Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year - resuming quilting a Quilt of Valor...

We've had the same Quilt of Valor on the frame since before Thanksgiving!  You may remember, 'Miss Betty II' developed a major attitude during the final quilting pass of a previous QOV, and because of time constraints, had to load 'Miss Betty I' to be able to finish in time:

'Miss Betty I' and 'Miss Betty II' on the frame at the same time!
After finishing the previous Quilt of Valor, and suffering through the most recent bout of flu/cold for the season, it was time to make a call to HQ and see what could be done.  Luckily for me, I hit pay dirt by getting hold of a wonderful HQ Tech, Mr. Salter - who was kind enough to walk me through the necessary steps to get Miss Betty II back on track.

A few new tools for Christmas definitely were a big help:

Opening the box - those are Lipstick RED T-handles, Miss Betty's favorite color!

T-handle and ball-end Hex tools

After a LOT of patience during the 'trial & error' learning phase of how to get her fixed, we were back in the quilting saddle!  Just look at these gorgeous quilting stitches:

McTavishing the left navy border

Along w/right navy border

Central quilting 'perpendicular' to the stripes in the top w/Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto - 
one of our very favs!
All of the quilting is being created w/LAVA Diamond Head in the needle - another favorite, and white Maxi-lock in the bobbin to match the white backing.  Quilters Dream poly blend was used for the batting, and quilted like a Dream ;-)

The panto quilting is ALL finished, time to do the final ditch & McTavish quilting, THEN go back and quilt continuous swirls in the white borders and 'something' in the gold borders...still haven't settled on a final quilting design...time for some quilt browsing...



  1. Happiest New Year Deb! SO glad to hear Miss Betty II is back up after being down with whatever she had. I have no clue what those tools are but if they helped, sweet to have them. I have to ask... what was off kilter? And congratulations on getting her up and quilting again. Yay for Mr. Salter!! ~ Christina in Cleveland.

    1. Happy New Year to you, too Christina!

      Yes - it's wonderful having 'Miss Betty II' back in the quilting saddle, to be sure! While running the last pass of a pantograph on a previous Quilt of Valor, Miss Betty II decided to spit out her bobbin case and break a needle. I replaced the bobbin case and put in a new needle and attempted to stipple quilt for a few inches and she completely threw herself out of time. Since I was under a deadline at the time and not feeling well enough to work on her (was starting to get the flu), I felt it would be easier to load Miss Betty I than to spend several hours learning how to 'time' Miss Betty II. Plus, I didn't have the proper tools at the time. 5+ weeks later, along w/new tools and some hard-learned knowledge w/help of HandiQuilter, and Miss Betty II seems to be completely fixed - we'll keep our fingers & toes crossed!

      Thanks again for stopping by and enjoy your New Year ;-)

  2. Glad to hear all is now well with Miss Betty II! I had my needle clamp hit the leader grips and broke a needle while doing a panto. Looks like my timing is now way out too. I think I am taking mine down for service to make sure the needle bar is okay. If I were sure it was only timing, I would do as you have done. I timed my Nolting when I had it and it wasn't too bad. Scary but I was successful! I have worked on lots of my vintage machines as well. This is scarier because he cost so much more! Yikes! Praying I didn't kill him!

    1. Thanks Katy - so sorry to hear your Avante is now out of time...not FUN!

      Even after I got 'Miss Betty's' timing right AND the needle distance set, which was much more challenging, I was having ALL kinds of 'thread shredding/snagging', and the stitches were horrible. Ultimately, it would shred so badly it would end up breaking the thread after just a few inches of stitches. I phoned HQ AGAIN and Mr. Salter was kind enough to suggest I get some 'crocus cloth' asap and buff the entire thread path contacts, including and especially the hole in the needle plate and the needle plate itself, which I did and the shredding reduced a bunch.

      However, it wasn't until I took the entire bobbin assembly apart, found a very slight burr where the needle had gotten stuck in the bobbin assembly when it broke and the timing went out, polished it out and Voila - perfect stitches!

      One last benefit of ALL this polishing and buffing w/crocus cloth - I read or watched a video 'somewhere' while trying to discover anything related to timing and/or thread shredding, to take apart the needle tension disc assembly and very CAREFULLY polish both faces of the tension discs in a circular fashion to eliminate any thread grooves that may have gotten worn into the discs over time and/or any 'slight' variance in the face of those discs from manufacturing, which I did. NOW, I have perfect needle thread tension without having to over-tighten my tension discs to get them to 'seat' properly and apply proper tension to my needle thread...Yippee!

      Now, I can run the needle tension soooo much looser on my delicate threads, as Jamie Wallen and other Professional quilt artists recommend, without having to over-tension those threads, thus causing thread shredding and breakage. Such a simple 'fix' w/HUGE results. I tried this on my older HQ16 and got the exact same results. I'm a believer in this and will definitely keep this in mind for future reference. Doesn't take a lot of effort to do, either!

      Here's hoping you get your machine fixed quickly and back to quilting in the New Year!

    2. Thanks, Deb. Good stuff to know! I bet mine will need this too as the needle got stuck when it broke. It sounds like something I should have on hand all the time! Where did you buy it? Any special brand? If the weather is okay, I am taking mine down on Monday, otherwise it will be the following week. I can't wait to get it back and working again! Mr. Salter sounds like a real gem :).

    3. The crocus cloth I used is pretty much 'standard' and can be purchased anywhere crocus cloth is sold. Just make sure it really is crocus cloth and NOT high grit sand paper - which is what many want to offer in it's place. Typically, crocus cloth is used for polishing and buffing fine metal surfaces, such as those used in fine machinery and even jewelry ;-)

      I had to completely remove my bobbin case assembly from the shaft of my machine to be able to disassemble it and polish all the potential areas that could have a burr on them, including the hook, which needs to be handled very carefully, to ensure the point remains nice and sharp!

      Once it's completely removed, one will need to re-set the timing on their machine to properly install it and avoid any future skipped stitches and/or needle breakage.

      Good Luck and Happy Quilting,

    4. Thanks, Deb! I so appreciate all of your help!