What do you do when bad things happen?

I won’t take up your valuable time with the full saga of my cheap mid-arm machine. But I can tell you it is also a problem for other people who own this machine. It is sad that like me, I am pretty sure others felt it was all operator error. Now, I don’t know about them, but I have been free motion quilting for over 30 years. Yes, there is a small learning curve on a commercial machine but there should be no reason to have to start from scratch.

This machine has some built in flaws that cause every owner I have come to know the same problems. The main one is tension. A lot of thread breakage, bird nests, eyelashes and pokies. More than normal and more than even a beginner should have to put up with. Ron is learning and of course he thought it was him, not the machine. Then I did a couple of pieces with the same problems. Nope, not him.

I have completely torn the machine down once and reset timing…that thing the Mfr said should never be done. That worked for awhile until it was shipped to have handles attached. I am not afraid to disassemble a machine. It’s simple to do, it’s getting it back together that might be hard, hahaha. Actually I do it all the time with other machines.

I made up  my mind that I will fix this machine or know why it can’t be fixed. So far I have tried some of the tutorials on the Innova long arm site. The guts of my machine and the Innova are very similar. So far this has given me a passable stitch, I am showing some pictures of before and after. WARNING these are not pretty or for quilt police!  But passable isn’t good enough. I need consistent good trouble free stitching. I have some modifications in mind that I think will permanently fix this machine.

If they don’t work, I guess I will be getting out my checkbook!





9 thoughts on “What do you do when bad things happen?

  1. That sounds awful! I did sit down on the BERNINA q20 and it was a dream. I had zero problems and I’ve never worked on one before. I don’t mean this as a commercial, just my experience. I hope this resolves for you soon!

  2. I’m thinking of buying one of the sit down ones like Sweet Sixteen… Any positive recommendations?i wouldn’t take a machine apart – I’d forget how to put it back together!

  3. Decide if you want to sit with the machine in vertical or horizontal orientation. George is horizontal like your domestic machine . Some people can’t get used to a machine vertical. I think that has something to do with problems people have.

    Be sure to check if your sit down can later be put on a frame if you want to move up. I started with this machine as a sit down and had to have it modified at a large cost. I won’t recommend this brand to anyone.

    In hind sight, I wish I had purchased the Sweet Sixteen I originally planned on buying. But even then I would be ready for a stand up frame because of my rheumatoid arthritis. Remember that a sit down machine of any size still means you have to baste the quilt and still have the weight of the quilt to move around.

  4. its interesting how we can believe for the longest time, its us. not the product. hope things get back to smooth sweet sewing, soon!!

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