Learning to Longarm


In case you were operating under the illusion that all my sewing projects come out just as planned….

There I was, minding my own business, quilting some fun “googley eyes*” onto my quilt, when the screw came out of my bobbin case. Tension issues ensued. I didn’t find out until sometime later.

I will be unquilting some ~10 million stitches this evening. And looking for a screw smaller than a grain of rice. And making a huge sign that says CHECK THE BOBBIN SCREW EVERYTIME YOU CHANGE THE BOBBIN to hang right in front of my face on the wall. In case you’re curious, this is not the first time the screw has fallen out. Apparently it vibrates itself just enough to wiggle free.

No, I am not amused. Yes, I am annoyed. Wish me luck.

*Yes, I’m really calling that quilting design “googley eyes”. It’s perfect.

Machine Quilting: Lynnette’s Prep School Knockout Double Swirls

I machine quilted this cute version of my Prep School Knockout pattern made by my sweet pattern tester, Lynnette. She made it for me nearly a year ago, and I just haven’t had the chance to get it done. At first, I thought I would try big squared off spirals in each of the squares made by the ric rac intersecting. I gave it a shot on the first row of squares and realized it’s really, really hard. Apparently, it’s much easier to make curvy lines on a longarm, and straight lines on a conventional machine.

The things you learn!

I was persistent, though, and kept at it, hoping I would get better as I went. It was definitely slow going, and I wasn’t super happy with how it looked. I mean, the straight lines weren’t really…straight. You may not know this about me, but that kind of thing drives me crazy.

I forced myself to keep at it, knowing that it takes practice, and that this quilt was staying with me so I wasn’t disappointing anyone. Then, I advanced the quilt, and realized the tension was AWFUL on the back. Aha! An excuse to undo the unevenness! I spent the next 2 days unpicking the nearly 900 square inches of yucky not straight lines. Call me crazy.

I started over doing a double spiral, which I have done a million times on my little Bernina. It was so fun, and easy, and looks awesome! Guess I shouldn’t have forced the straight lines. It worked out great, too, because the spirals could fit in the curves of the ric rac, making it puff out a bit. I love it!

So there you go, the double spiral. Also, the adventures and misadventures of a newbie longarm quilter!



PS The fabric on this quilt is Bliss from the lovely Bonnie and Camille for Moda. Such an awesome line! You probably can’t find much of it around anymore, but their new line Ruby is equally darling, and is in stores now.