Never Been Happier
I have a confession to make, after getting my longarm home and set up, I avoided the thing for more than a month. I did a few small practice pieces on it, but no tops or anything like that. It's not that I didn't want to, or that I didn't appreciate or want the machine. I was afraid!
That's right, afraid. My whole life, I have tried to figure out what my "purpose" is, what my "career" is supposed to be. I have always had an interest in art, it was just innate in me. But so is self doubt!
I was actually afraid that if I started using the machine, I would find out that I suck at it! This thought paralyzed me. I mean, can you imagine buying the machine to eventually start competing in quilt shows, but then finding out that you have no aptitude for it? Especially when there are so many AWESOME quilters out there, that's a lot to live up to and go up against!
But, my closest and dearest friend gave me crap about not using it. Damn her for knowing my weakness, guilt. So I put a top on that machine, and I quilted it. As soon as it was off the frame, I was putting another one one. Finished that one..put another on, and I will be going down to finish that up after I post here.
I wouldn't say that I am great, but the machine and I are just getting to know one another. I've already learned that she has moods! And I am calling my mom TONS, asking her questions, "Mom, what makes it do eyelashes on top?" "Why does my top thread keep breaking?" "Where else do I need to oil this thing?"
I'm also working with figuring out good fillers for "negative" spaces on the quilt. And trying to keep it balanced, so that the block quilting is even to the filler background quilting. Thread color choices, working on keeping points pointy and not rounded.
I'm not using patterns or pantos. I have a couple of "rulers" that my local hardware store cut for me from quarter inch plexi and that's it. And, since I used to do traditional piecing, I have quite a few pieces to be quilted to practice on. The traditional pieces, give me an excellent opportunity to practice stitch in the ditch. People say "Oh, just quilt it with something easy, like stitch in the ditch", well, if it were "easy", they quilt it themselves! lol Seriously though, stitch in the ditch is one of the most time consuming ways to quilt a quilt if you're doing it well.
Anyways, I'm off to finish the top that I have on the machine now. But I'm putting up a couple of pictures of what I've been doing on it so far.