A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I got several suggestions for classes in my email and I appreciate them all. Several people sent comments but your “no comment reply” is turned on so I couldn’t email you to ask for more details. Now that I have an idea about what classes to do; I can work on details of how to present them.
But first here is today’s finished quilt. It worked out really, really nice.
Speaking of the classes at the shop. What I said in my post yesterday sounded like the owner didn’t want to replace the old machine. That was wrong. I guess I was just in a pity me mood. I need to work on myself to stay out of those moods! Or at the very least keep myself from telling the world what type mood I’m in.
The shop owner does want to get a new machine. I believe between the two of us we will get one but just not right away. One reason I stayed several days in Paducah was to check out several machines and pick up information packets to give to the shop owner. We haven’t had a chance to get together since I got back. First because she had other time commitments and then when she was ready to get together I got sick.
The shop classes started a couple of years ago with me doing a simple demonstration to show what is possible to do with a household machine on a Hinterberg frame. Everything I can do with a Gammill machine can be done with a household machine. It just has to be done differently. The demonstrations expanded to actual classes because so many were buying machines and frames then standing there in front of their machine saying….. now what?
I WANT people to buy machines and get excited about doing machine quilting. I want others to know how I feel when I see a stitching design done on a top. Hmmm….. maybe I’m not explaining this well enough. Ok, you know how it is when you go to a quilt show or a guild meeting or a fabric shop and see a new piecing design that excites you so much that you want to make one yourself? So you start looking for classes or books to learn how it is made. Then you are so happy about learning and making one yourself that you show it to everyone else. Well that’s how I am about machine quilting. I see new stitching techniques or designs that get me excited enough to want to learn them…… then show everyone else what I did. The trouble is that when I want to show someone else…. I’m in the studio alone. No one to see it. This blog is the next best thing to having people around.
I can’t tell you how many times I try a new stitching design…. it works out perfectly….. I stand there saying….. Oooooo that’s fantastic, you guys outa try this….. but there is no one there to hear me. So I keep my excitement for a time when I can share it with others.
There are new people reading my blog that may not know my history of machine quilting so I’ll tell you about it. For over 20 years I used a Singer upholstery machine rigged up to a table and track system to do machine quilting. I could only quilt 5 inches of space with each pass over the quilt before advancing. I was still able to do very large 15 or 20 inch designs in spite of the 5 inch limitations.
I own a Gammill machine because the Singer machine just wasn’t right for my business anymore. I was constantly having to load it into a car to make an all day trip out of town to get it re timed and tuned up. It was wore out from all the years of work. When the trips out of town began being a monthly trip I decided it was time to quit the business or get a new machine. To make a story shorter….. I got a Gammill. I don’t have a Gammill because its large enough to do big designs. I have it because it’s sturdy enough to run for hours and hours to do what I want it to do. To be honest any of the larger sturdy machine would have been adequate. Whether it be an A1, Prodigy, or any other of the major brands.
BUT… if a person is only planning to quilt their own tops then an industrial machine is not really needed. If someone wanted only to do a few tops as a spare income then a smaller machine is fine too. It really is possible to do the same things I do with my Gammill on a smaller machine. The machine you buy should fit the type of work you plan to do.
On my trip to Paducah I looked specifically for affordable machines for those people who want only to do their own tops. I looked for machines that could be used to create the ART of machine quilting without taking out a second mortgage to own it.
Ok, I’ve rambled on long enough. I have to finish making paper copies of the class materials for Saturday. It won’t be the same as actually using a machine. BUT…. it’s a start.