A Kick at the Can

I'm a big fan of Angela Walters and her amazing quilting. While I have no plans of getting a long arm quilting machine anytime soon, I've been wanting to try one for some time now. Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to take a long arm quilting class with Jan Kittle at her store The Pickle Dish in Carleton Place. So. Much. Fun!


I had so many questions going in -- How do you load a quilt on a long arm machine? How do you do borders? How easily do the free motion skills I've built using my domestic machine translate to the long arm? How do pantographs work? How do you…? And I wonder where my eldest gets his inquisitiveness! ;) All my questions were answered and more in the class.

Long arm machines seem so big and intimidating, but they aren't! This is the one we were using. Anyone else have that HQ Avanté commercial from Pat Sloan's radio show permanently etched in their brain?!

This is the view from the side of the machine. The design on the paper is a pantograph and you use a laser to follow along the design. So cool!

Trying a pantograph I am. So serious!


Yay! I got a few good points!


Now trying free motion from the front of the machine.


Yes, I am having fun!

That's Jan -- great teacher!

I was thrilled to learn that all of the free motion quilting skills I've been developing on my domestic machine translate well to the long arm machine. There is some learning to do to adjust for the weight of the machine instead of the drag of the quilt, but that's should come easier with a bit of practice. 

Of course, my worst fear came true; now I really want a long arm machine. Oops. If there are any fairy godparents out there who have a spare machine…lol! In the meantime, I am happy to rent time on Jan's machine at The Pickle Dish. Woo hoo! First I need to make a big quilt top…

Jan offers the long arm machine workshop regularly so check out The Pickle Dish site or contact the store for more details.  

20 comments:

  1. Good times.....tempting,isn't it!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How fun! I totally want to do that too...but know it was make my long-arm wants so much stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love my Avante. I got it to do my own quilts, so I would have the freedom to do any size quilt, and have it be entirely mine, from start to finish. Not everyone enjoys the quilting part of quilt making, increasingly the quilting and the quilt top making are becoming separate. You have to enjoy the quilting, have to want to do the quilting, before making the investment in a machine like this. I have known ladies who bought a long arm quilter and then HATED the quilting, and didn't use it. It's a very expensive paperweight, lol. I did machine quilt my own tops with my domestic sewing machine, before getting the long arm; up to a full sized. Bigger than that, would not fit into my sewing machine's harp. But if you really want to quilt your own quilts, have that creative freedom and control from start to finish - go for it. My machine paid for itself wiithin 3 years, with the $ I saved not paying someone else to quilt my quilts; and with the tops I have done for others, only a few good friends. It is not a business, the hard part is saying no to people who ask; because you will be asked to quilt for others, if you have a long arm. I will always own a long arm now, just like I will always own a sewing machine; so long as I am living someplace where I can fit the machine in. I can't imagine not having one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Looks like a lot of fun and i can imagine what gorgeous quilting you'll be able to do now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha awesome! Great pics of you! I need to try one soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. How exciting! And I had no idea there was a quilting shop in Carleton Place! I know there is one in Arnprior, or at least was one a couple years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You look like you're having a great time and I hear you on it making you want a long arm. I took Angela's class at QuiltCon and we got to use the HandiQuilters and I could definitely see it being a lot of fun. Good thing I have absolutely no space to put one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wish we were neighbours! We could share one!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That does look like fun! It's great that you can rent it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, the fun! And we can see by the pics that you started to relax towards the end of it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. How exciting! I wish there was someone in the area willing to teach us, certify us, and then rent time on their machine!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's the machine I bought as my pre retirement project. I have about 5 years to retire so I'm practising until I'm ready to do this for clients!
    Barb@Witsend

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've been dying to try a longarm- lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is so fun! Keep your eye out for a used machine. People are always up grading or their circumstance change! Good things come to those who wait!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for sharing! I would love to have a long-arm too. I'm happy to know that I could rent some time on a machine near Ottawa. I've been looking for that, and I haven't find anything around Montreal.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looking for the Ultimate Dating Website? Create an account and find your perfect match.

    ReplyDelete

Yay Comments! Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I usually reply to comments via e-mail. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave me your e-mail address so I can get back to you. Unfortunately, I've had to disallow Anonymous posts due to spam -- sorry! Cheers!

Wholecloth Experiment

I've been mulling over an idea about doing a colourful wholecloth using the walking foot quilting technique I learned from Heather Lair,...