Friday, June 18, 2010
Chest Thumping Allowed
A dear friend of mine, Marilynn, has a long-time friend named Judy. Marilynn introduced me to Judy a couple of years ago when she brought me a quilt. Judy's quilt was a Block of the Month. She added Prairie Points to the quilt. It was the first time I quilted anything with PP. I figured it out and the quilt came out great. Judy loved it and has sent me several more quilts to do. She is active in her church's Prayers and Squares group and wanted to be able to quilt the small (usually 42" x 50") quilts at home. So she bought the Grand Quilter by Pfaff with the wooden frame. She assembled the quilt frame and carriage and put her Pfaff machine on it and plugged everything in. (Me, I wrote a check for $500 for Gammill to install and assemble my machine. Since then DH has moved it 4 times; each time he asks me for $500. Dream on.) Back to Judy. Hmm, lots of drag, bobbin not working, nothing is working. Grrr.
Then I heard that Judy was battling throat cancer. Everything else got put on the back burner for a couple of years. She finished her treatments and is doing fine. So she got back her vigor and jumped back into quilting. Marilynn told me that Judy had never gotten the quilting machine to work and asked if I could take a look at it. So we made a day of it. It is a nice drive, only about 25 miles and Judy has a beautiful view from every window.
So we got busy. Judy was familiar with the way it was put together, I was not. But I had a schematic that Jinny Hoffmann from Paradise Sewing in Poway gave me. It showed the layout of the rollers.
Here is what we found and fixed:
Backing roller was winding in the wrong direction
Front roller to low
Takeup roller to low
Bobbin in backwards
Clamps too loose and clamped to quilt top (big no-no)
So she tried quilting after I showed her how to hang onto the thread tails when you start. It quilted great from top to bottom but was draggy and not working going left to right. I decided to call the tech at Jinny's place later and get some ideas.
A day or two later it hit me. The encoder for the left to right axis is bad or mis-installed. I checked with the tech and he verified that the encoders are the same and it was probably not hitting the track at the right place.
So Wednesday Marilynn and I went back to Judy's with our sleeved rolled up. We had to remove the quilt sandwich on the takeup roller and remove the takeup roller. Then we removed the carriage top so the machine could slide out.
Once we removed the machine, we flipped over the carriage and "Ah HA!" there it was. The encoder was installed backwards! We removed the nut, a washer and the encoder. We flipped the encoder around and replaced the other parts. We put the machine back on the carriage. I wanted to test that our fix worked before re-assembling the whole thing. We removed the top thread from the machine and hit power. We were able to move the encoder-wheels with our fingers and watch the needle go up and down in all directions according to our finger movements. It was fixed. We had a Tarzan moment when we felt like thumping our chests with pride.
We reassembled the rest of the rollers, etc. Judy started stitching away in all directions making loops and lines. She was happy. We all went to lunch at the Hacienda Restaurant and celebrated our victory.
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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