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Thread: DIY long arm quilting at LQS

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    DIY long arm quilting at LQS

    My LQS has a Babylock Jewel that you can rent per hour. The condition is that you take 2 hr class that introduces you to the machine and teaches you how to load the quilt, thread the machine, etc. The class comes with 2 free hours of rental.
    I know nothing about long arm quilting and this is the first time I have seen a long arm machine in person. It sounds very tempting because fighting a queen size quilt on my domestic sewing machine can sometimes be very frustrating.
    Did any of you try something like this? This is not a computerized machine so how many hours do you think I would need to rent the beast to get marginally acceptable meandering on a practice sheet? Is loading going to take me forever? Any advice you can give me will be helpful. I believe the frame is Grace and I saw some bungee cables hanging on the side (please don't laugh I know nothing about this). Thank you all for your help!
    Last edited by Tashana; 09-07-2012 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    I own a Babylock Jewel and love it. Taking a 2 hr class is an awesome idea especially since you then get 2 free hours of rental. I think you should go for it! Take the class then load a baby quilt to practice on...

    Diannia
    I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!

  3. #3
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I have yet to try a long arm, and I'm just poking my head in here to say I sure hope you try it and come back and tell us all about it, and of course, show us your quilts, too. I suspect that after you have done this a few times you will not want to go back to using the DSM.

    If you take the class, you will have learned skills that will stay with you, and that's always a good investment. You might ask if you could talk to other people who have taken the class and used the machine. I'll bet the shop will be happy to share good references. Maybe the shop owners can also give you a ball park estimate of how long it typically takes a beginner to do a quilt of a certain size.
    We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
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  4. #4
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Where on the island is it? I would love to try it. Right now I am in the middle of a QAYG project, but in the future I would do it.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I'm curious - how much do they charge for the classes, and how much per hour after that?

    You can probably do basic meandering on your quilt right after getting the 2-hour class, provided someone is around to help if you have questions. You may even be ready to try leaves, swirls, etc. If you've done some FMQ already, the patterns that you used for that will be fairly easy to learn on the longarm.

    As far as loading the quilt, that really depends on the loading system the shop uses (pins or zippers or velcro or clamps like red snappers) and on how ready your top and backing are for loading.

  6. #6
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    I took the required class at Pieceful Quilting in Riverhead. The class I took was three years ago, I mention this because after I took the class, the store changed longarm machines, leaving me without the required knowledge of the new machine. I found the class to be good, the teacher not so good. I learned to move the head around, but the information was given quickly, too quickly for me. I had fun, but did not learn enough to use the machine by myself. The teacher that evening did not hand out the written notes, as she should have and I had to go back a week later and get the written information. It was fun, but not great. For learning to load the quilt, batting, and backing, and threading the machine- I need more than a few brief minutes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    The class is offered by Pieceful Quilting in East Northport. If I remember correctly it is $65 for the class and it includes two hours of rental. After that it is $15 per hour. I would like to at least try it. Don't get me wrong, I really like my little Singer 5050 but it really gets hot with all that quilt in my lap when I am quilting, and do not get me started on having to take the whole quilt out just to change the bobbin.
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
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  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Those prices sound very reasonable. I would try it. I bought a longarm without having the opportunity to rent one. It turned out that I do enjoy using it, but it was a leap of faith to buy without knowing for sure.

  9. #9
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    I would give it a try for $65. Sounds like fun.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I will try it. God knows I have never backed away from a challenge. I will report back. I think the next available class is in October.

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