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First try with my new long arm

First try with my new long arm

Old 03-14-2021, 05:00 PM
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I am impressed! My first try was a mess!!! I had never quilted before, took mine to a long armer. I will get there though!
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Old 03-14-2021, 10:03 PM
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I think You did a great job, keep up the great wwork.
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:19 AM
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Watson, don’t be too hard on yourself...I think you did well for your first “go”. As others have chimed, it is a big transition from moving the quilt to moving the machine and there is always a learning curve getting to know the machine. It took me a while to establish a relationship with my new LA and even though we are not yet best friends, we have an understanding of each other. 🤪

Like Tartan suggested, I have kept pieces of my beginning work and it is encouraging to look back at the progress. I have also kept some for design ideas. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:30 AM
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titch678-I don't have room for a frame, although my dh says if I got rid of the machines in cabinets in the middle of the room and rid of the rest of the cabinets on the west wall, I would have. LOL That's okay, I'll just stick with the sit down. LOL
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:48 AM
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Watson, looking good for first try. You're going to have a lot of fun.
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Old 03-15-2021, 07:47 AM
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You'll get there!

I also use to take a long time to load a quilt, but after I stopped trying to do it the way some of the websites recommended, it started to get really easy and I can load a quilt in about 15 mn now. Often takes me way longer to select the backing than it does to load it.

1. don't worry about finding the middle, I like to keep my quilts toward one end so I can use the other for bobbin changes and cleaning, so I start on one and pin until I get to the other. It's taken a while to get a good feel so I don't stretch the backing as I'm pinning. I do pay attention so that the top and bottom are about the same, but I don't fret less than 1" difference (I'm mostly using 105" wide backing).

2. I roll up on to the back roll and then lay it over the front bar and have it hang over so the edge of the backing lines up with the edge of the leader. I pin so that it will "fold" over the pins when I roll and that does not matter. So it's more that I line up the two edges and pin like you'd do for a seam, but when I roll it opens up and the pinned seam lays to one side. This saves me a lot of time and has not caused any problems what so ever. I always rip off the selvage and rip across to have straight of grain. Even if it seems wonky, rolling it back and forth evens a lot out. Usually the first few rolls I'll have to make sure it's smooth and adjust the edges, but after a few I don't have to do that anymore.

3, I totally float my tops, and pin them to the backing as needed, and remove the pins as I'm stitching. The very first quilt I did - I "loaded" the top, and once was all it took and I've never done it since.

4. stretched a cord with movable locks (like those that helpe keep ties tight on a jacket) and them move those locks to help line up the edges as I advance - I use to measure and that was a lot more work. Now I just line up with the locks and it takes way less time.
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:38 PM
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I think it looks great! With practice, it will only get better. If you don't have a stitch regulator, then I would suggest slowing your hands down, it will give you smaller stitches. Keep at it, you're doing fine!
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Old 03-15-2021, 06:14 PM
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Ditto to what everyone has been mentioning! Yes definitely a different learning curve. Like quiltingshortimer I watched the videos several times on those first quilts. After 3 years, I still haven't gotten used to floating the tops.
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Old 03-16-2021, 03:28 AM
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Macybaby, could you share a photo of your stretched cord and moveable locks next time you do a quilt? I think I would like your idea but since I am a visual person, I would benefit from a photo.
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Old 03-16-2021, 03:48 AM
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Forgive me for a facetious post, but I just like to imagine what someone who knows nothing about quilting would make of the heading "First Try with My New Long Arm"....it reminded me of a friend who used to compile an annual 'commonplace' book, which he sent out in lieu of a Christmas card (it was always wonderful); one of the regular categories was "Strangest Book Titles of the year", and the one I loved the most was "A History of Japanese Chins", which, if you don't happen to know of the breed of small dog to which the title refers could indeed seem strange!!
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