The Free Motion Quilting Project: Sit Down Quilting Sunday #1 - Getting to Know the Grace Qnique

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sit Down Quilting Sunday #1 - Getting to Know the Grace Qnique

It's our first Sit Down Quilting Sunday and time to get this new mini series started! I'm super excited to share my new Grace Qnique in this series of videos designed to answer your questions about sit down / table mounted longarms.

In this first video I've shared my basic setup of the longarm in a Quilty Table and the most frequent questions I get about setting up the machine this way - why I like it, what in the world those clamps are for, and how this works for quilting larger quilts.


Click Here to learn about the Grace Qnique longarm.

A few notes for this week - I'm still in the Making Friends phase with the Qnique machine. It usually takes me a few weeks or a few quilts to really get to know a machine and its quirks and how we can play nicely together.

One thing I immediately noticed was how sensitive the foot petal is. Just a little pressure and I'm going from super slow to super fast. When I asked Nathan about it, he showed me how to adjust the pedal to have more speed range in the pedal. I've never seen this before and I'm super impressed - here's a machine you can customize to work better for you!

Another key I've learned is not to just practice on practice sandwiches. Sure I can play around and quilt a mess all day, but that doesn't really tell me much. I learn more when I'm quilting something REAL because then I pay more attention and focus on how to press the pedal to get the right speed, and how to move my hands to compensate.

I've been practicing on the overlapping feather design from the Sashing and Cornerstones Pattern. I need to quilt 31 of these feathers for the bigger version of the quilt so this is a great opportunity to get used to the machine at the same time.

One thing to keep in mind - this machine is simple. Very, very simple. But it does have the features I find most important - an auto needle down when you tap your heel on the foot pedal, a bobbin winder on the top of the machine, and a hand wheel on the back if you need to rotate the needle by hand

There's no stitch regulator or speed control so you have a lot of power to get used to and a lot of speed to control.

So what are you curious about on this machine? Is there something you'd like me to try, or a feature you'd like to learn more about? Just post your questions to the comments below and I may just shoot a video just for you to answer your question!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

29 comments:

  1. I am excited to see this series! I bought a Handi-Quilter Sweet 16 last year and am still in the learning process. I do have to sit at the needle end on my set up but I have extension leaves on both sides to deal with the weight of the quilt. I also bought some clamp-on arms sold as dog groomer tools that clamp easily to the extensions and allow me to hang clamps like the ones you have from your curtain rod. I've done a couple of quilts on the system now and I am getting better. I don't have questions yet....but I'm looking forward to learning your tips!

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    1. Excellent! I'm happy you're excited about this new series!

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  2. Hi Leah,
    I have the Q'nique on a frame and love it this machine is awesome the stitch quality is fantastic I am so glad to see you doing a series in this machine look forward to it!

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    1. Cool! I plan to move to a frame with this machine sometime this year. It will be a big transition, but I'm excited to learn that style of quilting as well.

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    2. Leah you will quilting on a frame quilting it's like night and day love it!

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  3. Love to read your posts and watch your videos! Is the bobbin easy to input? Does it have a bobbin cutter?

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    1. Great suggestions for questions! I'll make sure to shoot a video just showing the basic functions and how to change a bobbin. Nope, it doesn't have any thread cutters. It's super simple with limited features, which is why it's also very affordable.

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  4. Very interesting, I am considering a purchase,Thanks so much!! Lois

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  5. Hello. Leah
    I love that you're doing this. I have a sweet sixteen that I absolutely love.... the issues I have had have been those of thread tension.... maybe you could go over the problems that we all face at one time or another..... thanks again for holding sit down Sunday!!!!!! I love sitting and quilting large quilts!!!!

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    1. Yes, I plan to shoot a whole video just on tension. Thank you for the suggestion!

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  6. Hi Leah,
    I have a couple of questions: firstly does the foot hop or glide? I have test sewed on a sweet 16 but did not like the hopping foot. Secondly, have you had problems with thread tension? That was one issue that came up during research on this machine last year. Thank you.

