Thursday, May 10, 2012

HMQS Day 1 and Free Quilting Service!

I took a freehand long arm class yesterday at HMQS from Linda Taylor.  She was WONDERFUL!  What a great teacher, and what a great quilter.  She made the class really fun. 

I was so excited to get into this hands-on class.  I haven't spent much time using an actual long arm before, so this was a great way to do some serious test-driving of at least one model.  I've decided that I like Gammills a lot.  They have some fantastic features that so far I haven't seen in other models.  I've also decided that an 18 inch throat is NOT ENOUGH ROOM!  It's funny because I'm currently using a machine with a nine inch throat.  When I'm quilting at home I have the mindset that I don't have a lot of space, and that's okay.  When I was using the long arm I thought I had tons of space... but I didn't really.  I will definitely be buying a machine with at least 26" of throat space, if not 30".  I still have more research to do, which I will get to do tomorrow when I go back to HMQS.  I'm especially interested in trying out APQS and Innova long arms.

So more about my class.  This is what we ended up with:
 I'm amazing, aren't I?  Ha!  Okay, I'm working on it, but I didn't do this whole thing.  The border was all stitched out already when we got there, as well as the straight lines separating the areas.
 There were 18 of us in the class, with two machines on each of five frames, so we had 4 people on each frame and took turns working on our own project.  We sat as Linda demonstrated different techniques (drawing them), practiced drawing our own a few times, then went to sew them.  Then we sat down and learned a few new techniques and went and sewed those. 
 It was so much fun!  I was so excited to go that I just had butterflies all over.
 I learned several new techniques that will really improve my quilting and increase my repertoire.  I really need to practice these before I put them on anyone else's quilts.  (Did you see that ugly feathered medallion?  There was a reason I didn't take a close-up of it.)   I promise I will practice, practice, practice. 
 The backs of our quilts were white.  You can barely see the difference in the shade of the bobbin thread on the border that was stitched with a computerized machine compared to what I did in class.
This class was great.  It was great to get hands-on time on a long-arm and get comfortable with it.  The only down-side that I can think of is that now I really don't want to wait to get my long arm, but I have to.  It will be at least 6 more months.  I'm glad I can still work on my skills with what I currently have.

So speaking of practice, I've decided to offer FREE QUILTING, for a limited time, to anyone making a quilt to  be donated to a humanitarian cause.  I will provide batting and thread, but binding is not included.  I also can't promise quick turnaround time on this offer, but I will do my best.  Let me know if you are interested!

Coming soon--pictures of Amber's quilt!


  1. Looks great! Did you know that Linda also teaches at the Gammill shop in Sandy (on occasion). Thanks for sharing your class. I'm curious, which version of feathers do you like sewing the best? Bottom's-up/alternating sides, bump-back, or top down sewing both sides separately? Also, I don't know how familiar you are with LDS humanitarian services in SLC, but you can go there and check out fabric (you supply batting) and finish their quilts to be sent to third world countries and orphanages. They prefer at least 6 oz. polyester batting (not cotton).

  2. What a small world - I do believe I was in this class! I was brand new to longarming then, only having my machine for about two months, and felt very intimidated and shaky on it. I bought a Gammill and now I love it! It's fun to look back at this sample we did, and then look at that wonderful bag you've just completed, and see how far you've come in less than two years - awesome!


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