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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Anniversary Mother Teresa

5 years...
60 months...
260 weeks...
1825 days...
43776 hours...
1,314,000 minutes...
157,784,630 seconds...

But who's counting

No not that Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Although I do have a quote of hers framed and hanging in the Longarm Room.

"I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time - just one, one, one. So you begin. I began - I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person, I wouldn't have picked up forty-two thousand....The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin - one, one, one." Mother Teresa

As silly as it may sound, or to me as practical, I apply it to our service to the Quilts of Valor Foundation and to my clients. One, one, one. I'm not sure when my time as a longarmer concludes what the total will be but I'll know I did the absolute best I could, one at a time. 

But in this case "Mother Teresa" is my longarm. Well okay, Elaine's longarm and Elaine's Mother. I was 15 when I met Mrs. Navarro and some time around my 21st birthday, which happens to coincide with our wedding, she told me I could call her Terry. Mr. Navarro came around several years later, just about the time his grandson (our son) was born. So for many years Jesse and Terry were huge parts of our life. I have absolutely no recollection of ever not wanting to go to the "in-laws." They are both sadly missed but not forgotten. Our Innova was graced as "Mother Teresa" in honor of Elaine's Mom. I did call her Terry sometimes but almost always Teresa. Jesse, well he pretty much was always Mr. Navarro. Ba and Pa Pa to that grandson I mentioned and the cousins that followed. 

So Happy Anniversary Mother Teresa. Today marks the end of five years. Which among other things means the warranty is up. Five years ago today our machine and accoutrements were installed in what was once a deserted living room. Oh, there had been furniture in it but a human hardly ever set foot in there. That is until Virginia Longarm sent Greg and our 22"/12' Panto Vision equipped Innova down to turn the abandon room into an actual 'living room.' It is the Longarm Room, but a lot of living goes on in there now. 

We've seen a lot, learned a lot, I've cursed, a lot...and we have shared in the joy and comfort a quilt can bring to someone...a lot. Also a lot to learn, a huge learning curve something I'll cover in another post. Thinking ahead, "You own a Longarm...Now What?" But that which has made it most rewarding have been the thousands of hours, carefree hours, relatively maintenance free hours of quilting on the Innova. For the statisticians out there:

As of this date:

686 quilts
1 L n M Bobbin Chief
1 Pretension Disc
1 Rotary Tension Assembly (Standard)
1 Set of Felt Washers for Rotary Tension Assembly
1 Check Spring
1 Beehive Spring
1 Upgrade...we added Lightning Stitch in 2016. Don't wait, make it a part of initial purchase.
2 Needle Bars (I damaged the needle retaining screw threads and replaced the bar. Unnecessarily it turned out. Now I'm the owner of two Needle Bars.)
2 Leader adjustments. The 12' Leaders and the 10' Leaders that we use on both the Take-Up and Belly (Lift) Bar are Take-Up Leaders. The standard Belly Bar Leader is too short for the way we load quilts. We float all tops and wouldn't load without our Red Snappers. 
2 Calls. One to ABM and one from ABM. The results of which led to the resolution of the relative problems.
4 Birds of a Feather
Needles...lost count. 

We have never had to Re-time.
Tension has not been an issue for years. On those occasions I need to make some adjustments they are minor, usually no more than a half to a full turn on the Rotary Tension Assembly. I recall having to do that about a month ago. 

We have never made a call to Virginia Longarm that didn't answer our question or fill our order for supplies. On the Needle Bar Incident, Michele tracked one down (not in stock) and it was delivered the next day. In this case the USPS earned some points she shipped it without overnight delivery stipulated. Doesn't sound like a big deal...until you are made aware that ABM had closed in anticipation of a major hurricane bearing down on Texas. Without Michelle's efforts I'm down for over a week. 

In the five years I've probably only threaded the machine a half dozen times. Then only when I forget to tie the new to the old. Ya can't fix stupid.
For several years we used a different Bobbin Case than the recommended CM Cerliani. So I have four, the two Haya and two Cerliani. Sorry, back then the Cerliani's were only $49.95. I've gone back to the Cerliani if for no other reason than Elaine says they are quieter. Rest assured if Elaine says they are more quiet than the Haya...they are more quiet. I never noticed a difference in tension quality or performance. The sound part is not really material for me, I'm half deaf even with my hearing aids. 

We've followed recommendations from ABM and Virginia Longarm and we've not followed them. We've adapted, changed, changed again and may change something again. We don't use the "red" bobbins, we use synthetic oil, our Bobbin Chief is threaded slightly differently than the diagram in the units manual depicts and we load the bobbin into the bobbin case differently than depicted in the manual.  It works for us. If it ain't broke. 

 We've removed a leader completely (currently I'm not sure where it is), we use a drop of oil at every bobbin change (but that's relative depending on the oil dispenser). We have a whole house circuit breaker but still unplug the machine when the Thunder and Lighting Gods act up. 

On those occasions when we think about moving our first criteria for replacement dwelling are two 20'x20' rooms. One for the longarm and one for Elaine's Sewing Room. We haven't moved. We have found homes with the two rooms though. But alas, there are other criteria's.

So today we celebrate an anniversary. We hope there are many more. We look forward to each day that we quilt and longarm. As well each completed QOV and each QOV Award. I've developed a client list of some wonderful quilters and hope they get as much joy out of their quilts as I do longarming them. 

This is the tension patch from quilt 686. It's been at least a month since I've made any adjustments. When I do have to tweak here and there it is usually for different colored threads top and bottom or variegated. 

October 2012

October 2017

So until "You Own a Longarm...Now What?" 

Quilt till you wilt...we do.