Long Arm Quilting

On Friday I attended a class a the New Jersey Quilt & Sewing Festival with Barbara Persing.  I learned how to free motion quilt feathers on an Innova long arm quilting machine.  It was awesome.

This was the first time I have taken a class on a long arm machine.  I had previously used one at The Cotton Cupboard in Texas, but only for one session.  I was happy I had at least that much experience, because I was one of only a few people in class who did not own their own long arm machine.  The woman sharing the machine with me had one at home, but never uses it, and still sends her quilts out to be quilted!

I’ve never really tried to machine quilt feathers before.  I’ve tried doodling them, but my doodles are awful.  I am happy to report that after 4 hours, my doodles are improved, and I can quilt a recognizable feather.  I’m very pleased.  I predict some feathered designs appearing on Florence Flamingo.

These are my feathers from the class sample.  I’ll probably throw a binding on this and give it to my dogs. img_2783

My first feather is actually the third one from the left.  The second from the left was Barbara’s demonstration.  The first on the left was my attempt to trace a feather she had drawn.  Tracing isn’t any easier than just freehanding them.  I get so distracted by the lines I missed that I continue to miss the next ones.

I really like the look of the ones where I added loops or stems inside of the feathers.  It was a great experience, and I can’t wait to get quilting on my flamingo top.

Of course, this class has only reinforced my desire to have my very own long arm machine. Honestly, I’ve wanted one since I learned of their existence.  I’m a fool for new gadgets, and happily, my husband is, too.  Unfortunately, this would be a major investment, and overly selfish unless I was going to start my own quilting business.   We are discussing it, though, and I’m wildly excited.

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