All posts by Alanna Nelson

Laurena’s Longarm is for sale.

An opportunity has arisen and I am moving on to a new job. I’ve made this difficult decision after significant consideration and I would like to share with you what will happen at Laurena’s Longarm Quilting in the next couple of months.

I am offering the business for sale until February 17, 2017. Please telephone me at (781) 229-0734 if you are interesting in acquiring a flourishing business with a growing clientele of loyal, talented quilters.

Barring a sale, March 18, 2017 will be Laurena’s Longarm Quilting’s last day of business.

I will work with subscribers individually to use or refund your prepaid hours.

Future classes are cancelled. If you signed up for classes in January, February or March and have already prepaid, I will refund your class fees.

I will accept a limited number of quilts for edge to edge quilting in February. All quilts must be picked up by March 18.

LLQ will be open by appointment only, Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Laurena’s Longarm Quilting grew from one machine to a multi machine rental and quilting business. The thriving community of machine quilters in the New England area have been the cornerstone of this growth. I’m grateful for the support you’ve given me over the years.

Wish me well in my future endeavors!

Used Gammill Vision Longarm for sale at Laurena's Boston

Gammill Vision Longarm for Sale!

Do you long for your own longarm quilting machine?

I have a used Gammill Vision 1 machine in my fleet for sale!

Laurena Longarm Boston used Gammill Vision on sale

This sturdy, trusty machine lead demonstrations and quilted many a quilt. You may have seen it in action at a benefit quilt or demo day.

The 18-8 system gives you a color LCD touch screen, choice of stitch regulation or manual mode and an on board bobbin winder. The adjustable laser light is the same as you may have used on the studio’s rental machines.

With an 18″ longarm and a 12″ table, this Vision 1 is perfect for the home free motion quilter.  On the tabletop, you can lay out a paper pantograph up to 10″ high and have a comfortable 13″ of free motion space if working from the front of the machine. Swiveled castors on the stand legs lock, but still allow for manageable movement when needed. The Breeze Track System makes for smooth quilting! The leaders have zippered edges.

Are you the lucky quilter who might find this longarm in his/her studio? The price is $7,000.

Its Vision 1 system can be upgraded to a  Gammill Vision 2 system. (Gammill charges $1,000 for this type Vision 2 upgrade).

This is a great opportunity to have a sturdy, high quality machine at a great price. Call Laurena at (781) 229- 0734 to make an arrangement to view this Vision 1 machine before it’s gone!


October is for New England Quilt Lovers

New England is famous for its fall colors, but October 2016 in Boston is equally well known for the quilt scene. Here are  six quilt destinations worth checking out this month.

Laurena's Longarm spotlights Boston Autumn Quilt Shows
Modern Quilts by Maritzia Soto in Somerville in October
  1. Folk Grafika features quilts by Maritza Soto in Somerville. The opening reception is Saturday, October 8 but the Washington Street Gallery is open every Saturday in October.
  2. In Lexington, the Rising Star Quilters will shine on October 14 and 15 with their fun filled destination quilt show. In addition to the display of member and benefit quilts, there’s a cafe, boutique, demonstrations and a scavenger hunt.
Rising Star Quilters 2016 raffle quilt
The 2016 RSQ raffle quilt could be yours!

3. On October 23 and 23 at the Campus Center of the Middlesex Community College, the Burlington Quilters’ Guild hosts their annual show.

Laurena Longarm Boston Quilt Show recommendations
Narrangansett Bay Quilter’s Association at New England Quilt Museum in Lowell.
5. The next weekend, October 29 – 30, the Hammersmith Quilt Guild celebrates its 35th birthday at the Saugus Senior Center.
      6. North of Boston, the

New England Quilt Museum

    boasts several exhibits to tickle the quilt lover. Lowell is a textile lover’s paradise.

Enjoy the autumn colors and soak up those great quilting moments in New England.

Ready to ship #QuiltsforPulse

We did it!

Our goal of 10 finished quilts to donate to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild   was surpassed! Fourteen quilts were sent out last week. The OMQG initiative hopes to give 300 quilts to survivors and family members suffering after the June Pulse night club tragedy.

