Our long arm quilting class

So I haven’t gotten a chance to share yet about the long arm quilting class that I took over a week ago! So much going on (and more tomorrow! 😉 ) So I wanted to sneak in this post on the long arm quilting class that 4 members of our little New Orleans Modern Quilt Guild took.

We took the class at a local sewing machine store. It’s actually the place where I bought my current machine, so I’ve been there often enough…plus I have a good friend who is a chiropractor who works on the second floor of the building…and I went to him a LOT during my pregnancy. So I’ve been in the store a number of times. It is run by a 70’s loving slightly shady man who annoyingly always seem to be working with another customer. I mean I spent some good money on a machine there and I still feel like I’m not important as a client because I didn’t buy the MOST expensive one. But oh well…he wasn’t the one teaching the class. 😉

The lady who did teach our long arm class was very sweet. She showed us some of her own quilts that she has made. She either had them sent away to be quilted (with appropriate horror stories about cost and quilting) or had done them herself. Let’s just say that her style is not at all in keeping with the MODERN quilt guild. 😉 That’s fine….I’m all for appreciating good work. One interesting quilt she had was one that was made with original 30’s fabrics. It’s was so cool to see those fabrics and how close some of the reproductions are to them. I’m not sure that I’ve seen original fabric from the ’30’s before…so that was fun.

A quilt made by the instructor

The machine that they have is a tin lizzy. Which if I understand correctly is somewhere middle of the line in terms of machines. They are upgrading to one with a larger throat soon and hopefully we’ll be able to use that one right away! There were all kinds of instructions that she gave which of course I’ve already forgotten. But thankfully she will be there if we need to help us out. And they provide the loveliest threads!


We all (Kaelin, Karen, Adele and I) took turns wrapping the backing, the batting, and then the “quilt top” to the machine. Then we each got a couple of turns using the machine and practicing our free motion quilting with the machine. Good times.

Kaelin was very serious about her job, so I had to remind her that she was having fun. 😉

Kaelin very seriously rolling and smoothing the fabric

She really was having fun.

Kaelin at the longarm!

Although here she looks like is ready to take that machine down! LOL. Or she is moonlighting as Adele’s body guard.

Adele and Kaelin at the machine

Karen has a quilting frame at home, so she is used to the general idea already of quilting with a frame. She learned …um…something…? …at the class. LOL. She was adventurous and did things that the teacher didn’t tell us! Gasp! Karen’s such a rebel!

Karen is calm and collected
Karen checking out her work!

I had to get myself ready for the reality of long arm quilting. So that meant rolling up my sleeves and assuming the stand. LOL.

Rolling up the sleeves and getting ready!

I am very focused as well when I do things. You might catch a glimpse into my type AAA personality as you see the pictures of me tackling a new task. Sigh….and I need to work on my posture. But I’m sure that is always true when I quilt. Good thing I have that chiropractor friend upstairs. I’ll just go see him after I quilt a large quilt. 😉

My daughter makes this same face!

I'm very focused!

Now I'm very focused!

Getting a feel for the machine

But I promise, I did have some fun too. 😉

Me at the long arm!

Let’s just say at the end I think that all of us felt like we had learned a little and wished that we had learned a lot more. The teacher only “taught” us free motion quilting with the machine even though the machine has pantograph capabilities. The instructor never does ANYTHING other than a basic stipple stitch. I think we were shocking her with our “different and fancy” stitches. LOL. You know, like waves or squares…

I’m going to research the machine because I think that there is a ton more that it is capable of. Hopefully I can do that soon. In all of my free time. 😉

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15 thoughts on “Our long arm quilting class

  1. Looks like good fun, I would love to try something like that. So is it easier than a regular machine? Or is it just so totally different?

  2. What fun! And so nice to go with a group.

    Real 30's fabric is fun to look at. I have several quilts from my husbands family that have a wide range of old fabrics and it's so neat to see all the different designs.

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun! I have wanted to try long arm quilting but I dont have anyone or any shops near by with a set up. Im sure you will be a pro in no time 🙂

    p.s. since you mentioned type A personalities, of which I am one, dont take a pottery class. Our teacher's philosophy is "good enough" which I am having a hard time grasping.

  4. oh, how very provoking to attempt more than stippling!
    – i'm sorry she didn't taught you more, it's unsatisfying when the teacher does so little of what is possible (even in one session!).
    nevertheless, i'm sure you all did the most of it & had some fun together.
    i wish i could take a class on a longarm, too!

  5. Oh fun!!! That is awesome that you can use it now whenever you want. If I looked at the pictures properly that means you get to skip the basting process now-hot dog!

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