|First: Move Trunk...|
In 2011 I test drove the Sweet Sixteen for the first time at NC Quilt Symposium and met Donna Sontag from Whatever's Quilted. I tried out the Sixteen again at a few more shows and was totally hooked. However, this is not a cheap purchase (over time I suppose it can be amortized over the number of quilts I don't send to someone else to be quilted...) so it took some time to decide to buy. (This morning though, I had the epiphany that I've spent more on Gus's hockey fees in the past two years than I did on a machine that with care will last for decades, so I'm feeling pretty smug right now).
|Second: Open Boxes...|
Saturday morning I took Gus to meet up with his Boy Scout Troop to spend the day rock climbing. I returned home thinking I would nap before the Quilt Bee meeting, but was too energized. It was time to unwrap Mollie and get her set up. The first thing I was faced with was the statement on the box to "not destroy" as it was reusable. Alrighty then, one possible helper is on his way to Pilot Mountain and the other would not be amenable to being woken to move furniture around at 7:00 a.m. ... Executive decision time... since I would break the box down to store it anyway, I will simply release the glue along the one edge, so I laid the box down and opened it like a pizza box. Success. Double success as I got it leg side up.
I started removing the shipping foam (which is now safely in the shed with the box) and opened up the legs. Knowing that the legs are adjustable to get an ergonomically correct height, I decided to go ahead and extend them before flipping the table upright as I figured it would be easier to lower the height than raise it once it was rightside up.. Not knowing what my ideal height for the table would be I raised them to the 10th hole on each side. Tried the 13th, but even upside down decided that it would be too high. For the record, on the 10th hole, someone of average height (5'5") could quilt standing up (note the amount of curtain visible under the table). I was right - it was easy to lower it and eventually settled on the 4th hole. An added bonus is that it is flush with my sewing table seen next to the trunk in an earlier picture. I toyed with centering the table between the cutting station and the sewing table and decided that there was too much risk of getting a quilt caught between the tables, so the two sewing tables are butted up next to one another now. It is a tight fit, but I still have full access to the cutting/pressing station to the right.
The table adjustment is actually pretty easy to do. There is a latch the crossbar for each leg that is squeezed together to release. I did lift the table marginally so that there was not opposing pressure from the legs to make it harder. With a machine in place it would have been much less fun.
The table has a brace underneath the cutout that gets removed before inserting the machine head, I assume to minimize the possibility of damage during shipping. As I removed the brace and looked face down into the cutout, I was a bit concerned that whomever had done the precision cutting had slipped. So I made a mental note to figure out how one might fill the gap, and was running through things like foam tape as the last thing I wanted to do was repack and reship the table. However, once I placed the head in the table, my worry turned to being impressed as the cutout is quite precisely done.
Next came the task of placing her into the table. As I was still the only awake human in the household, and the corgis don't have thumbs, I first placed a length of fleece on the table to protect it from bumps or scratches and then worked my way around to slide her in from the back. Must remember that there is a gap between the table and the windowsill right now, so that things don't get pushed off the back (but aren't 12 year olds here to crawl under tables and retrieve things for us anyway?).
After placing her in the table, I opened the box of accessories and other neat stuff (free thread from Superior along with a nice catalog). It was at this point that I found the set-up instructions for the table... perhaps those might be printed on a piece of paper and included in the box with the table? The final set-up steps included reading the getting started book and installing the power cord, thread guide, foot pedal and touch screen. Next came the first test drive, but as this post now resembles a thesis, our first stitches will be addressed in the next installment.