A strong team of piecers, quilters, binders, label attachers made the work light. Thank you to each of you! Special thanks to Jane Barnett who kindly donated so much beautiful fabric from the recently closed Quilter’s Way shop

The label attached to each of the #QuiltsforPulse

img_0395 img_0384 img_0392 img_0394 img_0378 img_0376 img_0377 img_0375 img_0373 img_0372 img_0371 img_0369

Working through worry: #QuiltsforPulse

Both rooms at Laurena’s Longarm were buzzing on Sunday, July 10 for our #QuiltsforPulse afternoon. Busy quilters had five quilt tops ready for the longarm machine, and a sixth was on the frame by the end of the afternoon. Meanwhile, cutting, sewing and pressing stations buzzed with finished blocks. The group enjoyed getting to know each other, but an undercurrent of thoughtful contemplation ran solemnly through the afternoon.

SaveJane Burnett kindly donated a wonderful selection of rainbow color fabrics which are being used in the tops, backs and bindings.

QuiltsforPulse day at Laurena's Longarm Studio
Kendra contemplates options for a top
Laurena's Longarm Quilting Boston charity quilt day
Both the blue room and the main studio buzzed.


Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston QuiltsforPulse Day
Sue advises between stints on the quilting frame.
Laurena Longarm Quilting heart charity quilts
One of the Just Sew tops on the longarm frame

We’re on track for completing 10 quilts for the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild’s initiative.

Thanks to Liz for her fabulous photos of the day.

Charity Quilting at Laurena Longarm Burlington MA

#QuiltsforPulse Charity Day July 10

The sock in the gut last Sunday was fierce… not another mass murder hate crime. How can we help the healing?

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild offers one way that quilters can reach out to those impacted by the tragedy at the Pulse Night Club on June 12, 2016. The call is out for bright, happy heart quilts using rainbow colors. Want to join us? We’d like to help them out with finished quilts.

The OMQG asks that the quilts be between 48 x 60 and a twin size. Laurena is purchasing white on white fabric to back 10 quilts. She will use the fabric with the blocks on the front to capture that modern esthetic.

Would you like to help us in this effort?

On Sunday July 10 from 1 to 5pm, we’ll meet to begin assembling quilts (or who knows? Maybe there will already be tops to quilt!) here at our studio in Burlington, MA. If you’d like to attend or contribute blocks, just RSVP here

Need ideas for heart blocks? Here are some suggested by the Modern Quilt Guild

Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston Quilts for Pulse
Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew has a heart quilt block you could use
Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston Quilts for Pulse
Foundation pieced hearts from Sew Mama Sew’s Amy Gunsun

When there is pain, a quilt made with comforting thoughts is one way we can help.

Come Quilt Weeknights in July

Summer brings long days – the perfect opportunity to get more done!

Summer brings hot evenings – the perfect opportunity to escape into air conditioning!

This July, reserve your Mini Studio Block on Wednesday and Thursdays evenings.

Summer Longarm Quilting Weeknights at Laurena's Longarm Quilting
Tangle of Lights pattern from Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project

That’s right! Three hours of air conditioned longarm quilting on Wednesday and Thursday nights throughout July. Begin your Mini Studio Block between 4 and 6 pm.

What are those weeknight Mini Studio Blocks?

July 6 and 7

July 13 and 14

July 20 and 21

July 27 and 28

Call Laurena’s Longarm Quilting at (781) 229- 0734  or email at info at burlingtonlongarm dot com to reserve your block now.

3 Ideas for Pieced Quilt Backs

Is there something in the air? Is it spring madness? Lately, we’ve seen some tiny quilt backs.  I’m talking about quilt backs a mere 2″ bigger than the front. That’s tight! Ideally, your quilt back should be 6″ – 10″ longer and wider than your top. There may be a pieced quilt back in your future!

You can read our tips on how to piece a quilt back and the 9 steps to matching prints on a quilt back, but how about a few ideas to fuel your creative piecing of that nice, big quilt back?

