Several months ago I set out to find out longarm quilting. My motivation-I’m terrible at quilting on my national machine! I haven’t gotten much past straight-line quilting and after many struggles with free movement I managed to put my machine in the mechanic.
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 wasn’t sophisticated, I loved the end result because I left the whole quilt myself.
But how to maintain on longarm quilting? Borrowing a machine every time wasn’t going to be sensible. And while I expect to put money into my own machine , buying a longarm is not in my immediate future either.
With a little research I found a few 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 design partitions, huge cutting tables, a variety domestic machines, and of course-a longarm quilting machine.
In order to use the longarm there, like many areas, you want to have a class and successfully quilt a complete quilt. The class covers the basics of operating their big, beautiful longarm including how to load the quilt and the fundamentals of free-motion quilting. The expense of the class also includes 2 hours of quilting time to complete that first quilt. When 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 that I love because of the experience of making it. I know I’m only at the beginning of my journey to develop my abilities as a quilter, and I’m eager to keep going, enjoying it every step of the way. One of my favorite elements of using the longarm is that the experience of completing my own quilt from start to finish.
There are many quilt stores and businesses offering training on longarm machines and permit you to rent the machine to finish your quilts.