I Quilt – learning to love my longarm quilting machine


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Welcome to I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins!  It’s been a while since the last link-up and I hope to see you all back linking up with me on a weekly basis.  Please remember that this linky party is about the quilting process.  Everything from sketching your quilting designs to lessons you learnt stitching it all together.  If you love quilting, this is the place to be ;)

All dressed up in handmade and ready for work!

All dressed up in handmade and ready for work!

Ironically, as I restart the I Quilt linky party I am also returning to my ‘day job’ for the first time in eight years!  This afternoon was my first day back and I was a nervous wreck on the way to the office.  I actually had a great time and am really looking forward to working in an interesting area with some really nice, friendly people.  Yay!  I will still be taking quilts, so please pop over to my longarm quilting website if you’re interested in that ;)

colour play flimsy

This week I thought I would talk about how I am finding quilting on my longarm :)  This week I have been working on a quilt for my bed – the only bed in our house that doesn’t have a quilt made by me on it!  I made the top (above) a few months ago and put it aside to quilt on my longarm.

photo 2 (1)

One difference between a domestic and longarm quilting machine is that you don’t need to baste your quilt.  I was looking forward to this as I don’t particularly love crawling around on my knees and poking myself with pins.  What I didn’t realise is that the tension is so much better whilst quilting on a longarm as the frame holds everything nice and firmly (in the above photo I am “floating my quilt top”, which means that the batting and top are hanging free and the back is “loaded”/wound onto the take-up rollers).  Seriously, I was pinching myself admiring the lovely texture of my SLQ (below), sure the work isn’t perfect as this was my first time using a ruler, but wow, look how smooth that quilt is! :)

photo 3 (1)

I used a variety of fabric in this quilt top, voile, linen blend and quilter’s cottons.  Whilst the voile definitely wasn’t as forgiving as the cotton if I needed to unpick… It really quilted up lovely :)  (the teal border below is a lovely voile.)

photo 4 (2)

I have to say that Angela Walters is a bit of a idol of mine.  I’ve read her a number of times saying that if a customer gives her freedom to do whatever quilt design she would like, she always goes with feathers.  I really wasn’t sure how to quilt the large outer borders of this quilt and I didn’t want to overpower the beautiful Anna-Maria Horner print (from her Loulouthi line).  Feathers in a lovely soft Aurifil thread (2000 in 50wt) have done the job quite nicely :)  I probably went a bit overboard, but I do love to quilt and I really did fall in love with my longarm whilst quilting this beast :)

photo (37)

Now it’s your turn!  What have you been quilting this week?  Have you ever swapped machines and had a different quilting experience?  Do you have a fall-back design that you use to quilt busy prints?  Add your link below and please remember to visit at least 3 other linkers :)  We all love comments!

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15 Comments on I Quilt – learning to love my longarm quilting machine

  1. Pam My Way
    January 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm (3 months ago)

    That’s going to be a spectacular quilt. Thanks for hosting… first time linking up.

  2. DeborahGun
    January 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm (3 months ago)

    wow – first time back to work in 8 years. To the same work place? Hope it continues to be enjoyable :-) And loving your quilting too :-)

  3. Julia in Mississippi
    January 24, 2014 at 12:20 am (3 months ago)

    I love how the straight stitching shows up on the “cross” blocks. Nice and straight and even!

  4. Lorna McMahon
    January 24, 2014 at 12:20 am (3 months ago)

    Yes, I have missed you! Wow! Your quilting is looking fabulous! So glad you are back!

  5. Renee
    January 24, 2014 at 1:43 am (3 months ago)

    Ahhh that looks SOOooooo awesome! I dream of owning one someday…le sigh.

  6. Debbie
    January 24, 2014 at 2:24 am (3 months ago)

    Welcome back! This is really interesting! With I could get that smoothness on my home machine! And good luck getting back into the work routine….

  7. Southern Gal
    January 24, 2014 at 3:04 am (3 months ago)

    I can only dream of being able to quilt with a regular machine! I finished my first quilt attempt and am so excited! Came here through another blog, but can’t remember which one!

  8. Diana @ Red Delicious Life
    January 24, 2014 at 4:17 am (3 months ago)

    Your quilting is looking beautiful! I really want to learn how to quilt on a longarm someday! My go-to fmq is a basic swirl.

  9. Shannon
    January 24, 2014 at 5:11 am (3 months ago)

    Beautiful quilt! I love it! Great fabrics.

  10. Jess @ Quilty Habit
    January 24, 2014 at 8:35 am (3 months ago)

    Sounds like you had a great first day! Hope there are many more good ones to come :) Your quilt is just gorgeous. That’s one of my favorite Loulouthi prints, and you definitely did it justice!

  11. Meredithe
    January 24, 2014 at 9:03 am (3 months ago)

    Well done – you’re quilting looks fabulous! All the best for “back to work”!!

  12. Sarah from mila+cuatro
    January 24, 2014 at 10:04 am (3 months ago)

    Quilting on a long-arm sounds fantastic – I’m glad to see the I Quilt linky (and you!) back, as I have recently started on my own FMQ journey and have been waiting to link up! My go to FMQ so far is a back and forth squiggle (there is probably a technical term for it), I’m hoping that soon my go to will be meandering.

  13. Jeneta
    January 25, 2014 at 10:58 am (3 months ago)

    Your quilt is stunning! I always enjoy your posts – they are so inspiring!

  14. Ms Midge
    January 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so in love with this quilt! YOu must be in heaven!

  15. hydeeann
    January 29, 2014 at 8:50 am (3 months ago)

    congratulations on the longarm! it looks as if you are having a lot of fun with it, making all those pretty designs.


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