Update on the Longarm – First Stitches

My longarm has been sitting in my house for a week now. After the guys delivered her and got her set up we discovered the Velcro strips used to hold the leaders on the bars were the wrong size. The frame is 12′ long, the strips sent were only ten feet. Knowing that I was leaving for quilt market on Wednesday and had so much to do on Tuesday, we decided to leave it until HQ could send new strips.

Fusion set-up

Boxes everywhere, and the set up has started. My excitement was over the top!

So when the guys left this is what my room looked like:

Felicia - My HQ FusionShe looks nice hanging in the sunroom, right? I think so…

I have to admit I was bit relieved that I was going to have to wait to try her out. I mean, I’ve got this big machine in my sunroom and I am scared to death that my quilting projects will look like I’ve never quilted a top in my life. Just like starting over…

Then I left town for five days. After the excitement that is Quilt Market, I was so pumped and ready to quilt some quilts when I got home. It was time to turn on that monster of a machine! But I needed those darn strips.

Huh.

I decided I could get creative and rig something up and, like Tim Gunn says, “make it work.”

I ended up taping the backing and top to the roller bars using a wide blue painters tape. Not too sticky, just enough to hold the fabric in place until I got it rolled onto the bar.

Top loaded on longarmAnd guess what? It worked!

For my first practice piece I decided to try a simple stipple. I adjusted the tension, cruise speed, and stitches per inch until I was satisfied with the results. With all the adjustments there was only one thread break and that was the bobbin thread. It was my fault because I was stitching way too fast for the settings I had dialed in.

I worked on a piece of fabric that was 1-1/2 yards long x WOF (the green piece.) By the time I reached the halfway point I started feeling a little more comfortable using the machine. It’s a lot different moving the machine head instead of the fabric, and I know it will take me a while to become more confident. But in just the few hours I stitched today I saw huge improvement.

I’m really excited that I can now take what I call “roller bar pictures”. Silly I know but sometimes it’s the little things… 🙂

first attempt long arm

There are a few puckers toward the top right of the pic. Hopefully I can fix that issue once the leaders are in place and I’ve had a lesson on loading a quilt.

I’m going to trim and bind this practice piece – it’s a great size for a lap quilt. The reverse is a green/white stripe so at least there is a bit of a design to it. I’ll show you the back when I get the binding finished.

I would call my first attempt on the longarm mostly a success. Yay! It only took me a couple of hours in the afternoon to quilt this piece – I can’t believe how quickly an edge to edge design can be stitched. This would have taken me much longer on my sit down machine. Gosh, it would have taken me almost as long just to baste it!

Fusion HQ quilting

Oh, and I’m trying out the name Felicia. I’m not sure that’s her name – I’m sure she’ll tell me if she likes it or wants something different.

 

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MCM #73 – Quilt Market News

Welcome to Monday everyone, and another edition of Main Crush Monday. Let me tell you, I just got home from Quilt Market a few hours ago and my head is spinning, spinning with all the…..for lack of a better word, stuff! I met so many people, learned so much, and saw gorgeous new fabric lines. It will take a bit of time to process and I’ve taken lots of notes to help keep my head on straight. And talk about MCM – I have enough to crush on for the next month!

As promised, I took plenty of pictures and I’ll be sharing them here with you over the next few days. So let’s get started with what I’m crushing on this week!

One of the coolest patterns I saw at Market was Alphabet Soup by Julie of Jaybird Quilts. All the letters and numbers can be made with no Y seams and can be used individually or together to form any words/sayings you want. Very, very cool and I can’t wait to get my own copy of Alphabet Soup.

See that Cooking Cutter quilt on the left? It’s a new pattern being released in addition to the Alphabet Soup book. It was difficult to get a good picture of the booth because there were so many people there – it was a popular booth!

Alphabet Soup Jaybird Quilts

Look at this banner! I want to make one for my sewing room, as well as personalized ones for my baby niece and nephews.

Jaybird Quilts Alphabet Soup banner

 

When I saw the Hello Jane fabric line by Allison of Cluck, Cluck Sew, I knew I had to have it. I have a client who wants a quilt using aqua, teal, and purples and Allison’s line will be perfect. I was able to bring home a bundle of these fabrics and I’m excited to start sewing with them, they are so lovely!

Here’s a pic of part of the Cluck, Cluck Sew booth:

Cluck Cluck Sew Hellow Jane booth

And here is one of me being a stalker, um, fan with Allison: 🙂

Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew

Another fabric line I wanted to see in person was Gingham Girls by Amy Smart. It did not disappoint!

Gingham Girls

I didn’t get a picture of the pattern used for the bag shown below, but I wanted to share it with you because I love the way it looks in these fabrics. I’m sure I can find the pattern name/maker by checking out the Riley Blake blog. If you find it before I do please share it with us. It’s so darn cute, I want to make one for myself!

gingham girls handbag

And of course I had to grab a picture with the designer herself….

Amy SmartSee how Amy looked right at the camera lens and I was spacing out somewhere?? It’s hard to remember to look in the right spot when taking a selfie!

Okay, I have lots more to show you but it will have to wait; I don’t want this post to be overly long.  After all, this is MCM and I want to see the projects YOU are working on.

Please share with us what has you excited to be in your sewing space. You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Quilt Market – All Checked In

Hi everyone – I’m just popping in for a quick minute to let you know I’m in St. Louis and so excited to be here!

