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.

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