I don’t have a long-arm quilting machine.
I want one. Very. Very. Much.
I have a whole post planned about my long-arm experiences lately, but this post is mostly about my work-in-progress this week. I’ll save my long-arm pining for another day, but I will mention that I don’t think this is going to be a short-lived obsession.
I took this quilt top to Sew Crafty up in Durham for my first attempt at long arm quilting something besides a sample square. Toni, the owner, is a delight to rent long arm time from, and I HIGHLY recommend her (even though it may mean more competition for me getting the time that I’d like!) Toni’s easy-going, very reasonable about rates and scheduling, and does some amazing work with middle and high school-age girls in her sewing camps.
I debated doing something with lots of right angles to echo the patchwork, but at the last minute, I chose an all over chrysanthemum pattern that has a little bit of echoing on many of the petals.
A long time ago, pre-Penny Sampler class with Stitched in Color, I saw this video on you tube by Rachel at Stitched in Color. I originally used the video to get a feel for whether I’d like an online class from her (which I do). For this quilt, I took what I remembered from that video and combined it with what I’ve learned and read and practiced from Angela Walters‘ class at Sew Down, and here’s the result.
The back is actually a old, well-loved, modal sheet. I adore these sheets, but my husband complains that they’re too “slippery.” I decided to take one and put it on the back of some of my favorite fabrics and turn it into my own couch snuggle quilt.
The wear on the sheet shows up more in pictures than when you’re looking at the actual quilt. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out – I was SO surprised there weren’t any puckers and pleats when using something so stretchy on the back! It might not be exactly square, but there’s no obvious waviness from having the sheet stretched too much in places. Maybe I just lucked out?
I realize that one day I’ll look back and be completely dissatisfied with my quilting. I almost hope for that because I always aim to improve.
Today though, I am bursting with pride. I did a large throw quilt (72″x80″ or so) in almost exactly 3.5 hours. (It took an hour, assisted by my instructor, to load a quilt for the first time, and I stood there for 3.5 hours after – with, of course, above-average number of bathroom breaks since I’m pregnant.) By the end, I was moving super-fast, not because I was that good but because I had a deadline to get back to my family, and I really wanted to finish the quilt in one session.
Now it just need to be bound and washed!
A huge thanks to Ann Tilley who gave me my Sew Crafty long arm lesson. Ann studied fiber arts and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, and she brought a ton of general sewing machine and fabric knowledge to her long arm introduction. Toni from Sew Crafty couldn’t have picked a better ambassador for her machine – Ann’s great!
I’ll be linking up with the other WIP’s this week at Freshly Pieced.