Saturday, August 18, 2012

Learn Something New Every Day

Oy Vey!
Learn something new every day?
My brain is exploding. It is good to learn something new. But why is it when life is easy, breezy, nice and comfy, some of us, like me,  insist on adding something new to make it complicated? 
 Something that gives us a headache and agita.

I spent a few hours today at a local quilt shop called Quilter's Corner, located in Chadds Ford, PA.
I was not the teacher.  I was the student of a very patient teacher named Deb.. 

They have a long arm quilting machine for rent.  For those of you non-quilters, it offers a unique way of quilting.  Instead of you moving the quilt and folding and scrunching with a home sewing machine, the machine moves and your quilt is stationary.

I have thought about purchasing one for quite a while. 
 It is quite an investment and the rails are 10-12 feet long.
 Where would you put it and how many quilts would it take to justify the cost?

So this option of being able to rent quilting time is very appealing to me.  Today was my day to take my lesson.  In 2 1/2 hours, I was taught the complicated and time consuming steps to load your quilt, how to quilt it using a pantogram and how to free motion quilt it.

This was the pantogram that I used to stitch across the width of my practice piece. You follow the line with this red laser light and it moves the needle that stitches the quilt. 

It looks much easier than it is!

This is what my practice piece looks like:

and close-up.

Really more square than loopy. Will my quilting ever look loopy? Is there hope for me?
 It's like the the old joke -  How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice.

I won't even share my free motion quilting.  It was pretty sad. 

There are benefits to continually challenging yourself.  It's a good thing.  It leads to personal growth and builds confidence as you surmount the challenges, but there is a fine line between challenge and frustration.

I had a bit of both today! 


  1. Practice, practice, practice is exactly right! That's all it takes!

    Quilter's Corner is just down the road from my son and daughter-in-law's house! It's a great shop! (I love the yarn shop in that little plaza too!)

  2. That is quite the fancy machine. I would love to have one, but the cost is high. I looked at the cheaper ones, I would love to see one with just the arms and a frame. I can do the quilting without fancy electronics, but it would be nice to do basic free motion on a frame and use the arms to draw the patterns. Like you, free motion can be a struggle with a table top, so I will have to do more practice. I watched a video on Utube and she made it look so easy, lol.


  3. Oh, I can SEW relate! I spent some time in the Gammill booth up in Houston, and boy, was it ever hard to leave! I was originally looking for a new embroidery machine, prepared to spen about $7-9K, but when the dealer wouldn't come down far enough, that money was just burning a hole in my pocket! I didn't have to go far to find something else to spend it on!

    It was frustrating, in the world could I do free-hand feathers on that machine when I couldn't do one on a my own machine??? I never did get the hang of it, but I could do loopies & hearts to my heart's content! Considering my whole sewing room is about 8 x 8, tho...(which is MUCH larger than my 2 x 3 sewing table in our RV!!!!) I couldn't figure out where a setup like that could go. HAD to call hubby just to have him talk me out of it for practical reasons (like, where would you put it (that was easy - in his shed!), how would you get it home (that was easy - they were gonna deliver it!), who was gonna be your husband in your new home (that one was a stumper...I had no good answer, so I thanked him, told him I loved him, hung up & went back to play on the machine some more!). I sure hope I get back up there this fall......

  4. Whew, and I thought it was just me. Thank you Cheryl, for your confession and photos of your panto-following attempts - I know I'm in good company, as you are much more accomplished a quilter than I. I took Deb's class several months ago and she keeps asking me when I'm going to come in and practice, and I keep making excuses. Nothing is as easy as it looks, and that's why longarmers get the big bucks! I'm probably going to stick to struggling with my FMQ attempts on my domestic machine on smaller pieces, and leave the big quilts to the professionals. We are lucky in DE/southeast PA to have more than a few expert longarmers to choose from.
    Happy quilting,

  5. Glad you had a chance to try something new. I don't think there is a shop around my area that offers an opportunity like that. A number of years ago when an acquaintance found out that I made quilts she suggested that I buy a quilting machine and use it to make money. There were two obstacles to that...1) those machines cost as much as a car and I couldn't afford it and 2) where would I put it in the 12 x 60 foot mobile home we were living in at the time. Needless to say I was just about rolling on the floor in laughter because of obstacle #2. :)

  6. UGH! I thought this would be easy?? It looks kind of hard and you are great at machine quilting. Do you think you will do it again!


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