tension when starting to quilt.  Usually one tension adjustment is all that is needed.
  • Run an air conditioner or dehumidifier in the quilting area.  High humidity is not only uncomfortable for us, but can wreck havoc with cotton thread, batting and even cotton top and backing.  Cotton can absorb up to 40% its weight in water.  In high humid conditions cotton can  absorb moisture right out of the air.  This can affect both the bobbin and top tension and sometimes makes it impossible to adjust the tension.  Try switching to a poly thread and keep the AC on for comfort and to pull the excess moisture out of the air.
  • Always unplug your machine when you are not using it, even if it is plugged into a surge protector.  Those nasty thunder storms can produce surges that can take out the best of those protectors.
  • If you have a Pro, you may need to run the "B1" adjustment more frequently.  The Pro has very sensitive electronics.  I have found that draw downs in power can cause the take up lever to get out of sync quite easily resulting in needle drag or not being able to bring the bobbin thread to the top.  Draw down in power can happen from AC units turning on in your home, or even the house across the street.  There is no damage to your machine, but the problem of needle drag or bringing the bobbin thread up is annoying.  It is easy to fix.  Simply put the machine into the adjustment mode and run the Needle Positioning Speed Auto Adjustment to correct this situation.  Pro machines, instructions on pages 27 & 28 of your Pro machine manual.  FQ and CLX instructions on pages 21 & 22 of your Equalizer manual.
  • If leaving a quilt on the frame for a day or two, always back off the tension on the rollers some so that the quilt is not being stretched for days.
flowers_thankyou.jpg
for your referrals

You have told us that you love your Nolting.  You enjoy the fact it is easy to use, simple to maintain, and wonderful to quilt on.  It is only natural that you have told your quilting friends how much you enjoy your Nolting.

When Delightful Quilting & Sewing sells a Nolting because of your endorsement, make sure your friend tells us it is because of you.  As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a gift certificate to purchase anything from our fine line of Made in USA products or purchase items of your choice directly from the Nolting catalog, which could include batting, thread, pantos or Nolting items.

Quilters are interested in hearing your story, why you love your Nolting, why you chose Nolting, and about the service you have received from Delightful Quilting & Sewing.  Don't be shy, let your friends know.  We appreciate you and want to reward you with this token of our appreciation.

Thank You.

Delightful Quilting & Sewing | 585-226-2577
joyce@delightful-qs.com  http://delightful-qs.com
5378 Lake Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
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10%
couponDelightful Quilting & Sewing Quilt Show Coupon
Save 10% off books, notions and longarm templates and supplies at quilt shows during 2015. 
Discount does not apply to Nolting machines, frames or other Nolting products.  Limit - One coupon per show.
Offer Expires 12/31/2015.
Valid only at the Delightful Quilting & Sewing booth.