Adventures with Annie – my Longarm Journey

20180412-loris-longarm-journey

January 6, 2018

Bake (my husband) and I are moving into our new house. It has a yard and a garden area. I have a dedicated sewing studio. We have moved my new-to-me Handi Quilter Avante (named Annie) and her 12-foot frame into my sewing studio but there are no overhead lights. That will have to be the next step in my longarm journey.

January 7- March 16, 2018

Have you ever noticed that two people have different ideas of what is important? Bake seemed to think it was more important to get the garage arranged like he wanted it than to get my studio set up. He ran new electrical wiring, he built shelves, he arranged and rearranged things, and, and, and …

March 10, 2018

I loaded Louisa’s Blue Attic on the frame and started quilting an overall pattern of spirals. But because there are no overhead lights, I can only quilt in the daytime.

My Electricians

My Electricians

March 17, 2018

Finally, I have lights. Our youngest son did all the work in the attic while Bake did all the work in the studio. We have four light fixtures that give us 5300 lumens each. I can see!!

Lights!

Lights!

March 20, 2018

I am really struggling with quilting this quilt. First, because I’m a perfectionist and I can’t get my spirals anywhere close to round. Second, I’m only about halfway through quilting this queen-size quilt and I am completely bored.

March 24, 2018

I took two classes from Gina Siembieda and Vicki Kerkvliet, Handi Quilter Educators. The first was Free-Motion Quilting; the second was Ruler Mania. I came home from those classes completely excited and much more confident in my potential.

I told Gina my machine at home was much harder to move than the ones set up for the class. She suggested two possible problems. 1. Perhaps the bar was creating drag because it was too close to the bed of the machine. 2. The motors and the gears need to be disengaged when the machine is set up for ProStitcher (the computer-driven part of the machine).

I went home and discovered that the computer part of my machine did not know I was free-motion quilting. I changed the setting on the computer and my machine moves freely now. I finished quilting Louisa’s Blue Attic.

Louisa’s Blue Attic

Louisa’s Blue Attic

March 25, 2018

I took a third class, Fills and Frills from Gina and Vicki. I bought a couple of rulers and a ruler base for my machine. I REALLY can’t wait to try some of what I’ve learned.

Longarm quilting - A Sample of My Stitching in the Fills and Frills Class

A Sample of My Stitching in the Fills and Frills Class

When I got home from my class, I loaded my next quilt in the frame. This one was smaller, about 56” square. I loaded the quilt “upside down.” The quilt top is on the bottom; the quilt back is on the top. The fabric for the quilt back (that is on the top in the frame) has a quilting pattern printed on it.

Printed Quilt Backing Fabric

Printed Quilt Backing Fabric

I simply followed the line and quilted.

The Front of My Quilt

The Front of My Quilt

The Back

The Back

Longarm Quilting - Following the Lines?

Following the Lines?

I bound and washed my quilt. Much of the printed blue line washed away. I expect another washing and you won’t be able to see the blue lines at all. When you don’t know where the lines are and you don’t know where I was SUPPOSED to stitch, it looks pretty good. I’m pleased with what I accomplished on this quilt.

Ready for Ruler Work

Ready for Ruler Work

April 1, 2018

After the kids and grandkids left, I attached the ruler base and loaded a small wall hanging so I could start doing ruler work.

Tools for Ruler Work

Tools for Ruler Work

I put Handi Grip on the back of my ruler so it clings to the quilt top.

Completed 4-Patch with Ruler Work

Completed 4-Patch with Ruler Work

And within minutes, I was hooked. Look how perfect! Please don’t think that all the quilting was perfect but much of it is really well done. The ruler makes it so much easier.

Lily

Lily

Meet Lily. She thinks that quilts in the frame are put there specifically for her to sleep on.

April 5, 2018

Nearly Done

Nearly Done

I finished quilting today and took my quilt off the frame. After it was off, I found three spots that I’d missed. I’ve marked them with pins and I’ll figure out how to finish those three places. Maybe I’ll try ruler work on my domestic machine.

Longarm Quilting Workbook

Longarm Quilting Workbook

I’m still waiting for my copy of Teresa Silva’s Longarm Quilting Workbook.  I’ve been told it’s a winner.

I also found a couple of things on our website. In her video Longarm Tips with Judy Woodworth Judy talks about free-motion quilting techniques, tools, and thread.

And if you want more in-depth material, there is an on-demand class, Longarm Fundamentals with Angela Huffman.

Until next time when I’ll be exploring more about ruler work,
Happy Quilting,
Lori

Comments (4)

  • Jude S

    With your quilt backing, did you mark the fabric yourself or did you purchase a “pre-printed” fabric? I tried searching on line for a “backing with no success.

    April 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm
    • Quilting Company Staff

      Jude, thanks for asking! we reached out to Lori and she replied: I found that preprinted fabric in my mother-in-law’s stash. I have no idea how old it is or what company produced it. My mother-in-law has been gone for more than 15 years. Let me know if you happen to find any.

      April 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm
  • Sue J

    I really like the idea of pre-printed backing patterns, but I am in love with Lily! She is the exact copy of our beloved cat that also liked to be on the desk whenever I was working. She was totally fascinated with the needle going up and down on the sewing machine and never once tried to paw at it. As long as I sewed, she watched. Seeing your kitty really makes me miss her, but I have to admit that I do get a lot more work done now. Thank you for the wonderfully bittersweet memory.

    April 17, 2018 at 4:50 am
  • Shirley P

    WOW!! I really appreciate your honesty. In my experience, people give up too soon because the see (& hear) perfection in blogs and feel they can never accomplish the quilting task at hand. Walking the process with you along with your discoveries is priceless. Thank you.

    April 17, 2018 at 6:12 pm

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