Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First Long Arm Quilting - its so fun

Giant Plus - before washing

I will introduce you properly to this Giant Plus quilt tomorrow or later this week, after I wash her and take some properly lit photos. However, to show you the quilting, these lighting conditions are better as they show the shadows. The quilt is about 64" square and the fabrics are the Nordika line by Jeni Baker.

Today I am sharing my first long arm quilting on my new machine on a quilt. Working on quilting cottons, as opposed to finer IKEA fabric, sure makes it easier to get the tension right.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

I quilted different designs in each plus, so the quilt is a quilting sampler. I found that the designs that I have used on my regular machine were easy to do on the long arm. My brain has already got them and the ease of moving the machine instead of the fabric and the better visibility of where you are going next made those motifs even easier for me to do.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

Motifs like that allegedly giant flower in the black flower plus were much harder and mostly look like scribbles.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

A regular rounded stipple is the easiest. I am sure I could have done the whole quilt that way in no time at all.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

Loopy loops were also fast and easy.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

I do less well with circles and swirls. The circles were hard to keep even and also I did not know how to arrange them on the space very well. Also, the machine likes to go from side to side and front to back the best. In fact it will make a straight horizontal line by pushing it gently with on finger. It happily goes around and diagonally, but takes more control by the operator. I need loads of practice.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

Relatively straight lines, using the edge of the hopping foot as a guide are also fairly easy but you are limited to about 1/4" apart. I need to investigate if there are other hopping feet with a wider guide mark. Of course you can also get long arm rulers, but totally straight lines are not usually what I am going for.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

As you can see, matchstick quilting is not hard to do either. I am eager to try it on a wider space to see if the need for me to move with the machine makes it harder.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

Again, with the lines 1/4' apart. In all these photos you also see the wavy lines I did on the background. They were so easy. The machine likes to stay in a horizontal line. So I was careful to just wobble it gently and it kept mostly in line so there was no tipping over at the edges. I will be using the wobbly lines often I think.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

The squared off stipple like design is one of my favourites (I used it on my Mod Pop quilt). The long arm makes it easier to actually get squared off corners.

Giant Plus - detail before washing

So there you have it, the first quilt on my new APQS Millennium long arm quilting machine. I am going to wash it after work to see how that impacts the quilting and then take some much nicer photos. I have a lot to learn, but I am happy about the fact that I can turn out a reasonable and surely cuddly product right from the start - not professional grade or anything but as good as I could do with my regular machine. In a few months we can all look back and, hopefully, see significant improvement.

I'm far behind on answering comments (and I don't answer giveaway comments, but there is still a big backlog leaving those out) but I will try to catch up tonight. Also, if you have not yet entered the Green Fairy Quilts giveaway, please go here and join in.

Best,

Leanne

54 comments:

  1. Wow, Leanne, you are on a roll!
    I’m wondering, do you make the quilt motives yourself using the Millie, or is it computerized? In other words, can you choose from all over computer patterns? (just curious...!)

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  2. You really did it already, gorgeous!!!! You are so talented, wow

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  3. Looks like you had lots of fun! Looks great!

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  4. I always wondered how one would transition from guiding fabric to guiding a machine. You have done great!

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  5. Beautiful! I love all the custom quilting you did! That really makes the quilt!

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  6. It was great to learn about what you found hard and what you found easy and everything in between:) I think you did a fabulous job trying out all the quilting designs and look forward to seeing another quilt of yours quilted on your LA Leanne!

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  7. I'm really impressed with this quilt! You must be having a blast. Congrats on your first finish on your new machine.

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  8. Looks great! How fun to try them all out! totally jealous! Have fun trying new things and finishing quilts up!

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  9. This is gorgeous! Love the sampling in it that you did. :)

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  10. Congratulations on getting your first quilt done. It looks fantastic and I would be proud of it. My first try was certainly not anywhere near that standard. My goal this year is to become friends with my Nolting Funquilter which I have had for over two years but seldom used. Have A quilt loaded and hopefully my thread will arrive in the post today. Have fun.

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  11. Oh, it's so exiting to read this, as I've just ordered my first long arm machine, and will be getting it in a couple of weeks! Your quilting looks great and it's encouraging to read that quilting on domestic home machine helps and makes it easier to adapt to the long arm.

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  12. Looks like you are having a fantastic time and I think it is fabulous! Yes, it will be neat to see improvement over time!

