Here is another beautiful quilt from one of my repeat customers, Mary. This pin wheel quilt was so colorful and stunning.
Free Motion On The Long Arm
Now that I’ve completed the certification training at Quilted Joy on the APQS long arm machines, I could rent time on the machines to finish projects. One of the first quilts tops I ever made was on the cover of Quilts & Crafts Simpy Moderne Magazine Issue No. 5 called For Lori’s Beautiful Eyes by Stephanie Prescott.
This quilt starts with large 18″ quilt blocks that are cut into 5 different shapes, it’s very graphic and colorful and was quite fun to make. I made the quilt top last summer and have been waiting to learn how to finish it properly; I’ve even toyed with the idea of paying someone to finish it for me, but I really wanted to learn the long arm myself.
Here are a few close up pics of the blocks. I used this fabric I found at my local quilt shop from MODA that had cool fonts and graphics on them, the colors were very bright and cheery and I liked to look at them. I’ve noticed that I’m drawn to fabrics that have printed words on them or some type of font, maybe it’s the creative writer in me.
Here is the finished quilt top from last summer.
So, this quilt top sat on my shelf for months, until I finally figured out how to get my hands on a long arm so I could finish it. I’ve tried to do free motion on my sewing machine, but the frustration of dealing with the missed stitches, uneven length stitches, and broken thread was enough to make me take it out on my husband. Poor husband, it’s not his fault I couldn’t get my machine to work correctly.
I found out about the certification course from my first meeting with the local Modern Quilt Guild; it was a eureka moment for sure. Once I completed my certification, they recommended that you schedule time on the machines as soon as possible, so you can retain what you learned. This is sage advice, as I was all thumbs putting my backing on the zipper system that the APQS machines use. Liz, the instructor was very helpful on my second go around, but once I got everything set up, it was smooth sailing.
I was trying anything and every kind of shape I could think of. On the circle pattern, I was circling the colored circles, on the mugs, I was outlining the mugs, I was doing swirls, loops, and squares, pretty much anything goes. I wanted to get comfortable with the machine and what I could do with it.
I used a white backing on this quilt, but in hindsight, I think a dark grey would’ve been better. Picking the batting, backing and thread colors is something I hope to get better at doing. From everything I’ve read in quilting books and magazines, practice really does make better.
Once I remove the quilt from the machine and bought it back home, now the process of cutting the excess fabric off and sewing the binding on, begins. The binding I chose to finish the quilt with is the same green fabric with the fonts in the print.
Here is the finished quilt with the binding. This will be me and my honey bunny’s cuddle quilt for when we are watching movies in his man cave.
I need to get busy piecing more quilt tops. I think my next project will be a bargello quilt.
Long Arm Adventures
Today was my big day at Quilted Joy http://www.quiltedjoy.com/. I signed up for a class to get certified so that I can rent the machine to finish my quilt tops and future projects.
Kathy was my instructor. She was so nervous to be teaching me, because I was her first student! Yay me, she was very patient and a great teacher. We both learned a ton of good tips from the owner of the shop Angela Huffman. All of the machines were by APQS and they were all on 10′ or 12′ sized frames.
Here I am ready to rock and roll. All of the layers are rolled, basted, and ready to go. These machines are very intimidating and expensive; I highly recommend taking a class somewhere to try them out and practice before investing large sums of money.
This is the paper pattern that sits on the back side of the machine that I decided to use as a guide. I was following this design by using a laser light that is attached to the handlebars of the machine.
You can see from my first try, the stitches are all over the place. It was very difficult to follow the pattern with the laser light, it definitely takes practice, practice, practice.
It took me approximately 2 hours to finish stitching this quilt on the machine, so it’s much faster than using a traditional sewing machine. I will be going back and renting time. I want to continue to hone my craft and learn so I can make my mojo magic.
Long Arm Certification
Quilted Joy is a local quilt shop in Louisville and they have free motion quilting certification classes. Once you complete the class, you can rent time on the long arm machine to work on finishing your quilts. I signed up and I’m taking my free motion class this weekend!! This will elevate my quilting game. I make this simple 9 block quilt to use for my practice. The instructions said to bring a lap sized quilt, no larger than 55×55, so I made this quilt to bring with me.