Longarm Surprises

by Nicole

I indulged my longarm fantasies by renting time on a machine at a LQS. It was fun!

There were a few things that surprised me though.
1. The machine vibrated like a jack hammer. Maybe it was just the machine I was using, but when I held the handles, I felt like I was getting ready to break through some concrete! 
2. The machine worked muscles in my arms that I never knew I had. It wasn’t until about 2 or 3 hours after quilting that my arms felt sore. Who knew that quilting with a longarm would be a workout?!?
3. There was a lot of pinning involved. My rental packet included 400 T-pins. Did I really need this many pins? The lady at the shop assured me that I would. And here I thought I was getting away from pin basting! But, when I think about it, the quilt has to be attached to the machine in some way. 
Here’s what I worked on during my practice session. Not bad for a first-timer, eh?!?

Now, as soon as I finish up my improv quilt top, I’ll head back to the LQS for more playtime with the Gammill!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Megan November 28, 2012 - 8:24 am

That looks like so much fun – and even better getting a mini work out thrown in!

Mandy November 28, 2012 - 8:58 am

wow, that is handy to be able to rent it! Looks like fun. I would like to try just to say I have tried! lol

Kelsey November 28, 2012 - 1:41 pm

nice job!! love the design you did! Isn't it fun 🙂

Foster November 28, 2012 - 1:57 pm

This may be a snoopy question, but how much did your session cost? I'm going to check to see if anyone in my area does this.

Cindy November 28, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Great fabrics for the improv quilt. They look fabulous together.

Long arm quilting is fun. So sad it wasn't all smooth sailing! Can't imagine using a machine the vibrates so much. I have a Tin Lizzie and it doesn't do that.

Ellie Q November 28, 2012 - 3:30 pm

I've often thought about doing that! Love your improv piecing!

Debbie November 28, 2012 - 3:32 pm

Very fun! I really need to do that!

Jenny November 28, 2012 - 3:36 pm

Oooo… That's a big long arm, too. I'd imagine that sitting and quilting on a home machine is hard on the wrists. Long arms would be harder on the shoulder and rotator cuffs. Was it easier on your wrists?

Mina November 28, 2012 - 4:08 pm

I think I need to try using a longarm, but I dont think I would know where to start. Love the colors on the improv piece.

MaterialGirlQuilts November 28, 2012 - 4:21 pm

How awesome! So glad you are able to rent time on a longarm close by (and much cheaper than buying a new one!) Your first attempt looks fantastic.

Heather D. November 28, 2012 - 4:23 pm

It looks beautiful! And you look exactly like you know what you're doing. 🙂

Carla November 28, 2012 - 4:25 pm

Great job! It's fun isn't it ?

M-R November 28, 2012 - 4:38 pm

Very cool! I've been wanting to try a longarm too. Lucky you!

Kelly November 28, 2012 - 5:45 pm

Love that improv and you lucky thing getting to play with a longarm!

Becky November 28, 2012 - 7:51 pm

Thanks for sharing. I have a local friend who took a class, and will be renting soon. I'll be going with her to help pin and such to see if it's something I want to give a try…

Annabella November 28, 2012 - 8:29 pm

That's interesting Nicole – did it make you want one more or put you off? I love your blue green improv!

Deb@asimplelifequilts November 28, 2012 - 11:01 pm

Wow… I'd say you are a natural! I'd love to find somewhere that rents time and give it a whirl. Love your blocks on the design wall too.

Tessa Marie November 28, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Look at you go! Very impressive. It's great that you can try a longarm before investing all that money. I think I will look around and see if there is a shop near me that offers this service!

Ali November 28, 2012 - 11:38 pm

Thank you for the information – it looks like fun and I love what you did but I'm very glad to know its so hard on the arms, that means I can't handle it so I will stop fantasizing about owning one 😉

Terry@ a quilting blog November 29, 2012 - 12:53 am

Thanks for sharing your experience…look forward to hearing more about what you think after your next session.

Shankevia November 29, 2012 - 3:41 am

OMG!!! I hope I can find a place to rent job time here in Atlanta. Great job. 🙂

Meg November 29, 2012 - 11:26 am

so glad you indulged…
indulgence is a good thing!
but, vibrated like a jackhammer? sounds like that machine needs some attention.
i do not get that sensation when i work with my LA.
also, there are way around all that pinning.
most times i pin, cause it gives me time to ponder my quilting design and get my mind set.
but, i have been known to attach my backing fabric using staples.
& there are quick clip on ways to attach practice pieces.
one last pin tip – i ALWAYS float my tops – so no pinning there – EVER!

Katy Cameron November 29, 2012 - 10:25 pm

Looks like a fun way to spend the day! Looking forward to seeing the improv quilt finished :o)

Rachel November 30, 2012 - 4:59 am

Love your improv blocks!

Peggy December 2, 2012 - 4:27 am

Hurray! So glad you got to try one out. I believe there is a lady here in Austin that rents time on her long-arm. I may have to check into that after the holidays.

Carol December 15, 2012 - 10:09 pm

My quilter has traded in her pins for red clips – you may want to look into those. Before, she probably only used 20 pins at a time.

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