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Thread: I've got it. Now, what do I do with it???? Help!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    North of San Antonio in Spring Branch
    I would not recommend practicing on any quilt. I went to estate/garage sales and bought cheap old sheets and thin blankets. For less than $5 I could get a queen/king sheet and blanket. Fold the sheet in half with the blanket for batting. You will feel much more comfortable and free to practice if you are not using good fabric and batting. I just started practicing various patterns, trying to get use to the machine. It' funny, My daughter wanted the finished "quilt". I kinda fell in love with it too, as it was my 1st longarming attempts. I put binding on it and it's in my quilt room.

  2. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Clay Springs AZ
    I ordered a roll pattern of meandering with sticky edges. This way I can just follow the pattern and it should help me get the feel for meandering.
    This should work for any pattern you want to learn.
    It costs about 15 dollars a roll but it is long enough to do a quilt. By then I should have a feel for it.

  3. #13
    Super Member Happy Linda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Port Ludlow, WA
    Blog Entries
    I know what your talking about. I did as the ladies suggested. My big break through was when I gave myself permission to let myself go into those spaces with a swerl or some v shape. I found a hint about feathers, "right side is perky, left, droopy.

  4. #14
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Rural Small Town Ontario
    I'm with KSellers - start out with something-anything! that you won't care what it ends up as. Sheets, muslin, etc. Do lots of doodling - builds muscle memory for those designs and helps you figure your way out of corners.

    Give yourself permission to not be perfect when you start, and remember to breathe!

    There are also lots of great videos on youtube showing you how to do some of the designs. Here are a few of my favs ...


    And McTavishing - be sure to see some of Karen's amazing videos!

    PinkText: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLDOS...eature=related

    Then throw in some Zentangling on quilts ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX9CzJCuIOc
    Last edited by LindaM; 09-03-2012 at 07:01 AM.

  5. #15
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    La Pine Oregon, USA
    I, too, was in your boat. Watching all the videos you can find on Youtube helps. Also, go in to Google and do a search for "longarm tools" --- some of the sellers have videos how to use their tools and that'll help, too. There is a forum out there called www.MQresource dot com.... The quilters on there are professionals. For a very small fee you can join up and look at their videos! Every once in a while they offer online classes.....that's where I learned to do feathers.

    Hint on the meandering: think dog bones -- the biscuits. try to quilt the end of the bones....around and around. Or - think jigsaw puzzle.
    Another hint: Get a large sketch pad --- practice practice practice the designs --- BUT -- put the sketchpad on the dining table, stand over it with your hand on the pen.......do not rest your wrist on the table.......believe it or not, that helps a LOT!

    Good luck -- RELAX

    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  6. #16
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    just put on some plain fabric and play for a long time before putting a real quilt on the frame.find what you are comfortable with.artsy quilters are not born in a day or a week.make dog blankies for shelters with your practice pieces-dogs are not critical of our work.spend lots of time before loading a real quilt.in the long run that is better than ruining your 1st quilt. waste them uglies we all have sitting around,lol.

  7. #17
    Junior Member Karenowc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    I belong to a quilt guild where we make quilts for a women's shelter. When I first got my machine, I started quilting those tops. They give you the top, batting and backing so all you need is thread and time.
    It's great practice.
    Karen in CA
    Babylock Ellisimo, Babylock Enlighten Serger, Janome 6600, Janome 760 for travel

  8. #18
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I just got my machine, and I agree - just jump in! I loaded some muslin, and went wild on it with various motifs, feathers, swirls, whatever. I did a couple "samplers". My plan is to repeat the sampler in a few months, so that I can see my improvement (I hope). I've done 5 quilts now, and while I have a long way to go I feel that my quilting is quite passable. Here's a piece of one of my samplers. Not great, but you only get better with practice. Thinking about it doesn't make you better, unfortunately

    There are lots of tutorials out there - for feathers and everything else. Drawing on paper first, to get the motion into your hand seems to be the main recommendation. Check out "365 days of free motion quilting" (google that) for lots of quilting designs.

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  9. #19
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Blog Entries
    Instead of aiming for feathers right away, I would suggest practising loopy loops until you get a feel for you and your machine. It's kind of like dance partners, you have to practise before it becomes smooth and second nature. I did find that doodling really helped. My son would go nuts when we were in a restaurant that had the paper for table covers and gave you crayons. I'd have the whole thing covered before the entree arrived
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  10. #20
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Las Cruces, NM
    Get feather panographs to practice. I use a long arm I use panographs...feathers take lots and lots of thread, I can't free motion them but the panographs still look as pretty!!

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