Quilt Market

I’m all checked in and am fan-girling all over the place! 🙂

Tomorrow will be a busy day and starts early. I’m looking forward to my day and hopefully won’t be totally exhausted by the end of it.

Talk to you soon!

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MCM #72 – Back to Our Regular Schedule

Good Monday everyone – Welcome to Main Crush Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and celebrated Mother’s Day in your own special way.

Did you enjoy meeting all the wonderful bloggers who participated in the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop? I found so many new blogs to follow and it is my hope that you did as well. In case you missed any of the introductory posts, you can find them here:

Week 1 – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop
Week 2 – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop
Week 3 – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop
Week 4 – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Now that the blog hop is finished, Main Crush Monday is back on its regular Monday schedule. Which is good, because Main Crush Tuesday just doesn’t sound as cool. 🙂

I didn’t get to spend much time in my sewing room last week. With summer right around the corner there’s been a lot of outdoor work to keep me busy. I’ve also been busy organizing and moving furniture in the sunroom, which is where the longarm will live. It’s coming home tomorrow!!!! I can’t wait for it to get here, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you all the ups/downs I know I’ll experience while learning to use her. After she gets here all that will be left to do is name her. I think something like ‘Please Be a Miracle Stitcher so my Quilts Look Good’ would be an awesome name, but suggestions are welcome….

One project that I am making progress on are the test blocks for my newest quilt pattern. Look at these beautiful prints:

layer cake piecesThese colors just make me soooo happy. The prints were in a layer cake I bought when I went to Lancaster, PA with my sister. I can’t tell you who designed them as the layer cake wasn’t labeled at all. I think it was an in-house pre-cut from the quilt shop. But they look beautiful together and I absolutely love the way the blocks are coming together.

So, some progress is being made as the pattern is written and I’m almost ready to put a call out for testers. If you’re interested just let me know in the comments.

In other news, Wednesday morning I’ll be heading to St. Louis for Quilt Market. I know! This is my first time attending market and I’m pretty psyched. And a bit nervous – normal “traveling in a different city” kind of nerves. I think going to market is totally crush-worthy! I can’t wait to meet people in person, even though that is pretty far outside my comfort zone.  If you’ll be there I’d love to meet you!

Hopefully I’ll remember to snap some pictures so I can share my trip with you. I tend to forget to snap a pic and then wish I had them later. I’m going to make a real effort to remember I want pictures!

Now it’s time to check out some of the great projects you have been crushing on.

Did you see Afton’s Wonderland quilt she recently shared? I adore all the detail she added in the quilting, the applique, the making of the blocks. Those red words she added slay me – they’re the best. Go see the full quilt on her blog, Quilting Mod.

Photo by Afton of Quilting Mod

Rose of SomethingRoseMade made these really cute little pin puffs. Be sure to read her story on why she decided to make them!

Photo by Rose of SomethingRoseMade

Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts & Quilting showed how she quilts her “squiggles and wiggles” design. It’s always interesting to me to see how a design is stitched, and I’m happy Vicki shared this on her blog.

Photo by Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts & Quilting

Now it’s time for you to share what you are working on this week. I would love to see the projects that have you excited to be in your sewing space. You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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MCM #71 – Main Crush Monday

“I’ve got nothing for you. Grab your stuff and head back to camp.”

Those are the words Jeff Probst utters each week to the losing contestants on Survivor. Sadly, that’s the way I feel today about my Crush this week – I’ve got nothing for you so I’m grabbing my stuff and heading back to camp…. LOL

I have so much to crush on but not much to show for it. This is what’s happening in my corner of the world:

  • My new long arm is sitting at the dealer’s shop and will be delivered next Tuesday. Yay!
  • I’m working on test blocks for a new pattern I’ve written but they’re not ready for me to share just yet.
  • I’m working with a wonderful graphic designer to develop a new logo, website, and pattern templates but don’t have anything I can show just yet.
  • My jelly roll race quilt top is finished, but I’m not quilting it until I have my new machine so I can practice with it.
  • Customer quilts keep coming in at a record pace and are taking up a lot of my time. I’m sooooo thankful for them.

See, lots going on and I’m crushing on lots of projects but no pretty pictures just yet. But soon, very very soon!

So now we are going to celebrate you! We’ve had great link-ups to the MCM party, even though things are a bit off kilter right now due to the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. Main Crush Monday will be back on its regular schedule beginning next week so it will be easier to remember to link up. Let’s check out some of the great projects you are working on!

Lena of Quilt Art by Olena finished her Lily the Dragon mini quilt. Go check out the quilting on this piece if you haven’t seen it. It looks so good!

Photo by Lena of Quilt Art by Olena

 

There are dragons in the air – Yanicka of Yanicka Quilts is planning to quilt her mini dragon quilt. Look how cute:

Photo by Yanicka of Yanicka Quilts

Ioleen turned an orphan block into a pillow which she shared on Instagram. You can see her pillow here.  In her words, ‘waste not, want not.’ My Dad used to say that all the time…

And one more share…..Quilting Gail is making these beautiful paper pieced blocks using a “don’t sew through the paper” method and jelly rolls. I need to learn more about her PP method.

Photo by Gail of Quilting Gail

 

Now it’s your turn to share your crushes for this week. You can link up anything that has you excited to be in your sewing space, and the link can be a blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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