I started working my my first quilt on my new longarm last week. I learned A LOT during the process. I knew when I started it that the thread I had chosen is cotton and took special care to get the tension correct. I don't think that I really thought that one out enough because this was my first quilt and I did have a Poly thread on hand that was close in color and would have been easier to work with. But then again if I am going to be doing this I might as well learn to deal with my favorite thread. Right?
Well, I did get to learn to deal with it. My quilt is 71 inches by 91 inches. It took me a day to rip out the stitches from the bad tension and it was only 1 row of the pantograph that I was quilting. Yikes!
Tip #1 Check your tension on the top and bottom of the quilt within a few stitches of starting your row.
I started getting better with the tension and feeling a little bit more confident. I should have known that I was about to learn another lesson.
Tip #2 Double check where you are aligning your Pantos. Cause if you don't you will be riping out another row of stitches. Oh, and after you have ripped out the row, you might want to look at Tip #2 again because having the row too far from the first one is just as bad as overlapping it so get out that seam ripper again. (Yes, I really did have to rip the same row twice, but at least the second time I caught my mistake faster, so I really am learning.)
I was so excited when I finally finished quilting the quilt and was able to take it off the frame. I draped it over the rollers and took the pictures above, then noticed that I had missed part of one of the rows of quilting.
Tip #3 Check your quilting before advancing the quilt. I did figure out a way to get the quilt back on the machine, lined up with the panto, and finish the row.
All in all, a good learning experience. I feel confident that I can troubleshoot the tension, align my pantos, and troubleshoot issues as they occur. Not bad for my first quilt on the machine.