Long Arm Quilting – the Fun and the Frustrations

It has been about a week since the LA machine was set up.  I was afraid to use the machine at first but I knew I had to try out the machine sooner or later.  I had already pinned the backing onto the leaders.  So I chose a cone of my rayon thread with the intention of winding it onto a bobbin.  (I have plenty of rayon thread.)  Then I realised that the bobbin winder (this is a separate bobbin winder) came with a bobbin on it.  This bobbin had thread wound on it already.  I had to remove the bobbin in order to load a new bobbin.  My goodness, the bobbin was stuck to the winder!  I could not remove it!

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No choice.  I sheepishly asked my ‘Chief Engineer’ for help.  In a jiffy, he got the bobbin off.  I managed to wind my bobbin and thread the machine and off I go quilting.  The first thing I did was to baste the batting down to the quilt backing.  It felt odd.  The batting and backing was ‘higher’ than the hopping foot and in order to quilt, I had to press the batting and backing down so that the hopping foot and needle can sew onto it.  This was not what I had to do when I quilt with a Fusion.  Let me show you how the sandwich was loaded.

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I was frustrated.  Why wasn’t the quilt sandwich flat?  As I continued to quilt, I realised my swirls were squarish.  They were not circular at all!  I am no expert at FMQ with my domestic sewing machine.  But I would say my FMQ is fairly decent. Decent enough that I could FMQ on a baby quilt that was put up for auction during a fund raising event at my school.  Quilting on a LA machine is different from quilting on a domestic sewing machine.  There is a learning curve.  I have been practising swirls the past few nights and this is the result of my practice.  The swirls are still angular but I can see circles as well. LOL

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I decided to take a short break on Sat to attach borders to my black and white quilt.

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I think the 1 inch red inner border really make the quilt top pop.  What do you think?

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I decided to miter the corner of the borders.  Doesn’t the mitre add more class to the quilt top?  I am rather pleased with the result.

Long armers out there, did you spot my mistake in the picture above which shows how the quilt sandwich was loaded?  In my eagerness to pin the backing to the leaders at the take up bar, I forgot the bring the backing under the idler bar before pinning to the leaders at the take up bar!  What a relief it was for me when I discovered my mistake.  I had thought that there was something wrong with the machine.  See the correct way to load the quilt…

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I am enjoying my machine and hobby.  What about you?  Have a great day 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Long Arm Quilting – the Fun and the Frustrations

  1. Good luck with the quilting. I hope it’s easier for you now the machine is set up correctly. I love the pop of red on your black and white quilt. I do this when making a B&W quilt , but I like using either hot pink or lime green aswell

    Liked by 1 person

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