Thursday, May 25, 2006
Today is the day. My Ultimate I is expecting company. We are both patiently waiting. I have wanted a stitch regulated machine since I got my first long arm a year ago. It was an old beat-up Ultimate I with no bells & whistles. It needed some TLC....and a new tension mechanism, new hook, bobbin case, hopping foot, etc. I spent about $1,000 getting it in shape and learned to use it. I also learned that I love to longarm quilt. But cranking that hand wheel down to pick up the bobbin thread was a pain.
So three months after I got my first machine, I saw another Ultimate I on the APQS forum; this one had 1-stitch, a thread-cutter and fabric advance. I sold my first Ultimate I in one day on craigslist.com and had my new Ultimate I shipped here (southern California) from Oklahoma. I love it... but I still wanted a stitch regulator. Most of my quilting is free-motion though I am getting better with pantos. I wanted to be able to do the intricate stuff and fancy motifs. But we also wanted wood floors for the house. It came down to Millenium or wood floors. And then I saw the Zoltan Kasa's Intellistitch online. http://www.intellistitch.com
They had just lowered the price from $3,600 to $3,000. They come to your house and install the stitch regulator in one day. Then they give you training on using it. There are installers all across the U.S. My team was from Las Vegas.
OK, it's done
Helen and Tony arrived at 8 AM and got right to work. Tony does most of the electrical part, pulling apart the machine, removing circuit boards and adding the motion detetors and new control panels. It was a bit scary to look at my machine halfway thru the setup; tools, screws and circuit boards everywhere. YIKES ! But they assured me it was all going to go back together. They are a good team. Helen does the training. I had already read the User's Manual so the training helped to set it in my memory. There are lessons to follow in the book also.
So what changed?
My One-stitch is now on the left handle, woo-hoo. Much easier to reach. The thread-cutter, which I hardly use anymore, used to be on the left handle but now it is a button on the control panel. There are 2 basting stitches, 6,8,10,12 SPI and stipple (approx 16 SPI) on the stitch regulator side of the control panel. The constant speed mode is just like the pre-regulator side except now it will go faster. It is so smooth. I'm loving it already.
And coming in July, the Robo-quilter http://www.roboquilter.com/index.php
The designer of these quilting tools is named Zoltan Kasa. Everytime I say Zoltan, I think there should be a lightning bolt coming out of the sky. It's one of those names. Anyway, it looks like it has similar functionality to the CompuQuilter or StatlerStitcher.
My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.
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