Friday, May 17, 2019

A Story of Longarming Woe / Beauties Pageant 32

This is an older quilt that features the same quilting design I am using
in my current project.

Apparently, I have confused everyone. The photos accompanying this post are from an old project I finished in 2017. My current project is not done yet.

I bring you a cautionary tale today, dear reader, about the project I’m quilting on my home machine right now. I was planning on finishing this quilt on a longarm. In fact, I scheduled some time at my local quilt shop to rent its Quilt Maker Pro and computerized Prostitcher, but some Very Bad Things transpired while I was there.

This quilt (see a sneak peek here) was supposed to be my third time working with a pantograph on the longarm. I was going to be efficient, people, because in the world of longarm rentals, time is money. I was going to load that machine like a pro, and I decided before I arrived to use a boxy meander quilting design. As I greeted the proprietor that morning, the caffeine from my morning tea had started to kick in, and I was feeling good!

Not quilted on a longarm but still pretty, right?

It took a few hours for things to go off the rails from there.

I did load the machine pretty easily, with only a few minor snafus. The shop owner helped me scale my pantograph and then left to tend to an employee and a notions rep. Meanwhile, a friend from guild appeared in the store, so I set the Prostitcher in motion and walked away from it to talk to her.

When I checked on the machine’s progress, a few minutes later, it was apparent that the aforementioned Very Bad Things were happening. I had forgotten to lock the various bars holding my project in place, so the quilt began to move as soon as the Prostitcher got going. I tried to unpick some of the mess and start things up again, but with a row partially quilted, I ended up taking the quilt off the machine and left for home.

I can honestly say if I had just asked for more help, the day’s events could have been very different. (Darn you, artificially inflated sense of self-confidence and stubborn desire to be independent!)

The project went into time-out for a week until I was ready to deal with it. With Jacquie Gering’s Walk in hand, I am using the same diamond design featured in the project below to quilt it.

Walk is the straight-line quilter’s secret to fancy quilting.

* * *

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  1. Hi Michelle! Oh man. That is so annoying, tragic, and it makes me sick. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get it. Yes, I would have put that quilt top in time out. Definitely deserved to be until it thought about how it should act on a longarm. I thank you for sharing that lesson you learned the very hard way - don't walk away from the darn machine, even if it is running smoothly on its own. Geez! I think you quilting looks fabulous - and that design is better than the panto you were going to use. So let's call it a win/win and celebrate its lovely finish! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

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  3. Sorry you had such a problem. Looks lovely now!

  4. Ugh, that's rough! I hope the quilting goes more smoothly from now on :)

  5. I've had a similar problem in my effort to be self-sufficient. It wasn't on a long arm, but humbled me recognized the pain and frustration that went along with this experience. Here's to happier times.

  6. Oh no.... But I love the diamond quilting. Good luck with the rest of the quilting.

  7. I took a class at a local shop to learn how to use their's, but it's been soo long I would have to take the class again!!! Good luck on your walking, I love that book!

  8. That walking foot quilting is looking gorgeous!!! Anyone who longarms has to do some picking sooner or later. I just had to pick out about 7 rows of straight line stitching on my latest quilt on my longarm. Bad tension. It's not fun, but it's a fact of longarm life.

  9. Oh Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about the Very Bad Things that happened on the long arm. Dang it. I had a somewhat similar experience about a year ago. I was participating in the hop for Cheryl & Paige's Modern Plus book. Instead of taking it to the long arm shop where I had quilted about six or seven quilts before, my friend said I could come use her long arm. In my naivete, I assumed knowing how to use one long arm = knowing how to use any long arm. Talk about wrong. Once loaded, the movement of her machine was so completely different than the one I had used before. I couldn't get control - it looked awful. So, I took it off - defeated. Went home and used pictures of just the top for the blog post. Took out the miserable quilting (and there was a fair amount), folded up the top and haven't touched it since. I suppose I should get it done but I think I am still mad at it. Surely it is the quilt's fault and not mine. ;-)


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