Now that work has slowed down some with the term ending, I have been keeping myself busy trying to get some WIP finished before the end of the year (so I can start new ones of course!). In trying to get quilt tops turned into quilts I have found I don’t have the time (or the floor space) to get them all pinned and ready to go on the machine. This has resulted in tops sitting around for months (I have a quilt top that has been finished for 8 months now, that I have yet to quilt, oops). I don’t mind quilting on my machine, and sometimes I like it, but most days I would much rather be piecing.
I needed a way to get my quilts finished that I would enjoy as my quilting time is more limited during the year than it used to be. I came across Sparrow Studioz, where you can take a class and then rent time to quilt your quilts on a long arm machine. I get to still quilt my own quilts, but can use a long arm without having to buy one! A friend and I took the class which comes with 4 free hours of quilting time to try out your first quilt.
I took two quilt tops for my first session and with the help of the owner started quilted. Loading my quilt was much better than having to pin it – no poking my fingers for crawling around on the floor. I stayed a little extra and was able to get two of my quilt tops finished! I used a pantograph to get used to the machine and what I was doing on the practice quilt (they suggest bringing a “throw away” quilt that you won’t be upset if they quilting isn’t great for the first time on the machine)t. I love how it turned out, and it did get a lot easier as I continued down the quilt (next time I might even try something with points or starts and stops rather than the continuous curves).
The second quilt I took in I already had an idea on what I thought might look good for the quilting. I hadn’t counted on having the time to quilt it, but had brought it along just incase I had some extra time. With the encouragement of others doing their quilts and the shop owner, I decided to go for it and try out my free motion skills on the long arm.
I had a great time quilting these (always more fun with other people around as well as a massage chair), and can’t wait to get the bindings on and ready to go. I am looking forward to taking more quilts in – especially the larger ones!
The finished quilts will be coming soon!