The truth about longarming: Part 2

I ended my last post about longarming with the rather vague promise to set myself specific longarming goals, and though I didn’t articulate them, I was following them.

My first goal was to longarm a bobbin a day, which I did for a full week after the post. I had no specific plan, just to hit start and see where the machine took me. Well, it wasn’t great, but it was a start so I just kept going until that first bobbin ran out.

longarm-quilting-practice

But as I kept going, things started to even out a little.

longarm-quilting-practice

And I was really having fun.

longarm-quilting-practice

I’m not sure when I switched bobbins, but I just kept quilting a little bit every day after work.

bobbin-two

I experimented with new shape, different scales, and no matter what, just kept going.

finished-practice-piece

And at the end of the week I had this. If you zoom in on each part, there are lots of imperfections, but goodness, doesn’t it look pretty awesome? I was really pleased with it. The next shot shows a bit more detail. I especially like the top left corner. Although I know stitching at this scale takes forever and makes the quilt quite stiff, I’m really drawn to the teeny tiny quilting. I do need to practice working at a larger scale for customer quilts, so that’s the next goal.

longarm-quilting-practice

I was so happy with the results of the bobbin-a-day experiment that I decided it was time to load up a real quilt onto the frame. More on this customer quilt in another post.

spider-web-quilt

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5 thoughts on “The truth about longarming: Part 2

  1. Vicki Holloway

    I am so proud of you for jumping into the deep end. My mom bought the long arm that lives with me. She is afraid of it. She is very good as meandering and loops. She can’t see much currently so I do all of our quilts. I feel in love with the type of fmq in your practice piece. I decided that is what I am going to do. I love micro quilting too. Overall, you may find that you love doing edge to edge and do that. Your customers just want something pretty and a finished quilt. I haven’t made my fortune yet but I feel like I am coming into my own style and such. Daily quilting is a key for me, load something on the frame and I experiment as I go. I also took some Zentangle classes and I draw daily. Fear of a complaint , fear of ruining…. well you can unpick anything and I have had only I complaint in the 6 years of longarming. Customers come back over and over. Enjoy the process, I love it. You are off to a really wonderful start!

    Reply
    1. Carmit Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Vicki!

      One of my biggest obstacles is they high standard I set for myself (not just in quilting, in other aspects of my life). There are plenty of people out there doing fairly unspectacular work who are experiencing success, if only because they’re putting themselves out there and doing something! And I know that if I just put in the hours I can be pretty good (as evidenced in my practice piece here), and if I put in more hours, I can maybe reach spectacular, but that would really only be a bonus, because as Angela Walters says: close enough is good enough.

      Reply
    1. Carmit Post author

      It’s fun to play around, but what I’m going to try to focus on to start is edge-to-edge designs; the kind that let me quilt a large quilt in a couple of hours. Once I have a few patterns down, I’ll start expanding my repertoire. Just took a quilt off the frame today!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Shape-by-Shape Quilting Class with Angela Walters | Quilting Rainbows

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