So Frustrating!


The Germs Are A Flyin

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been a bit lax at reading and commenting on your blog posts. Unfortunately I’ve been ill. My lack of energy kept me from doing anything but relaxing on my couch. Thankfully I have turned the corner and am finally on the mend. This uptick in energy has helped me to catchup on my reading and my interactions with your posts.

Just Before

Shortly before hitting the wall I was working on finishing up three on-going art pieces as well as a brand new one. All that was left to do on the on-going art pieces was the hand stitching. The new art piece had reached the quilting stage.

The plan was to quilt my project using my Pfaff Performance 5.0 because the piece was too small for my longarm machine. Sadly the machine had begun to have issues; issues that I couldn’t ignore. Even though I had been doing regular maintenance the machine just wouldn’t cooperate.

View One-After

After ripping-out my quilting twice I finally threw in the towel and admitted the repair shop was my only alternative. Sad as it was to be without my workhorse I knew I could always rely my old sewing machine, or could I?

My Backup

Knowing that I needed to put it back into use I went to my storage closet to remove my Pfaff 1475CD. This trusty machine has been with me since the early 1990’s. I’ve successfully used it to create many, many items.

The machine had been sitting idle for more than a year which meant it would probably need a bit of cleaning. I removed the cover and layers of dust that had gathered. Next I checked for any lint accumulation that may have been forgotten, replaced the needle, wound a bobbin, threaded the machine and grabbed my art piece. As I released the lever that suspended the presser foot in mid-air I assumed the shaft would slide down and engage the presser foot with my fabric. After releasing the lever I waited, and I waited, and I waited but that little critter refused to go down on its own. Who would have thought that my second machine wouldn’t work either?

Time to Dismantle

Since the warranty on my Pfaff 1475CD had expired eons ago I figured I might as well attempt to troubleshoot the problem. I did research on the internet to find a solution. Through my searching I discovered that this is a common problem with this machine. Using the knowledge I acquired I proceeded to disassemble the machine.

I followed all of the suggestions, even enlisting the assistance of my hubby to try to revive my machine. After days of oiling, cleaning, poking and prodding we came to the conclusion that the issue was beyond our abilities. I bet you can guess what happened next…that’s right! Not only did my Pfaff Performance 5.0 take a ride to the repair shop but so did this one.

To the Rescue

I was so distraught. The thought of being without my machines for three weeks along with the fatigue of my illness was more than I could bear. Tears came rolling down my face as I struggled with my emotional dilemma. I shared my issue with my family via iMessage. In no time my oldest daughter was offering me the opportunity to use one of hers. I did accept her offer and made arrangements to bring one of her sewing machines home. Having her machine available means the next three weeks, sans my own machines, will be less painful.

Tin Lizzie

Since I’m on the subject of ailing sewing machines I thought I might as well give an update on my Tin Lizzie.

Tim Lizzie Error Message
Tin Lizzie Error Message

For a while I have been sharing the troubles I have been experiencing with my longarm quilt machine. My machine has been randomly deciding not to turn on. I reached out to the company for assistance but received very little if any response. Thankfully the issue I was having was intermittent.

Tin Lizzie
My Tin Lizzie Ansley 26 Longarm Quilt Machine

One day, out-of-the-blue, I received a random phone call from my Tin Lizzie repairman. I was absolutely aghast to hear from him because my previous cries for help had gone unanswered. As our conversation progressed it was obvious he was oblivious to my issues. His reason for calling was totally unrelated. Thankfully he promptly made an appointment to stop by to trouble-shoot my machine.

After diagnosing the performance of my Tin Lizzie he was able to determine that there were parts in the motor which needed replacing. Thank goodness there was actually something wrong and it wasn’t just my crazy thinking. He immediately placed a call to order the parts. As soon as they arrive he will stop back to install them. I plan on enticing him to checkout a few more things while he is here, just because. My warranty expires in a few short months so it’s now or never.

Who would have ever thought that all three of my machines would have issues at the same time!!!

Thank You!

Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder! I really needed the support.

Talk with you soon!

logo_101417_2

Machine Update


Anytime a mechanical device breaks or malfunctions it can be frustrating. Having my longarm quilt machine out of commission is downright heartbreaking. This industrial built machine is supposed to be my workhorse. How can I practice my craft if my machine doesn’t stitch?

I struggle to stay in harmony with my Tin Lizzie. There are so many opportunities for things to go wrong. I recently shared two posts discussing some of my issues. The first one called A Bump In The Road revealed the challenge I experienced with breaking/shredding thread as well as a timing issue. Those items, for the most part, had been tackled.

IMG_0523

My second post named Not Again talked about a machine failure. When I signed off, at the end of my post, I was waiting for the Tin Lizzie corporate office to call. Several days later I did receive a call. After asking a series of questions I was told that my issue would be forwarded to a repairperson. This repairperson would then call to discuss my issue. As of today the repairperson has never called.

After my machine sat idle for days I thought I would try turning on the machine to see if for some reason it would mysteriously work. Much to my surprise the machine successfully completed its start-up routine. With hesitation I pressed the stitch button and away she went. Bingo!

I was so happy to get back to quilting! Who knows what was wrong. All that counts is that my machine is working.

I wonder if the repairperson will ever call? 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

logo_101417_2

P.S. My machine did mysteriously stop working again giving me the same error message as last time. I decided to turn it off and restart just like I did before. This particular time it worked right away. I hope this doesn’t become a regular occurrence because my machine’s warranty expires midway through 2018. ;(

Not Again!


IMG_0249

Have you ever a screen like this? I have and it wasn’t for a good reason. This lovely display of colors meant I had an issue with my Tin Lizzie quilt machine. If you recall my recent post then you remember that I had struggled with a timing issue on my machine. Thankfully I successfully overcame that. Unfortunately I have run into another road block.

