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Thread: Longarm Basic Needs????

  1. #1
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Longarm Basic Needs????

    After reading the post about long arm ruler work, and finding out that I am totally in the dark on some of these things as a new long armer too, that I have to ask if there are other gadgets that we need to have in order to do different things. My second question is "And just what all kinds of things can we do with our machines?" Some of the answers took me totally by surprise. Where can I find a good resource book that shows other machine quilting methods?
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  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Look and see what other feet are available for your machine. I have a 'ruler' foot that has an industry standard size circular foot that you use with rulers (I think there are 2 sizes of these feet, your machine will use one or the other. Mine is the 1/2" one, but I think the high end machines are 5/8". This allows you to use LONG ARM guides (not rotary cutting rulers or templates) with your machine. I also have an open toe foot that lets me see what the heck I'm doing for free motion work. I'm partial to DeLoa Jones' guides:
    http://www.deloasquiltshop.com/deloa...eoneguide.html
    her arc guides have an 'innie' and 'outie' side the same circumfrence so you can use it on the left or right.
    As stated in the other post, you also need to get a guide table for your machine. This extends the size of the stitching base on your machine so you can safely use the templates. The down side is that this will cut down on the amount of quilting space you have as the base will hit the sides and front of your frame a bit. It's well worth the inconvenience.
    Oh, yeah, and check out the gadget girls site:
    http://www.thegadgetgirls.com/
    Last edited by PaperPrincess; 12-14-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Just as with any form of quilting, I think that different people wind up with different 'gadgets' and different longarming skills. One of the newest things to come along is the Pantovision, offered by Innova for several different longarms. It gives you the ability to use a computer tablet instead of a paper pantograph, also to trace any design using the crosshairs on the tablet as a guide rather than marking your quilt, using the laser pointer, etc. (No, I don't have it - yet - but am considering getting it.)

    There are many different ways to load your quilt, too, from pinning to zippers or velcro on the leaders to Red Snappers. They all work, all have their advantages, but for now I prefer the Red Snappers. (Been there done that with the pins and velcro.)

    There are several types of boards that you can buy - groovy boards for instance - that let you guide the longarm by moving the stylus through a 'maze' on the board. These can help a lot with designs such as Baptist fan, but they are quite pricy.

    As far as resource books, there are many, and none of them can cover everything. Some concentrate on designs, others on specific techniques, others on longarming as a business. I find that I buy another one every few months. The ones that are most helpful to me may not be the ones that someone else likes. There are also quite a few videos on youtube and elsewhere that I have found very helpful.

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Basic needs are nothing more than pins, thread, bobbins, needles and the time to practice. My LA came with the ruler base as part of the package but if yours did not you may want to consider getting one if you think you will end up getting LA templates and rulers and using them.
    I think you will find as you get to know your LA you may want to try different things, like pantos, templates, rulers etc. First time I tried ruler work I found it awkward and difficult to adjust to but as with all things LA practice made me quite proficient with it. Now I rarely do any quilt with at least some SID ruler work. My first ruler was a simple 6" x 3" one. I have since gotten a set of circles (ranging from 2" to 10"), a longer ruler a spiral template, several curved rulers for curved crosshatching (you can do lots of other cool things with them too) and a clamshell template. I bought a couple of pantos and quickly realized I am not a big fan of pantos but you can't beat them for whipping out a very quick quilt job that usually looks fantastic.
    I used to think prewound bobbins were an indulgence. Now I consider them a necessity and I prefer prewounds to anything I wind myself. Especially magnaglide prewounds.
    I use my open toe foot for everything. I don't bother to swap out the hopping foot for different tasks. My open toe works just fine with everything for me.
    I am still pinning my quilts to my leaders. I haven't yet invested in the red snappers but am considering them. Books. Hmmm. As Dunster said different books for different people. I focus on ones that give me ideas for motifs, like Karen McTavish (which usually come with a bonus CD to watch). Eventually I will probably invest in micro handles for micro work.
    Just remember, no book or gadget will improve your skills immediately. The only thing that does that is using your LA and having fun with it. Everything else is just inspiration IMHO.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I agree with all above, but one thing, I've pinned my quilts on, used Red Snappers and recently got the zippers. Because of arthritis my hands don't like the Red Snappers. Because I want a WARDROBE I no longer use pins (man, those pins can ruin a good top!!!). I baste the zippers on to the quilt top and backing. Takes just a minute on my sewing machine.

    I bought the book: "Ultimate Guide to Longarm Machine Quilting by Linda Taylor. This book explained a LOT to me when I was just starting out.



    One other thing that you need is PATIENCE!!! Practice, Practice, Practice is for sure, but patience REALLY will help you.
    Dee


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

  6. #6
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    If you want to learn more-go to youtube and search quilting videos-you can see quilters use all the gadgets before you buy all of them.the videos on youtube are very informative.Most of the famous quilters are there and the gadget suppliers.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  7. #7
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I have found that classes online from places like Longarm Classroom and Longarm University are very helpful. Longarm U. sends a DVD as well as giving you the chance to watch the class several times online.
    Beth in Maryland

  8. #8
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the links! I appreciate it. I didn't have a clue about some of these things and some of them, I still don't have a clue.
    Be the best that you can be at everything you do.

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