Sunday, February 16, 2014

Long Arm Update - it's good to go

Millennium APQS Long Arm set up

So there is my APQS Millennium Long Arm Machine, all set up - well I still need the right kind of bulbs in my lights, but otherwise, it's done. The frame is 10 feet from end to end and the front most bar - the quilt back bar - is 6 feet from the back wall. It takes up almost all of my sewing room.

Millennium APQS Long Arm set up

Lightning, the quilting dog, is pleased that he still has a cozy spot. However, the cutting table has been moved to the room next door which is currently bursting at the seams and messy beyond belief. No, I shall not be showing that one, and  tidying it is high on the to do list.

Millennium APQS Long Arm set up

This is the view from Lightning's bed. The door to the hallway is closed and you can see that if I cleaned up more of the messy closet I would have more space for my comfy chair. All that nice open space under the long arm will soon hold my scrap bins. As pretty as the floor is, I have no where else to put them, space is at a premium around here.

Millennium APQS Long Arm set up

This is the view standing at the window. I still have a nice spot to sew and the fabric can fit. The table on my Horizon is only 17" wide, as are the adjoining cupboards, so there is still room to stand and quilt at the front of the long arm. My sewing chair has wheels and is easily moved out of the way.

Quilting practice piece

Yesterday afternoon and evening I quilted on that long piece of IKEA fabric. I quilted up about 10 feet of it, just playing and learning the machine.


My quilting is seriously questionable, but I have learned that the machine is fantastic to use. It will happily stitch away for hours on end, without complaint. My feet, on the other hand, are lobbying for an anti-fatigue mat.

First practice on my new Millennium Long Arm

And look, it will happily do matchstick quilting, and do it fast too. You can see I wrote my name, which makes it official. This machine is a keeper.

This afternoon, Matt and Bradie Sparrow - from Sparrow Studioz - came over to install Leader Grips for me - a system that allows you to load in your quilt back with just a snap on of a plastic grip, and I will share photos about them next time. Matt also went about and tidied up the cords, tightened the bolts, rearranged my tool box, set the timing, showed me how to adjust the tension and generally gave my assembly a passing grade. He was very polite about the quilting too, but I have a long way to go before I can quilt like he can.

I have to say that these folks are just lovely to work with and have made this purchase a dream. Matt is the APQS guy in Canada - Canadian National Sales Director - and I am fortunate to have him and his studio handy. I totally recommend them if you are in Canada and looking at a similar purchase.

I am going to go back to playing with my new machine. Tomorrow is a holiday here for Family Day so I can quilt more then too.

Oh, and my machine needs a name. Although she says Millie on the side, I am sure that is her middle name. Any thoughts on what her name ought to be? Something that fits with the industrial modern quilting that I hope she will help me to do.