Monthly Archives: December 2013

Longing for my Longarm Skills


This is how little longarming I’ve done in the last few months … I had not even changed the needle since July, when we moved the longarm machine from our living room into our basement. In the course of the move, I buried misplaced¬† my instruction manual and the packet of needles that worked best. Two weeks ago, I spent 3 hours (no kidding — THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE) trying to find the correct needle and to keep the thread from breaking. I was beyond frustrated.

All I wanted to do was make some Christmas stockings. I had panel yardage and I had loaded 3 yards (which worked out to six Christmas stockings) on my machine. I learned to quilt using panels and I love them, because they are interesting and fun to do. Plus non-quilters think you are a genius!

Yesterday, I finally got the thread issue resolved. I think I might have been putting the needle in backwards. I’m not sure. But I tried again and it worked. And, if I quilted slowly and evenly, the thread stopped breaking.

Back to quilting the panels. Let me rescind my previous statement and say that panels used to be easy and fun to do. They actually require a lot of accuracy and some major planning skills. In addition to feeling clumsy with the longarm, I did a really horrible job of planning my quilting. I had problems exactly tracing the lines and my fill stitches were uneven. I quickly decided that the first panel would be a learning piece. I’m embarrassed to post photos, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Today’s lesson is: Practice makes perfect, while lack of practice makes you feel like crap. My longarming muscles are clearly out of shape. However I’m in a lot better position today than I was last week, now that I’ve got my threading issues resolved.

There is one more issue. Unless my quilting skills return with lightening speed, there’s no way I’m going to be happy with those Christmas stockings. Now I need to figure out new gifts for the people on my list