Now that I am finished my client quilting for the year I as able to spend time this weekend trying something new…teaching longarm quilting! Since I have never done this before it seemed to make sense to start with a private lesson to find out if I would enjoy this or not. My friend Wendy, who owns Fabriculous Quilt shop in Swan River, Manitoba, just opened an APQS rental business and asked for a private class so she could see the full potential of these machines. She had only quilted pantographs up to this point so it was time to get her to the front of the machine! She had quilted on her domestic machine so I knew she would be able to transfer those skills over to the longarm. So we started with the designs she knew and then added a few new designs to the mix, plus some SID ruler work. She did amazing and it was so fun for me to see her enjoying this process. We used the Lucey machine for quilting the quilts and on the Millie we loaded solid white fabric for practicing on. It was so nice to have the two machines going…as I could go play on the Millie while Wendy was concentrating on what she was doing. I have a 2008 Millie so it was really fun for me to try the newest machines. There are some new features that had me thinking an upgrade would be nice but I love my machines so it is just a passing thought at the moment.
Here is Wendy’s first quilt off the machine! The giraffe is made from Minkie so that was a good lesson on SID around a high loft fabric. She meandered in the gold fabrics and did L’s and E’s in the teal stripe. She will be kitting this quilt for her shop and proudly displaying the first sample she quilted on the longarm.
You can see all three machines in this next picture.
I was very lucky to have my friend Phyl drive down to Swan River with me as she just bought a Bernina sewing machine from their shop and Wendy’s husband George was helping Phyl with her questions about the embroidery features. That as fun to see all the designs they were stitching out and George even took my Tamarack Shack Logo and put the file in Phyl’s machine. Looks like Phyl has a bartering tool for when I quilt her quilts!
So for Wendy’s second project she wanted to be challenged so we put a curved table runner on the machine and got out the curved rulers! The one thing I learnt as a teacher is it is good to have a sense of humour at this stage I told Wendy it took me 20 years to make nice feathers so if she does it right away I will not be happy! LOL! I said they will look like big toes and saggy hot dogs so do not be too critical of how they turn out and no ripping out! I also told her to keep this runner and look at it again this time next year to see the progress she has made as quilting is not about being perfect, it is about making progress in your skills. Now saying all that Wendy did great and could see the improvement from the first feather to the last set of feathers! But of coarse like all quilters she has to point out all her toe shaped feathers for the pictures! We had a lot of laughs working on this one!
Thanks for the great weekend Wendy and George! It was more fun that it should have been and I think this experience has given me the confidence to pursue the idea of teaching longarm quilting in the future!