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Thread: Afraid of new quilting setup -encouragement & advise needed here

  1. #1
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    Afraid of new quilting setup -encouragement & advise needed here

    I know this sounds weird. But I bought a small used midarm setup with a Little Gracie II frame 3 months ago and I am scared to death to use it! At first I could not wait to buy one. Then I helped my son set up the frame. And I have barely taken the time to learn all that is involved. I have made a few quilts but I just use my DSM for free motion.
    Honestly, the truth is I am scared!
    Has anyone else been like this? I feel so guilty for spending the $$ now it is just sitting there. I really need some encouragement or advice.

  2. #2
    Super Member Mazda's Avatar
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    Oh, just try it! As humans, we tend to procrastinate when we are anxious about things. You will be fine!
    Mazda

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Fear of failure can get in the way of our successes. Just know from the beginning there will be a learning curve. It's time to get some practice fabric on your frame and begin the learning process! You can do this. I am green with envy that you have this setup. I encourage you to jump in and get going!!

  4. #4
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    I envy you with your set up. Now, just jump in with both feet. You won't know how much fun you'll have, or how much practice you'll need, until you try it. You may not even need much practice, I know a gal that although she's new at quilting, is just a natural at doing free motion, but has problems sewing the blocks. Me, I KNOW I would have to practice, practice and practice to be able to do a quarter as well as she does. Now, get going!!!! LOL You'll be fine.

  5. #5
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    There's no way for you to conquer the fear other than practice. Start with things like quilts for pets, tablerunners, etc. Wait until you have more confidence before you quilt something that is special to you or is a gift for someone special. You can do it!

  6. #6
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    make a "sandwich" and load and just practice...don't be surprised if you have loopies on the back, seems to happen when going too fast. takes getting used to and I have had my grace set up along time, (original frame) and I still have to remind myself to slow down LOL
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  7. #7
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    Don't try to master everything it can do at once. Start simple and work your wat to more complicated things.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ksdot417's Avatar
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    I remember when I got my Avante. When the man was finished setting it all up he said go ahead and try it out. I just looked at him. I was scared to push the button for fear I'd break the machine. I got through that and after he left I loaded up some old fabric and started practicing. It was alot easier when I was by myself.

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Yes been there! Just give it a try. Make a practice sandwhich and play, I think you will find it is great fun!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    You can do this! Figure out some sort of a reward for yourself after your first spin on it. I used to allow myself to buy a new sweater after I got all my book reports graded. Wonderful motivation....old English teacher here.

    Dina

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Do you remember how excited you were when you decided to buy it? Think back and capture that excitement. If you have a friend who owns one, or one who is itching to try one, invite her over to help you get started. You can do this!

  12. #12
    Member Jstitcher's Avatar
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    I bought a midarm machine and frame, it is all setup but haven't sewed on it as yet. Just a few practice tries.
    Happy Stitching J

  13. #13
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Jump in and try it! don't plan to do anything great to start. Like your DSM you have to get the feel of your machine. So make some sandwiches, fabric kind, and play. Some of my first trys the cat wouldn't even lay on! LOL don't worry or be afraid, you can't hurt the machime. Keep your owners manual, and phone with dealers number on speed dial handy. LOL My dealer shop employee's know my voice, I've called so many times! LOL I have had my Lizzie for almost a year and am still learning to use her. I will not quilt for others but feel confident to work on my own. Remember every Journey starts with that first step. so start steppin! LOL Good Luck and have fun!

  14. #14
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    Plug that beauty in! Throw in some practice pieces and quilt a couple of small blankets for the Animal Shelter. The animals won't care what they look like and you can get in some "no pressure" practice. GO FOR IT!

