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Thread: longarm practice question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    longarm practice question

    I'd like some suggestions on what I can use that would be cheap to practice longarming on. And I'd like them to have some size to them, like full size at least. We did our first panto and it was our quilt and it turned out fine. Should I maybe see if I can find some wide, cheap backings somewhere? Does anyone have any suggestions? Or links? Thanks in advance...joan

  2. #2
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    There was someone selling Irish Chain quilt tops on QB that were very inexpensive. They would be great to practice on and would make a nice quilt when finished. You could use a sale sheet for the back.

  3. #3
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Wide backing is a good idea. How about using scraps to put together quilt tops. You wouldn't have to cut them, just put them together crazy quilt style. Another idea for the back is cheap muslin. Have fun.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

  4. #4
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    I make table toppers or table runners. I just load a yard or two of coordinating (if possible) backing fabric, can use the 40" wide kinds. Then I do a few blocks with sashings around them, the center blocks are solid color. I select a contrasting thread so that I can see my quilting. And I also contrast the bobbin thread as well so I can see any issues. Then I use scrap batting. I load the backing fabric, put scrap batting down, place table runner down, then stitch all the way around. I practice what I want to practice, then roll add new table runner, repeat!

    Also, you can just get plain muslin or even some inexpensive backing fabrics (Thousands of Bolts has $9.95/yd 108" fabric) when I do this to test a pantograph design, I generally get 4yds, cut in half, load one half on the frame, the other half I trim off about 8-10ins from 2 sides (use it for binding) I actually just posted a picture of one here, Parchment Eagles (Parchment Eagles)
    It is a tad more expensive. However they have great 40"ish fabrics, you can always practice on 4yds of that and give to the animal shelter, they would be about that size.

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    YOu can also use mattress pads or thin blankets instead of batting. Wide muslin and quilt backing are quick no-piece options. You can also use sheets that are low thread count. If you are truly practicing and are not going to do anything with the piece when you are done, you can always just add another top to your previously quilted sandwich and just quilt it again.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I found a charity group that makes quilts for the Humane Society and practiced on those for a while. The dogs don't care how awful your quilting is. When my skills improved and I gained confidence, I moved up to charity quilts for veterans, terminally ill patients, long-term care facilities, etc. Charities always need quilters, so you might check your area for any that would be happy to let you practice.

  7. #7
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    when I first started I purchased a bolt of fairly good muslin (using a 40% coupon) and when ever there was a sale on batting I would buy 4 or 5. then when ever any of us wanted to practice we would load up & stitch away- the *quilts* would then be bound (or zigzag stitched around) a couple of them my granddaughter's loved- and using fabric markers they painted them after they were quilted- a couple made picnic/beach quilts- some were cut smaller bound & donated to the humane society. one I bound in a pretty turquoise fabric and it is my 'couch-cover up' quilt- lightweight, white, with that blue edge- everyone who comes by loves it- and I have to laugh= since it was just practicing swirls all over it- nothing special. sometimes we would cut 2 (2yd) pieces of the muslin- sew them together- so we had 80" x 72" . that 25 yard bolt of bleached muslin made some wonderful practice quilts!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Many long armers donate quilting to groups that make donation quilts. You might still need to pick up for batting and or backing in addition to thread so check.
    Anna Quilts

  9. #9
    yel
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    you could use sheets ...and a 5$ blanket from walmart ....the shelters in the area would love them when done

  10. #10
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    You could use some cheater tops.

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