Yesterday I told you that the leaders would be installed on my machine and I would get a lesson from the dealer on how to operate the Fusion. That did happen. The leaders were installed, and after watching Tim’s demo I loaded a baby quilt. We basted down the top and sides and were ready to start quilting.

After that the day got a little disappointing.

While stitching a simple meandering loop design we noticed that the stitch length wasn’t consistent. I had seen that on the sample I stitched a few days ago but figured it was something I wasn’t doing right. Wrong. I was doing everything right…yay!

Inconsistent Stitches

See how the horizontal stiches are longer than the vertical ones?

After running diagnostics and making a call to Handi Quilter support, we discovered that the encoder that controls the horizontal stitches was not working. When set at 10 stitches per inch, it was only giving me 5. If I set it to 20 I could get my 10 stiches, but then the vertical stitches were at 20. Not gonna work. Well, if I only stitched horizontal lines or vertical lines it would work I suppose. But a loopy meander runs vertical and horizontal so……

Handi Quilter is sending a new encoder but with the weekend here and a holiday on Monday it will be close to another week before it’s here and installed. Sigh.

I can use the machine in manual mode without stitch regulation. Bummer. But at least I can quilt with it so that’s a positive. And I’m use to manual mode as that is what I’ve been using for the last two years on my Sweet Sixteen. I just hate that I bought a brand new machine and it doesn’t work the way it should straight out of the box. Totally frustrating.

Then, as if the machine quilting gods weren’t having enough fun with me, the lights under the handles on one side of the machine don’t work. I’m sure it’s just a connection that needs to be tightened or jiggled or something, but by the time I finished quilting the baby quilt I really wasn’t in the mood to mess with lighting. So I left it and walked away.

On a positive note, I have to say that I am super excited at how quickly I can quilt a top now. Even with the issues we had and me picking out several lines of vertical/horizontal stitching, I finished that baby quilt pretty quickly. I can mentally see that pile of quilt tops in the guest bedroom shrinking quickly.

I can honestly say I haven’t lost my excitement for my longarm yet. I have even permanently named him. Yes, him! Felicia just wasn’t the right name. His name is Freddy. The name fits perfectly. I know Freddy and I will be good friends soon. We’re just getting off to a slow start. But I’m positive we’ll be playing together nicely before you know it.

Take that, machine quilting gods!!