The 3-room transition is finally taking shape. For my new blog followers, we enclosed a back patio to become a quilt studio for my new longarm and frame. My old sewing room is 90% moved into the studio, hubs is moving his custom fishing rod hobby into my old sewing room, and then we can get our game room back because he has 7-foot fishing poles all over the pool table. I’m still in the process of moving everything that is not sewing related out of the quilt studio. Baby steps my friends. The wagon is full of tools needed to install the windows and doors and put everything all together but we’re getting closer.
I purchased my longarm, the King Quilter 18″ Special Edition, the Grace GQ frame, and the QuiltEZ Butler from Sewing Machines Plus .com. This has been a real experience y’all. Long story short, they ended up sending me an entire new machine and tablet last week. It’s been nothing but problems, problems, problems and I still haven’t quilted on it yet. SMP has done everything they can in a timely fashion to make it right, but it’s just the entire process that’s been a pain. They are a middle-man between Grace Frames (zero problems with the frame so Grace is still in my… well…good Graces lol), Tin Lizzie who makes the machine, and QuiltEZ who makes the robotics.
First QuiltEZ sent the wrong hardware to mount the Quilt Butler robotics unit to my frame so I shipped the wrong hardware back and received new. Then the tablet died and wouldn’t reboot so we swapped tablets. Then it was still the wrong bracket for the robotics so a third bracket was sent. Then the encoders were faulty – they are the little wheels on the carriage that tell the tablet where the machine is on the frame – so I got new encoders. The new encoders seemed to work, the tablet worked, but the precision stitch (stitch regulator) on the machine wouldn’t work and the machine would freeze. This was a real issue because the robotics in the Quilt Butler uses the precision stitch. Fortunately, I’m tech savvy enough to upload videos of the problem to YouTube and SMP could see the problem immediately and determine that it wasn’t user error. They immediately sent out an entire new machine, tablet (3rd tablet), encoders, and all. SMP promised me they would test the new machine for two hours before sending it to me. It got here, I set it all up and it and everything works fine. Finally, hubs went to install the robotics yesterday and the 3rd mounting bracket is still the wrong one! Fortunately, he’s got the ability to make it work and asked me if I wanted him to retro-fit the new bracket which would mean drilling additional holes into it. I told him to go ahead – what do we have to lose at this point. If it still doesn’t work, then we’ll send it back again but I really want this baby up and running you know? He did some minor fabrication and the robotics unit is mounted. That’s as far as we got last night. Those two silver Phillip’s head screws are in the new holes he made.
Today he’ll work on installing the belts that move the carriage around on the frame. So I bought this on Nov 3rd and today is January 16th. I’m about to make my second payment on my 0% interest 4-year plan and I still haven’t been able to use it. Actually, at this point, I just shrug my shoulders and laugh at the situation. It’s that or get pissed enough to raise my blood pressure and it just isn’t worth that. To SMP’s credit, they are letting me have a clear plastic grid for the pantographs ($79) and a $300 box of Madiera embroidery thread both for $100. We tried for free, but couldn’t make that happen.
So there you have it. The only comfort in this for me, is that misery loves company. I follow another blogger and she just dropped $10k on the Quilt Path for her APQS and still can’t get it to work right either. So much for a private dealer right? Still, I don’t know if the Butler works properly yet or not until we get it all hooked up. I found a video on YouTube where QuiltEZ is going to have 4 live webinars on how to use the Quilt Butler from start to finish to include different patterns in different blocks and how to do the borders. In the video they recommended we make up a quilt top to use for the class with sectional blocks, sashing, and a border. I finished a UFO Spider Man quilt from Villa Rosa designs that I’ve had in the works for my oldest grandson (5) for the last year or so. I have a horrible cold right now and I’m heavily medicated so I wasn’t paying attention to row placement as I put it together. But hey, “Finished is Better than Perfect” right? I’m sure my grandson won’t even notice.