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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?