Oh how simple it looks to quilt on a long arm in all those videos. Some of the teachers do touch on matters such as cleaning your machine but overall you realize that the video you see has probably been made multiple times until everything is perfect and someone takes care of the machine.
Before I purchased a long arm I trolled the internet looking for comments. I found many negative ones and many about poor customer service. And this was not just one machine but many of the manufacturers/distributors.
In perspective I can see where trouble can arise. What you see demonstrated is the cheese cake finished. But before that are all the mechanics of getting the raw ingredients together and then doing the work. A long arm machine is many parts. In this case the frame; the robot; the machine and the remote control; needles; thread. I had help putting it together. Think of 12 feet of parts when finished and someone trying to do all this by themselves. Hortense fills the better part of a large room. I did not want to disturb anything after the effort. Bobbin checking and cleaning; machine threading; tension checking; sample checking; loading a quilt; moving the rails up and down; cleaning tracks and wheels; removing stray threads; checking tension on the pulleys for the robot. Ok. But taking off the robot!!!! Well that I did not want to do but had to. So out to the garage to my workshop and getting the tools I braved the task. It was scary. The pulleys lay slack. The table had tiny parts on it; screws; nuts; etc. from the robot and carriage And I had to go out to the vets. Visions of little paws belonging to soft purring creatures exploring while I was out went through my mind. Out came the plastic bag for all the bits.
On the spindle the pulley has on the y-axis was one stray thread. One thread!!!! How did it miss that when working? At least it was not dog hairs. My Goldens love to be close when I am quilting or doing anything else. And they do love to be vacuumed but they have HAIR.
Well it happened successfully and now I am empowered to take things apart and put them back together within reason. Whatever machine you are working with be it long arm or embroidery or sewing machine or serger or felter you have to accept that to get a gorgeous cheese cake you need to consider all the mechanics and maintenance. So for those who expect a machine to always be perfect and never need your help then expect to be disappointed. Unless you have a built in handy person in your household who can take care of the minutia of the machines be prepared to be your own best friend to get things fixed and to be able to do trouble shooting that helps the support team help you. The more complex the machine the more parts and the more sensitive are the mechanisms.
This may all seem terribly uninteresting but in fact it illustrates being self sufficient. It felt so empowering to overcome a fear and to successfully help myself with guidance of the troubleshooting team at Husqvarna; the support of my dealer and the manuals. Pictures are great. Here is a small piece of the quilt I was working on and one of the quilting designs. This is the cheesecake you get when all things from the ingredients to the mechanics are in your control.
A lovely curve; a sweep; consistent stitches and a soft puffy quilt.
Now back to figuring how to make the clock stand still so I can get all those other quilt tops done. Have a great day!!!!! And also what was I doing yesterday on a Shop Hop with our guild yesterday adding to my stash. Am I crazy or what? But is fabric a tranquilizer?