My Creative Mind

My Creative Mind

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Whole New Appreciation

After what I have been doing the last couple of days I have a whole new appreciation for all those who are long arm machine quilters!

Bright and early yesterday morning a friend of mine and I drove to the valley to have a lesson on using a long arm quilting machine. It was fun! We had a blast! For the first couple of hours the shopowner took us through the steps of loading the backing, batting and quilt top. How to thread the machine. How to roll the quilt when you have reached the end of the row. Amazing! We were soon left to our own devices and readily agreed that it was going to take both of us together to get the job done! We were having a great time but there were so many things to learn and so many things to remember...#1 being BREATHE!!! LOL My favorite part was the meandering that I did with a heart, star, flower or word tossed in here and there..."a day at the beach", "lemonade", "smile"...etc. it was fun to adlib here and there while quilting. The quilts we did are by no means gonna win a ribbon at the fair, but they were fun to do and the children who recieve them will love them!

The shopowner was very gracious and forgiving...and has the patience of a saint, she had to have to teach the two of us anything!
Barbara, trying to remember to breathe!!

I had 8 tops with me, 3 of Jeanne's, 5 of Nancy's. After getting our sampler, a.k.a. practice quilt, done we were ready to roll...we loaded up one of Jeanne's worked until we got it done...then loaded up another one and began working on it but didn't get it done. So left for the night, returning bright and early this morning...finished up the second one and managed to get 3 more done today before calling it quits for the day.

Oh my, my legs, feet, shoulders, neck and back all ache. I have sung the ABC song and Happy Birthday (to keep my stitches even) more times in the last 2 days than in all the rest of my life put together. I can honestly say I appreciate the gal who has been doing my quilts all these years 100% more than ever before.

We had so much fun and got so much done that we have already reserved the machine for a wknd in February as well. This time we will be more prepared with battings and backings cut to size, which should save us some time (and money as we purchased batting from the shopowner at a price I was not too thrilled about).

I have heard horror stories from many people who have rented time on machines: cost is too high, shopowner too controlling, required purchase of batting, etc etc etc. But that is not what we found with this shop. The rental is $40 per day...if you arrive when the shop opens the machine is yours to use until the shop closes that day for only $40. The shopowner gave a lesson on how to use the machine and then left us to do as we wanted, she was there to offer advice and help out if we asked but other than that she did not stand over us and watch our every move. We didn't have batting with us (both of us have plenty of batting in our stashes but there was a mix up in communication about batting so neither of us had any with us) so we purchased a kingsize Hobbs (that we got 5 quilts out of!!), next time we will have our own batting cut and ready to load on to the machine.

A very fun weekend...a pleasant exprience...a great friend...far more laughter than any two people should be allowed...lots of good conversation...playing cards until we were too tired to think...talking until waaay late into the night...finding out I'm not too old to learn something new...and six quilts ready for binding, one step closer to wrapping children in love.

Pictures as soon as the bindings are done! Barbara took 4 home with her, I have 2 here....more handwork for me!!!

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At Saturday, January 20, 2007 7:52:00 PM, Blogger DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Thank-you for tell us about renting time on a long arm machine. I will checking LQS to see if any of then rent time.

I am glad you had fun and were able to finish your quilts.

At Saturday, January 20, 2007 8:00:00 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Pam, How fun - it sounds like doing it with your friend was the way to go and $40 a day is pretty good I think. As you get more experienced it will be even better and you'll get a lot done in a day.

I love having my longarm and even though I had to downsize to a smaller machine with this move I'm thankful I was still able to work out the logistics of space and the trade.

At Saturday, January 20, 2007 8:48:00 PM, Blogger Su Bee said...

How much fun!! I wish we had a place to do that; it sounds like you had a ball, learned a lot and got some FINISHES to boot. WTG!

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 3:16:00 AM, Blogger Carol said...

What a fun day and you got so much done on your first day...WOW! Good for you...that is just wonderful...and $40 for the day sounds reasonable to me.

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:00:00 AM, Blogger joyce said...

I never heard of a store renting longarm time but I may ask around now. I have always wanted to try one. It sounds like you had a really fun couple of days!

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:46:00 AM, Blogger Fiona said...

That sounds like excellent value for money - wish there was something similar available here - all the advantages of being able to use a longarm with none of the outlay.

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Jeanne said...

Wow, what a fun day! And how exciting to learn a HUGELY wonderful new thing like that!!!
Jeanne :)

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 11:51:00 AM, Blogger Sweet P said...

What a great way to spend a weekend! I'll have to check around here to see if any of the quilt shops rent out long arm time. Of course, I'd need to learn how to use one first! Thanks for the idea.

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:41:00 PM, Blogger cher said...

way to go Pam! glad you had such a wonderful weekend and can look forward to getting back again to do some more!

At Monday, January 22, 2007 10:45:00 AM, Blogger JudyL said...

Isn't it funny how you forget to breathe when you first start quilting? I did the same thing when I started. At first, it seems hard but now . . it's just plain old fun!

Judy L.

At Monday, January 22, 2007 2:43:00 PM, Blogger Laurie Ann said...

Renting long arms is very popular around here and they are usually about 15 - 20 dollars an hour. $40 a day is fantastic!!

At Monday, January 22, 2007 7:03:00 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I had a chuckle when reading about your long arm experiences. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us. Sometimes I think my customers think I just throw the quilt at the machine and it does the work! I get comments like, "You have to move the machine yourself?". Your story was refreshing and humorous. I loved it. I am glad the two of you were able to quilt so many quilts for WTWL! I am sure they will be loved and appreciated by their new owners!

At Thursday, January 25, 2007 5:10:00 PM, Blogger Shelina said...

That's awesome that you can rent a machine for such a low price, get training, and get to finish up so many of your quilts. Look forward to seeing the finished projects!

At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 7:33:00 PM, Blogger Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

How fun! It is a great story! And - you got soooo much done.




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