I recently had the privilege of working with a new quilting customer. She asked me to do the stitching on a quilt she was planning to give as a gift. I’ll share more about her quilt in a future post. After finishing her quilt I decided to get busy on some of my own. I had seven that were waiting to be quilted. I breezed through two of them then loaded on the third. After working on it for about six hours I decided to call it a day.

The very next morning I went down into my studio to pickup where I left off. I went through the usual routine of turning on my machine then pressed the button to begin stitching. The machine paused for a moment then displayed this message on the screen.

IMG_0523.jpg

I have gotten messages similar to this when my machine has had a thread jam. Naturally I made the assumption that was the case this time as well. The first thing I did was to check the fly wheel to see if it would move. The fly wheel moved freely so I figured that meant a thread jam was not the issue. While I am thankful that I didn’t have to clear the jam and time my machine all over again I was totally baffled as to the cause of the error message.

Since I don’t have a local repairman my only option is to leave a message on Tin Lizzie’s telephone or send a request for service through their website. I chose to send an electronic message. When I didn’t hear anything for 24 hours I sent a message to the person that I bought my machine from to ask for their assistance. I received a reply that indicated they would contact the corporate office to initiate a service request.

Having my longarm quilting machine broken is very upsetting to me. I am totally at the mercy of the corporate office in Utah for service. In the meantime here I sit with a partially quilted project, four more waiting to be quilted and requests from customers for others.

I certainly hope this issue can be solved real soon because I am very sad. ;(

Thank you for listening to me vent again.

logo_101417_2

 

A Bump In The Road


IMG_0247

As you may know I own a longarm quilt machine. I use it to quilt projects for customers, family and myself. Keeping the machine in proper running order often gives me fits. The air inside my studio can at times be filled with rather colorful words.

I am not mechanically inclined. I usually defer those tasks to my hubby. He can turn a job that would take me hours into a simple task. Unfortunately he is not always home when I need him which means I have had to learn how to make repairs on my machine by myself. The distributor of my machine has an online library of helpful how-to videos. I used those videos to help me with my most recent dilemma.

I have been struggling, and I mean struggling, with a capital S with thread issues for months! Slowly I have been moving through the list of possible causes eliminating them one by one. The journey has been a long and trying experience; testing my patience to the limit.

The problem I have been trying to solve is breaking or fraying thread. So far I had crossed off thread quality, batting and fabric as contributors. I even replaced a couple of parts thinking that they might have had burrs that were damaging my thread. Left on my list were machine timing and the needle. Since I like to tackle the most difficult issue first I decided to address the timing of my machine.

I called up the videos on adjusting the machine timing and watched them over and over again. With each viewing I tweaked the timing ever so slightly. By the time I had finished I had lost count of the number of times I put my machine back together and the number of screwdriver bits I used during the my process.

After getting oil all over my hands and my extension table I finally managed to get the timing properly adjusted. Hopefully I will remember the proper settings for next time because you know there will be a next time.

After conquering that hurdle, cleaning up my hands and my extension table I was so eager to get back to quilting. I rethreaded my machine and started stitching. In no time my patience was once again tested by breaking thread. Argh!!

The only thing left to change was my needle. Thankfully I keep a huge supply on hand. Before selecting the new needle I checked the reference table I have to make certain I was using the correct size. I loaded in my brand new needle, rethreaded my machine and started stitching again. Presto! No more breaking thread! I was back in business! Thank GOODNESS!

I have learned so many valuable lessons. Hopefully my senior mind will remember them for next time. 🙂 Until then I will be stitching along.

Thank you for visiting today! I’m so glad we had this opportunity!

logo_101417_2

 

A Thread Jam


TL18_FULL_LINE_2015A Test of My Patience

My long arm quilt machine recently decided to test my patience. It was 3:15 a.m. I’d been up quilting for an hour and forty-five minutes when the needle, with its point embedded in fabric, suddenly stopped. Having a needle stuck in fabric is enough to make me panic. Somehow I had to find a way to solve this problem.

 

What Do I Do?

My first instinct was to manually raise the needle. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the needle to budge. My next thought was to enlist the assistance of my spouse. I figured he could probably help but the only problem with that idea was that it was way too early in the morning to bother him. So I decided to throw in the towel, at least for now, and wait until morning.

HELP!

At first light I explained to my spouse what had happened. Between the two of us we were able to do a little research on the Internet by typing in the error message displayed on the machine’s screen. The message read:

TinLizzie Motor Related-Error has occurred Error (0x02)

We were so thrilled when several web links appeared. At the very top was a link to the TinLizzie website. The link was titled, “What to do when the machine jams!”/TinLizzie 18 . The link provided detailed instructions on how to clear the jam. We followed their suggestions very carefully. Unfortunately we still were not able to fix the problem.

Frustrated with the lack of success we decided to look more closely at the instructions. Just maybe we had missed a crucial step. At the bottom of the screen, in the comments section, we found a link to a video. The video walked us through the process of clearing a jam one step at a time.

From the video we learned two things

The first was the need to remove the protective cover from the flywheel belt. By removing the cover we could gain better access. The second tip was to turn the flywheel clockwise. Using this new information we tried again to clear the jam. After several attempts the wheel finally let loose. Dislodged was a small wad of lint. I was sort of surprised to see it because I’m very careful to keep the bobbin area clear.

Time to Try it Out

After reinstalling the belt cover I removed the dislodged lint as well as any other stray threads. I also replaced the needle. After replacing the needle I turned on the machine and tested it to make sure we were successful. Thankfully all went well. I was back in business thanks to the TinLizzie website and the assistance of my spouse. Time to get back to quilting.

Thanks for visiting!

Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting

Sample of Quilting