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  13. Looks great, especially for a first time! I'm so impressed.

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  14. Sounds so fun! It will be interesting to see what designs you start using vs domestic machine ones. Well done and I look forward to seeing more pics of the quilt!

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  15. What a toy!!!
    Love the squarey stipple; very jealous xxx

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  16. Impressive quilting on the first go! look at you girl!

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  17. Very fun to see this! What a great start for you!

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  18. Looking good! Here's a tip, when you get to pebbles, they still take for-freaking-ever!

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  19. The quilting looks great!! Nice to see all the different kinds :)

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  20. Glad you've had a great time trying out different styles and techniques, looks pretty good for a first attempt, can't wait to see how your skills develop in the next few months :o)

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  21. Oh you took to this so well Leanne....great job!!!!!

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  22. Squee!! It is so fun seeing you enjoying your new machine so much! :) Happy quilting!!

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  23. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to see what is to come.

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  24. Weeeeeeeee! Looks like you've had lots of fun! Jxo

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  25. So impressive! You are looking like a pro! :)

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  26. Super fun!! Looking forward to seeing so much more!

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  27. You are a natural! Impressive work for your first quilt! If you need more practice, I know someone with a few quilt tops ; )

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  28. Such great quilting! I never could get the hang of longarming. The machines are just too darn heavy for little 'ole me!! But you are doing great :-)

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  29. Fun times.....I see plenty of good times ahead for you!! It looks wonderful.

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  30. You did fantastic : ) fabulous job

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  31. Looks like you are really enjoying it - and - I'm most certainly enjoying reading about it :) So many variations in the quilting patterns. I'm just starting on my FMQ journey on a domestic machine so I find your step up inspiring :)

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  32. EEEE!!!!! I love what you're doing here! The straight lines, wavy lines, concentric squares and squared off stipple are my favorites, but no matter what you're doing they all look amazing.

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  33. I think this is fantastic- your first go on a long arm looks like my 20th go on a home machine!

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  34. It looks really great. I think in no time at all you are going to be turning out stunning designs with her.

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  35. What a fun post! I loved hearing about your adventures with each new quilting design. I love the fabric and the different motifs really add to the simplicity of the crosses! Well done and thanks for the ups and downs of quilting on a long arm!

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  36. I am so excited for you and your new quilting tool! A great idea to sampler the quilting on this quilt so you can go back and see what you like, want to work on, what would look good as background. Can you easily change the thread if you want another color?

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  37. Looking good! Love Nordika and plus quilts :-) Your quilting is also lovely.

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  38. Blimey, I think you're a natural!! I love all the different designs you've tried, especially the square stipple!

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  39. I knew you'd take to this like a duck to water. You go girl!!!!

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  40. Nicely done . . . what a good quilt to test lots of patterns.

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  41. Just brilliant. Can you imagine how good you. Will get with practice if you are this good now? So glad that you are having fun trying out all of these designs.

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  42. This looks fantastic! Can't believe it's your "first"!!! Way to go!

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  43. It looks amazing Leanne. I love all the different quilting patterns in each cross

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  44. fabulous quilting Leanne - love your sharing - the square stipple is really square ! they all look fabulous :)

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  45. Seriously. Can I just come watch you quilt now.

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  46. Your quilting looks great for a first attempt! I'm getting more confident with fmq more designs these days, just on my normal Pfaff sewing machine, but it still can't get geometric shapes. My brain/hands just want to go swoopy and curvy!

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  47. Hello! I found your blogpost after doing an internet search on " first long arm " experiences. Today I had the opportunity to work on a long arm for the very first time. I am quite proficient in FMQ on my DMS Janome 7700 Horizon. A friend who owns a quiltshop asked me if I could do some work on her long arm. She is totally new to machine quilting on any machine so she thought I would be better at it than she.
    I am so glad to see your results of your first time on a long arm. They look very similar to what I created today. I found it more difficult than I thought it would be. For eaxample my curves are boxy. I did get the backtracking all right after some practice. Straight lines on a slant are a horror but horizonal or vertical lines are pretty OK.
    My friend wants me to do a little quilt for a customer, but I feel like I could do a better job on my Janome. Before I attempt a quilt for a customer I feel like I need some more practice.
    Could you tell me how long it took you to feel like you get a "good enough for a customer" result on your long arm?
    Thank you very much,
    Greetings from Europe,
    Esther

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