Did you miss any of these tips from our Facebook page? If so, here they are for future reference.
Make sure your table/frame is level. If it’s not level, you’ll be working harder than you need to and “fighting” your machine. The machine itself is the perfect leveling tool. Place it on the the carriage on the frame. Slide the machine back and forth. Gently let go of the machine to see if it moves forward or backward, or to the left or right. Fine tune the height by adjusting the leveling feet up (clockwise) or down (counterclockwise) as needed.
Free-Motion Quilting: Angela Walters demonstrates free-motion swirl designs that you can use for your own free-motion quilting — either with stand-up longarm machines like the HQ18 Avanté or HQ24 Fusion, or sit-down machine like the HQ Sweet Sixteen.
Always have your scissors within reach. Simply use a 3M Command Hook and attach it to your machine. Then hang your HQ mini scissors and zinger right to the hook. Your scissors will always be nearby and the zinger means you just pull the scissors on the cord and when you’re through, they retract in place.
Need help threading that needle? Here’s something you may not have used for quilting before. Floss threaders. Is it becoming harder and harder to thread that needle? Simply slip a floss threader through the eye of the needle, place the thread in the loop, pull it through — and voilá, your needle is threaded.
Thread control: When you use very fine threads, especially monofilament thread, does it sometimes slip out of the thread mast? Simply cut off a small piece of batting and slip it into the thread mast to keep the thread from slipping out.
Horizontal Spool Pin: Back to the basics. As you know, some threads are wound across a cone of thread and feed from the top of the cone. Other threads, such as decorative and hologram threads, are wound on a spool and unwind like a roll of TP. Be sure to get the HQ Horizontal Spool Pin for use with threads that feed off horizontally. Otherwise the thread will twist and turn, and most likely break. Plus you’ll begin threading the machine at the front thread guides, rather than at the rear of the machine. http://www.handiquilter.com/
Bobbin storage: Do you need a way to easily store your growing stash of bobbins? This tip came from Carrie Dugan, from the Texas Machine Quilting Store. Simply use a clean ice cube tray. Each cubbie holds three bobbins, meaning the typical tray can hold 48 bobbins. Just add more trays and stack them for efficient storage.
Using monofilament thread: Do you have a difficult time seeing the end of the monofilament thread so you can thread your machine? Simply take a Sharpie marker and mark on the end of the thread. It will now look like black thread and you’ll be able to thread the m machine much easier.
We hope these tips help you with your longarm quilting.