    Oh, also which do you prefer, this or the Juki?

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    1. I definitely prefer this machine over the Juki. I took my time adjusting the tension and now it's set and solid. I'll be sharing a video just on setting that up probably next week. Yes, it does have a hopping foot because it's a longarm - they all hop. But you can minimize how much it annoys you by adjusting the foot.

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  7. Great kick off for your new and very exciting series. I think this is going to be very popular. I'm certainly looking forward to it and I think you just kicked it off beautifully, by sharing insights on the benefits of a sit down machine.

    At some point, I hope you share insights about body posture for a sitdown longarm machine vs a regular domestic machine. Somehow, the positioning shown in this particular video makes me wonder about the ergo issues, as it looks like you may be sitting too low. But overall, your setup looks great, very inviting, and I'm all ears.

    QuiltShopGal
    www.quiltshopgal.com

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    1. Great video suggestion! I'm actually sitting weird because I was filming with an odd setup with my ipad and had to tilt everything a bit weirdly to get it in the shot. My chair raises up nice and high for this to be comfortable and I don't have to crane my neck to see the needle.

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    2. Leah, I’m so excited to see you using a long arm. I’ve already looked up having a machine shipped to me. I have a “there’s a sheen with a 10 inch harp And would like to put it on a long arm sit down frame. Would that work with your set up? Thank you again.

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  8. What happened to the Juki TL2200QVPS? Do you still use it? If not why did you change?

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    1. I had continual problems with my 2200 and have been looking for a replacement for more than a year. I've boxed it up and plan to store it for now and probably sell it in the future.

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  9. Good to see that you have a Qunique. I have a BlockRockIt which is the sister machine by Grace Co. I have two of them. One a sit down version and one on a frame. I love the sit down better because it doesn't have as much of a learning curve! I use the frame one for larger quilts. Thank you for all of your insights.

    Lorraine

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  10. So happy to see your post about this machine. Very affordable. I love sit-down quilting. The learning curve with long arms is daunting and I do look forward to seeing your trip down that road. I am sure you will master it quickly.

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  11. Leah, this was great! Been looking at sit down mid-arms for a year. Q'nique was on my short list but we don't have a seller in Missouri (live in St Joe) so haven't been abnle to test drive one. Love my Elna 720 (identical to Janome 6700) but sure wish for more space to right of needle and better visibility around the needle. Really thrilled about your series!

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  12. Leah, I too am very interested in this machine. It seems to accomodate us quilters who do not want a big long arm but still want to quilt larger quilts. I am curious to know if the quilt table I bought several years ago from Quilty would support a machine of this size. Look forward to more videos and info on this machine. Thanx

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  13. Good morning Leah! I'm really excited about this new video series you will be creating for us. This will be awesome! I happen to have a Sweet 16, that I haven't been able to use too much, due to work, but also constant tensions issues, which I'm sure I'm responsible for. :) Thank you for everything you do for us, Kathy

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  14. Hi Leah,

    How did you make this into a sit down machine since it was meant to be on a frame? Have you ever tried the Janome sit down long arm? That one is orientated like a domestic.

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    1. You can set up the Grace Qnique in a table or on a frame. Yes, it certainly will have more functions and a stitch regulator when set up on a frame, but I wanted to try it as a sit down because that will feel more like quilting on a home machine. Nope, I haven't tried the Janome sit down longarm.

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    2. Grace makes a sit-down version of their midarm quilter.
      https://www.graceframe.com/en/sewing-machines/qnique14-sitdown

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  15. Have you tried other threads besides Isacord? Are there certain threads that don't work well with the Qnique? I use a lot of So Fine and Bottom Line by Superior Threads.

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    1. I'm very much a creature of habit so no, I haven't tried a lot of different threads in the Qnique yet. I'll pull out some and give it a go and share some videos on how it goes. Thank you for the suggestion!

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  16. The link at the top should go here:
    https://www.graceframe.com/en/sewing-machines/qnique14-sitdown

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    1. Yep! I've just updated the link so it's correct now. Thanks for the catch!

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