Several months ago I set out to learn longarm quilting. My motivation-I’m terrible at quilting on my national machine! I have not gotten much beyond straight-line quilting and after many struggles with free movement I was able to put my machine at the mechanic.
My first chance to us a longarm came about when a friend offered to let me use her machine. It was all play and loopty-loops, but it was fun! I adored steering the giant machine over my quilt top, seeing pleasant surprise as my quilt became complete in a matter of hours. And even though it was not sophisticated, I loved the end result because I made the whole quilt myself.
But how to maintain on longarm quilting? Borrowing a machine each time was not going to be sensible. And while I hope to put money into my own machine , buying a longarm is not in my immediate future .
With a little research I found a couple of options from the my area for renting time on a longarm. And I loved it immediately. It’s a quilter’s dream studio complete with stunning light, open layout walls, huge cutting tables, a variety domestic machines, and of course-a longarm quilting machine.
In order to use the longarm there, like many places, you want to take a course and successfully quilt a whole quilt. The class covers the basics of operating their large, beautiful longarm including how to load the quilt as well as the fundamentals of free-motion quilting. The expense of the class also includes 2 hours of quilting time to complete that first quilt. Once the course and the quilt are complete and approved, you are certified to use the longarm.
Since my certification, I’ve used the longarm for several quilts, every time still learning, still playing, still ending up with something I love because of the experience of making it. I know I’m only at the start of my journey to develop my abilities as a quilter, and I’m excited to keep going, enjoying it every step of the way. One of my favorite elements of utilizing the longarm is that the experience of finishing my own quilt from start to finish.
There are lots of quilt stores and businesses offering training on longarm machines and permit you to rent the machine to finish your quilts.