The IntelliQuilter Has Arrived

After several long months of waiting, my IntelliQuilter finally arrived last Friday.  


We got it set up over the weekend. Here it is in progress.

Then I started stitching out samples to see how it works.  I was having a terrible time with tension.  I tried using the Towa gauge to see what the bobbin tension was and the indicator just jumped all over the place.  We loosened the tension spring on the case to the point of the screw falling out.  Still too tight.  Oh, and in case you wondered, if you completely remove the screw and try to sew, the machine will not pick up the bobbin thread.  We undid the top tension almost to the point of falling off.  Still bad.  I should mention here that I was using 50 wt thread on the top and a magnetic 60 wt bobbin.

I got to thinking about it, and the bobbin case I was using is one that I bought from a dealer, though NOT my dealer.  The case was cheaper than the standard bobbin case price and it also did not come in a box when it arrived.  I got out one I knew was legit (it had come in a box) and compared it.  Yep--the cheaper one was missing the Towa symbol on the case.  

I tried out the Towa original case and everything magically got better; I could actually get a reading on the Towa gauge as well.  Moral of the story:  don't buy a case that is a good bit cheaper than normal.  Be really careful to make sure the listing specifically states that it is an APQS product, not just that "it fits".  Not worth the agony and the wasted time.  The knock-off case did work well with the Glide 40wt magnetic bobbin when quilting by hand, so it's not a total loss, but why would a dealer sell a knock-off and not the real thing?  At least offer both or say outright that it is a generic.

So...back to trying out the iQ.  I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to set up a quilt, how to adjust patterns to my liking, and how to realign after advancing the quilt.  It's very easy to get nice tension with the Lucey for hand-guided, but I haven't hit on the perfect tension for the iQ yet (and why is it different???), so I will keep trying that today; I had to buy more practice fabric.  My goal today is to perfect the tension, quilt a few of my own quilts for more practice, then, once I'm satisfied with how things look, start in on the pile of client quilts that are waiting for me.  I will not touch my clients' quilts until I'm sure I can provide the level of quality I want.

Things I like about the iQ so far:  much, much faster than the previous system (Quilter's Creative Touch/same as Quilt Path), both in the computer speed and the stitch out speed, no belts to adjust, more precise stitch outs, being able to set things up exactly how I want them and being able to independently adjust each thing, being able to chose precise points and zoom in precisely to where I want something. Things I'm not so fond of: learning how to set the motor speed and the detail/speed settings to the optimal combination to get the look I want. 

I have finished one of my two bindings that are this month's goal.  I decided to start with the smaller one to feel a sense of accomplishment.  I made this quilt in April with the old long arm and it's been waiting all this time.  The quilting design I used is called Faster Posies.  It's so cute.

Here's a look at the other quilt I need to finish binding--I'm about half way now.  It's quilted with the design Hot Cross Buns.  

I also want to share a few of the customer quilts I worked on recently while waiting for the iQ.

First is this heart quilt made by Amber.  It was quite large at 107" x 105".  I quilted it with a hand-guided loopy meander using Glide thread, which is a heavier weight and has a sheen.

Next is the 94" x 105" kite quilt made by Keetah.  The colors were so soft and girly.  I used the same loopy meander and Glide thread on this one.

I want to share Annie's Unity quilt again.  I quilted this one with Knit 1, Purl 2.  Annie did a lovely photo shoot with her quilt once she finished binding it.  Isn't it just beautiful?

I am so thankful that I get to work on so many beautiful, precious quilts.  If you're looking for a long arm quilter, I'd love to work with you.  My specialty is computerized edge-to-edge quilting with a nice density and I offer hand-guided loopy meander (like what is shown on Amber's and Keetah's quilts above) as well. My goal is to have your quilt back to you within two weeks. You can stop by my business website to find out more.  

Be sure to stop by my friend Denise's blog,, this week.  She's participating in a blog hop--there are contest giveaways!--and you will find a sale code too.  :)

If you've visited in the past, you know that I talk about my garden and nature in my yard quite often.  I'm happy to report that we have now found seven monarch chrysalises around the yard and two empty ones.  And the one that got eaten.  :'(  Plus we found two caterpillars getting reading to transform.  I was really surprised to find two chrysalises hanging on the dead flowers of a lamb's ear plant.  That doesn't seem like the most stable, safe place to rest.  They are right outside the front door.

Most of my gardens need to be weeded, deadheaded, and cleaned up in general.  Just not feeling like doing it yet.  Plus we've been hazy and smoky from the wildfires out west, so the air quality isn't great.  And now I'm scared I'd accidentally disturb the monarchs.  

Finally, I have to share this story.  We have a Google Nest doorbell because my sewing room is in the basement.  I kept getting notifications on my phone that someone was at the door, or motion was detected, lots in a row.  When I clicked on the app, no one was at the door.  Then I remembered I have the Hub or whatever it's called, so I opened up the door view on there.  Still nothing, though I thought I might have seen a flash of something.  My daughter was in the room with me, so we both looked.  All the sudden...there:

Can you see it?  A cricket was crawling around over the camera on the doorbell!  And with that, I leave you until next week.  Happy quilting!

1 comment

  1. Oh my gosh -- you were doorbell-ditched by a cricket!! :-). That's so amazing, that you have Monarch transformations happening right in your yard! I don't ever see chrysalis in North Carolina. As for your IQ tension troubles, did you go back to the Baby Steps Lesson One and follow Angela's instructions there? She said that the tension is going to be different because that iQ thread break sensor wheel is adding drag to your top thread that wasn't there before, or something like that, and she gives recommended TOWA settings (lower than what I'm doing without iQ) and talked about thread path adjustments as well. I'm so glad you wrote a post about your new iQ because I'd been wondering how it was going. Those loopy meander quilts for your customers look really good, too. I hope you'll link up with Long Arm Learning!