Friday, January 24, 2014

Not feeling the love

So far Penelope and I have not become the close and loving friends that I had hoped we'd become.
Though I haven't had a ton of time these past months to get used to her, the few times that I have, she has not played nice. Not nice at all. I have read and reread the manual so many times my eyes feel like they are crossed. I've made all the adjustments recommended by the manual and a friend and every recommendation that I have read on the Hinterberg Yahoo Group multiple times with no success. For the most part, this is the only thing I have to show for my attempts.
 Yuck! Lots of huge long stitches, nothing controllable and certainly nothing pretty. And if you think the top looks bad, this is what the back looks like!
Even worse! At this point, I'm seriously thinking that I have an electronics problem and if that is the case, no matter what I do to get her stitch nicely, it isn't going to work. I can't help but wonder if it was dropped or otherwise damaged when the older couple that I bought if from moved it from their basement where they had it set up to their garage where she was when I picked her up. I know that when I moved her, I was extremely careful so I'm sure that nothing that I have done since setting my hands on her has caused any problems but either way, she is sick and needs professional attention.

I just spent some time on the phone talking to Steve from Dekkt Out Quilting, who happens to be an expert on the Voyager and he explained all about how the electronics are built on this machine. Of course, he'll come and do a service call on the machine and get her up and running if that is what I want but now knowing that the electronics that she has aren't great at all and likely to continue to be problematic in the future, I'm now considering having Steve do the upgrade to her while he is here. Part of me hates the thought of spending the money, but I did get her for a steal of a deal so in essence if I buy the upgrade, I'd still have spent less than I would have for any other used longarm machine and frame. All the other members of the Hinterberg Yahoo group that have done the upgrade absolutely love it and have said that it has eliminated all of the electronics problems so I know that it would be a great thing to have. It is just hard to make the jump to spend the money. It will be so worth it but it is still hard.

Update: After talking to a couple of people this afternoon and doing more research, the likelihood that the problems are in the electronics is pretty high. I know a few of you have mentioned tension but trust me, I can't even get it running to even worry about what the tension looks like. I contacted a local shop that sells a different brand of long arm machines; one of the owners has been repairing many brands of machines for a lot of years and he'll be coming next week to see if he can find the problem(s) and get Penelope fixed. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I really want to get busy developing my technique and actually quilting my projects.

11 comments:

Almond Tea said...

I recommend you do it. Otherwise, it's just going to sit there. Spend the money for the upgrade, try to get some tips from the service person and ENJOY your longarm.

beaquilter said...

What foot do you have? it's stitching like the foot is NOT down??? also clean out the disc holding the top thread (paper inbetween the slot) then try to ajust the tension on the top a full turn to either side and then a full turn to the other side.... AND what about your bobbin? take you also take a picture of how it's threaded from the right side?? I don't want you to GIVE up and you don't NEED the upgrade, trust me ;)

Tina A said...

If you have to eventually go with a Voyager expert then do it but before you do, start with beaquilters ideas. There is a lots of advice out here from wonderful quilters that deal with this sort of thing every day. No giving up allowed, Sister Dear!

Marian said...

I regret that I didn't upgrade my D1 to the usb. Instead I'm still stuck using a floppy.. It is an important upgrade that I think would be good for my D1, and I let my dealer talk me out of it. I am sew stupid. That is something I will change when we move back to the states, if I decide to keep the D1, at this point I'm not even sure I'm going to do that. Upgrading has to be your choice alone.

However, it's not that I don't disagree with Bea either. Your machine should work without an upgrade. Even with an upgrade you risk not having it work. What I'd do is have the expert come out to look at it, see if he to can stitch with it properly. It's worth it just to find out what you may or may not be doing properly. If he sews on it, and it isn't working then obviously something is wrong, however, if he stitches out fine, then we know it's operator error (sorry). Have him show you the proper way to set everything up while he is their.

After all is said and done if you decide at some future date to upgrade, then by all means do so.

Diane-crewe said...

oh dear .. it is so so disapointing when you are looking forwards to something being GREAT .. then it doesnt work out .. Sorry to hear you are having problems .. hope it gets sorted soon x

Kathy4aday said...

When I first got my longarm I was completely intimidated and it was a year before we were even acquaintances. And mine didn't have any built in problems. I would say do the upgrade, it's a long enough process to get used to a Longarm. Good luck!

Kathy S. said...

So sorry she is not running smoothly. I don't know anything about that brand. But what I know about my Nolting is that for nine months I struggled on and off with tension. Then one day I found out that my thread was breaking all the time because my hand was hitting the cone of thread ever so slightly because of the way I was holding the handle to steer it. Then my other tension problem was because I had the tension dialed so tight that the thread was just sitting on the tension discs instead of going through them. Those two simple things were sooooo frustrating. It seemed like a large expense when I had to make the service call. But when I got my one hour or so personal session of trouble shooting it was totally worth it. It alleviated so much frustration. Good luck with your decision. Hang in there.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

My Voyager is very, very, very picky with the thread it likes to use. When I use thread my other machines love, this one hates it. So I kept buying different brands and trying them out in both the bobbin and top, until I found one my machine made beautiful stitches with. Every once in a while it will go stupid, because the tension on top got to tight, I pull the thread out of the tension circle thingy, and put it back, and problem solved. Good luck finding the right combination.

Julianne said...

Oh Michelle..you and I are in the same boat, although I am still straightening up the garage to get my Tin Lizzie set up, she didnt work all that great when she was set up the first time. I so dread the set up and practicing because I know it will be frustrating. Sounds like you have a good repair guy to help you out with it so hopefully you get it up and going soon...I am right there with ya in the frustration dept...I want to do my own quilts too!!

Connie said...

If you got your machine for a good price I would definitely spend the money to upgrade and get a machine you can enjoy. This has to be so frustrating for you!

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

I'm glad to see you playing but so sad to hear about the situation! I really hope you can get it up and running. :( I hope it is not the electronics. :( The only thing I can think of - and my machine is really different than yours - is lint or something in the thread path up top or in the bobbin area preventing you from getting good stiches. Also be sure the needle is in correctly. The thing about it is that it could be a million things. I know when I first brought my machine home I thought I had bought a dud. I thought for sure it was the machine and not me. After a year I know it's muscle memory and practice. Even if you do get it fixed - prepare to be frustrated first. Even if you're REALLY good at free motion on your regular sewing machine. If it were easy everyone would do it. It's easy to buy these machines but it takes some time to quilt with them - but when you do you're going to be in love!!! :) My fingers are crossed for you!