  15. #15
    Junior Member Karenowc's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone - just try it! It's easier than you think. For mine I loaded laptop quilt tops for our guilds philanthropy group and they turned out great! Just go for it and report back!
    Karen in CA
    Babylock Ellisimo, Babylock Enlighten Serger, Janome 6600, Janome 760 for travel

  16. #16
    Senior Member Marni's Avatar
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    I was very scared at first-for about 3 years! Once I finally got started I wished I had started far sooner!
    It's not a stash-it's a fabric library!
    http://www.mamisquilts.com/

  17. #17
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    the practice pieces are the key...no waste of a quilt top that is waiting for you to feel secure enough to make it pretty... now that you have the practice piece in, practice writing your name... it's the easiest thing to start with as we already have 'cursive' in our 'muscle memory'....

  18. #18
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
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    Just load some fabric on first. That alone is different. Get that done and tell yourself to just take your time and start quilting. Don't forget to put the pressed foot down. Take a couple deep breaths - then go. Start slowly and then speed up.
    You CAN do this!

  19. #19
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. I bought a used one so I had NO support. But I put on my Big Girl Panties, took a deep breath, loaded a practice piece and went for it. I have had it for 6 years now and I have a lot of fun with it. I make a lot of quilts for charities which is a great way to practice and try out new ideas. You can do it! I did. (And here's a little secret...The quilt looks a whole lot better after you take it off the frame and it relaxes!)
    Happy New Year and remember we are all here to support each other!

  20. #20
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have a handiquilter frame with a Grandquilter sitting in the loft. I even have a quilt on the frame and all of it is covered with a sheet for the very same reason. Heavy sigh. Maybe THIS will be the year to start and try!
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  21. #21
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    I've been sewing for years and I'm pretty much scared of any piece of new equipment I get. I think it's more I'm afraid I'm going to do something drastically wrong right off the bat and wreck something. I let a new embroidery machine sit for 3 months once before I got brave enough to take it out of the box and set it up. My girlfriend took hers out of the box when she got it, then put it right back in. I think it's a pretty normal reaction. My mid arm setup sat for a while before I finally put a practice quilt sandwich on it and let 'er rip. That got me over my anxiety.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  22. #22
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    To get the hang of using your set up, practice on plain cloth with batting and maybe a used sheet for backing. (You can buy the used sheets at Goodwill.) That way you can get the hang of quilting on it without worrying about any mess ups. Afterwards just throw that first one out if you don't like it or use it around the house as a utility quilt.

    I've had my set up for several years but there are times that I go for a year without using it. When that happens, I buy a pre-printed baby panel and quilt it to a flannel backing just to get the hang on using it. This helps me go get into the swing of quilting on one of my pieced quilt tops. This also gives me extra baby blankets that can be thrown on the floor when company comes and one is needed.
    Kathyj


  23. #23
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    I feel the same way, I have had mine for a year and a half, only tried once.Why I am afraid I do not know, but now have decided to just do it! So what if I mess up, it's a learning curve, I will have no more fear!

  24. #24
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    Boy can I relate. I have a B-line and Juki setup which is temperamental. I rarely use it or do a big spurt and then don't use it for weeks. This habit means I unlearn everything I learned and start over at square one. My top New Year's resolution is to learn to use it. I found that using a panel helped so I could try different movements and also just a plain quilt sandwich which I gave to the neighbor for a dog bed. I drew on some shapes which I tried to follow and then "creatively" travel to the next shape. I intend to do a little bit every day or two so I don't unlearn all progress. Just a thought that might help. My system makes me nervous too, esp since I have no dealer to call for help.

  25. #25
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Sounds like when we built our house and I was so excited to finally be able to paint some walls . . . when it came to the first room, I had everything set up and instead of opening the can of paint, I called my sister long-distance, fixed a snack, flipped through a quilting magazine . . . delayed for fear of making a mistake. Now, a few years later, there's not a single white room in the house and I fear no paint color. It's common to be intimidated by fear of failure. Believing you can is the first step. And if you don't like the outcome, try again. Just know that there are lots of us here who are cheering you on!
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

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