Friday, May 19, 2006

Long Arm Quilting Adventure

How many times have you looked at those huge quilting machines at the big shows....that is, unless you already have one of those $17,000 babies...I have tried them at Houston last fall and last year at our own quilt guild show, but always on muslin.

I happen to know a representative of American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS). Chery Uribe is a drop dead gorgeous woman who is know, the kind of woman you like to hate because she is so lovely! Well, you would except that she is absolutely one of the nicest people around. She is the one who has been by my side telling me about the various machines...but without trying to sell me one (yeah, right, she knows when I make the decision I will go to her!). She had invited me out to her house to try her big machine anytime I wanted.

Well, this was the time. I had finished a 60 x 60" quilt which needed to be quilted. So, thought I, let's try the long arm machine and see what I can do with it on my own work and not just rambling around on a blank piece of muslin. Was I in for a learning curve! I have taught machine quilting for about 20 years but all of a sudden, moving the machine around was something different. Cheryl kept telling me I was doing really well for a first timer. I used the stitch regulator but didn't really like it so went to the non regulated stitching. The most important thing I learned was to shut off the machine when I needed to pause so it didn't keep on sewing!

What an adventure!

Cheryl has provided some pictures for your enjoyment! I'm surprised my tongue wasn't sticking out as it usually does when I am concerntrating. Anyway, I finished the quilting and then this evening, in front of the TV I did the unquilting so I can fix the major boo-boos on my machine.

Oh, and by the way, Cheryl quilts for other people, including Alex Anderson, so I know I have a good teacher!


Gerrie said...

I don't know about the quilting, but that is a gorgeous quilt - love the colors and the linear design - yummm!

Diane Perin said...

Oh, Liz, this looks like fun. I see a long arm machine in your future! Your quilt looks fabulous and I can't wait to see the finished product!

Elle said...

Long arms are very cool. I tried one at the MAQF show and enjoyed it! That's a pretty quilt you're working on!

Elle said...

Oh! And Liz, I just got my latest QA with your article! Yay!

TALL GIRL said...

I have had long arms all my life and I can't quilt like that!!! Beautiful quilt!

Sarah Ann Smith said...

I've heard that many folks say quilting on a home machine is moving the paper under the pencil, and on a long-arm is moving the pencil over the paper. I've also heard Caryl Bryer Fallert says using a long arm is more like moving the man HOLDING the pencil.... given my poor efforts at quilt shows, I'd have to agree with her!

Your articles in QA mag. were great, by the way! I'd just about sworn off doing any more QA challenges, but I've been wanting to do some more abstract work. Did a series of journal sized quilts to illustrate color principles, and forced myself to do non-representational abstracts, and think I may just give this one a go. Good job!

Cheers, Sarah

Anonymous said...

I love your work, do you have to be an art quilter to join this ring? I particularly liked the dyeing pictures, I love to play with dyes and fabric paints too.