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Thread: new long arm quilter

  1. #1
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    I am a new long arm quilter. I see all these beautiful quilted quilts. What I need help with is planning the patterns to use. How do you decide how to quilt?

  2. #2
    Super Member mhunt1717's Avatar
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    Welcome from Kentucky! It depends on the quilt!

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I don't long ARM. Yet. But just look at the quilt for a bit and let it talk to.you. that is always the best.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i also have this problem as i am also a new long armer

  5. #5
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Welcome from Kansas

  6. #6
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I am a cinfident beginner. Got my TL in Feb this year. Deciding what to do has always been the hardest part of the whole process for me, also. Can't wait to see what everyone has to say. Thanks for starting this. :)

  7. #7
    sjc
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    I am a new long arm quilter. I have not braved enough to get beyond the stippling. I want to learn free hand feathers. The instructors make it look so easy.

  8. #8
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the board from Iowa.

  9. #9
    Super Member Ruby the Quilter's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be great to have an online long arm quilting class? I also have a Tin Lizzie.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quilter1430's Avatar
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    What kind of machine did you get? I have a Gammill and have been in business for over 7 years. First of all, PRACTICE! Load a cheap piece of muslin and a contrasting thread. When you're done with that thread (like red, for example), switch to green thread (or whatever) so you can go over and over the same piece of material without spending a fortune. Then change to another color, etc. Also, doodle. Get a dry erase board and practice your meandering technique first, and other free-hand designs. Did you have pantograph patterns? Those are always good to work with, but again, you need to PRACTICE before you become proficient. New longarm quilters tend to have a death-grip on their machines, which will show up soon with sore shoulders, etc. Relax! You WILL make mistakes, just don't get frozen in fear over them. When I got my Gammill, the shop said you shouldn't quilt a real quilt for at least 6 weeks. After a while, it will get easier. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    start visiting shows and look at pics on various machine quilting forums.

    study the quilting for what you like and what works and also pay attention to the quilting that doesn't work or appeal to your tastes - this will save you a lot of time and help you know what you do and do not like.

  12. #12
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    You know everyone always asks me that question....How do you quilt plan?...or they ask me to quilt plan for them.

    I am not sure? If I could articulate what I see when I quilt plan I would write a book or teach a class. I don't think there is any right or wrong way to choose. It's all about creativity and art is subjective.

    What I instinctively think looks good someone else may not ...vise versa. Sometimes I miss the mark as well...or I think I do.

    so this is a question that most people struggle with. It's just part of teh process..sometimes I will be pinning on a quilt and still not exactly know what to do...and then all of a sudden it will hit me....
    :thumbup:

    I know I didn't exactly help you there...but at least I can say that I know what you are asking..and what you are going through.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Selena's Avatar
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    I am new to LA quilting. I have quilted 10 practice quilts. I started with a panto on the first, then a panto and borders on the next. I tried something new on each one, something a little more advanced than the last. I really enjoy free hand quilting most. When I am deciding what design to use, I hang the quilt where I have to either walk around it or walk up on it and let it talk to me. They always do. I always have things in mind that I want to try so when one comes along that fits one of those, I get excited. Feathers are fun but I suggest marking the center line at first with chalk so you start and end up where you want to. And leave ruler work alone until you have more experience. I learned the hard way. LOL

  14. #14
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Be sure to also know how the quilt will be used - your design will be different for your mom than your son.

  15. #15
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    A few yeasrs ago , I was lucky enogh to attend a "Quilting with Long Arm Machine" weekend put on by local LAQer's It was great. I think that they are getting ready for another in Oct. It'll be somewhere in Ohio.

    I guess they have a website now.

    http://quiltingwithmachines.com/

  16. #16
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I read the quilt ---- I hang it in my sewing/computer room and stare at it, then I decide what I'm going to do. I then put it on the machine and TOTALLY do the opposite -- well not exactly opposite -- but at least 50% of my plan changes!!!! LOL

    I also do a lot of research online and in books. I have looked at quilting techniques and ideas so much that some of them are imbeded in my head.

    Check out www.mqresource.com. MQresource is a forum where some of the professional longarmers hang out. They have tons of ideas and help!!

    Welcome and good luck!

  17. #17
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    Whoever you are quilting for needs to be able to tell you their likes and dislikes. If the recipient is a child then you probably want to go with bright colors and fun quilting. A subtle monotone quilt will probably get subtle monotone quilting. It is fun to have a lot of variety in your quilting. Wouldn't it be dull and boring if everyone liked the same things?

  18. #18
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't have a long arm machine, just a DSM, and all I do mostly is FMQ, that is what I like nost for my quilts.

  19. #19
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    Okay everyone, come to my rescue!!!
    I am making a Friendship quilt with all the ladies at our church signing for a friend who is on her third round of chemo. The blocks are 6 inch square with 2 rectangles at the top and bottom of2 1/2 by 3/1/2 with a white rectangle in the middle 2 1/2 by 6 with their names on.
    Now--how should I quilt it?

  20. #20
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmjennings
    Okay everyone, come to my rescue!!!
    I am making a Friendship quilt with all the ladies at our church signing for a friend who is on her third round of chemo. The blocks are 6 inch square with 2 rectangles at the top and bottom of2 1/2 by 3/1/2 with a white rectangle in the middle 2 1/2 by 6 with their names on.
    Now--how should I quilt it?
    Why don't you post a picture of an area of the quilt and it'll help us help you more.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmjennings
    Okay everyone, come to my rescue!!!
    I am making a Friendship quilt with all the ladies at our church signing for a friend who is on her third round of chemo. The blocks are 6 inch square with 2 rectangles at the top and bottom of2 1/2 by 3/1/2 with a white rectangle in the middle 2 1/2 by 6 with their names on.
    Now--how should I quilt it?
    Is there sashings between the blocks? Are the blocks set side by side or are they staggered? What are the colors of the prints in the blocks. More information would help.

  22. #22
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    The blocks are set together with 1 inch black sashing. The blocks are scrappy.
    8 blocks length by width.

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