3 Approaches to a Pieced Quilt Back

  1. Add a contrasting fabric down the middle of your quilt back. Linda rented one of the hand guided machines this week and was gracious enough to let us photograph her backs. In the first quilt back, she’s added a coordinating print to two strips of solid.
    Quilt backs from Laurena's Longarm Quilting Boston
    In her second quilt back, she stitched strips of black on black prints and bordered them in red. What a great way to use up the leftovers!
    ideas to piece quilt backs
  2.  Apply the Rule of Thirds to your quilt back. The Rule of Thirds is used by artists and cinematographers to create a pleasing composition. The camera on your phone may have the horizontal and vertical grid which divides your frame into a “nine patch” or “tic tack tow.” Creating movement around the center quadrant is pleasing to your eye. How do you do this yourself? Take the dimensions of your quilt back and divide them by 3. Add a strip of fabric a third of the way across your back or create your own nine patch of made from stash fabric.
  3. Improvise your quilt back with leftover blocks

    Pieced quilt back from Modern Quilt Relish
    The improv quilt back from Modern Quilt Relish

There’s a lovely tutorial on how they approach piecing a quilt back on Modern Quilt Relish.  It makes a very interesting back, albeit more time consuming. A design wall helps to lay out options. Need a big design wall? Come to Sew Social, on first and third Thursdays. We’ve got loads of room to spread out and a wall covered in batting, ready for your quilt back improvisation.

As we head into summer, the spring madness of small quilt backs will probably calm down. However, what goes around, comes around! Be sure to keep in mind that a quilt back should be at least 6″ – 10″ longer and wider than your quilt top.

Laurena Rental Gammill Longarm Plus Quilting Machine Boston

5 Hints for First Time Longarm Quilters

Laurena Rental Gammill Longarm Plus Quilting Machine Boston
Does this view make your pulse race?

Our “Learn to Use a Longarm” classes are filling up quickly in 2016. Laurena always says that real quilting begins when you return, ready to use the longarm yourself for the first time after the class.

We’re there to support you on your longarm journey, helping you load the layers and preparing for the first stitch. When the sides are clamped and you’ve tied down your threads, it’s all yours!

Here are 5 Tips for Beginning Longarm Quilters

  1. Be nice to yourself! Feeling unsure is normal; after all, you’re trying something new. Probably you’ve gone to shows, liked photos on social media and read books, so you’ve seen fabulous examples of longarm quilting. You probably don’t see everyone’s first longarm quilting experience. Even if you’ve been machine quilting, remember that you are learning.
  2. Breathe. Are your shoulders hunched, or your jaw tight? Longarm quilting can be really pleasurable. Our hand guided machines all have adjustable table heights for a physically comfortable experience. A couple of long exhales before starting to quilt lets you release any anxiety built up.
  3. Choose a simple quilt top. Practice makes improvement. If the only quilt top you own has 5,000 pieces and you want to use rulers, and fill it with feathers, save it for another day. Make a simpler top, use muslin or a choose a charity quilt top for your beginning longarm quilting.
  4. Choose a simple quilting pattern. Organic, flowing shapes that suggest a motif are great for many quilts. You can practice smooth, consistent movement across the quilt which results in lovely, even stitching.
  5. Give your quilting the horseback view. Did you ever hear the adage that “if you can’t see it from the back of a galloping horse, no one else will?” It’s true!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so enjoy your time with the longarm quilting machine. It’s about the quilting experience as much as it is the quilt.

Ok, quilters: Do you have any other suggestions or advice for newbie longarm quilters?


Peruse Quilting Patterns on Pinterest

Do you have a love/hate relationship with social media? On one hand, there’s so many cool things to discover. On the other, there’s quilting to be done. We hang out on Facebook, like and occasionally post our own photos on Instagram. Now we’ve figured out a way for Pinterest to work for us!Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston Digital Patterns

Click on over to our Pinterest  page and you’ll find many of the patterns for the Statler Stitcher organized into quilting style. While we don’t have all of them up, we hope you can begin imagining some of the possibilities for your quilt!

Next step: Creating a board of the hand guided patterns available for renters. Stay tuned!

Now the question: will we be able to resist not clicking and collecting the fabulous images, ideas and patterns for quilters on Pinterest? Do you have a places we shouldn’t miss?