Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the adventure continues...

My Gammill long arm quilter set up was finished yesterday evening and I had my first lesson on a baby sized quilt sample. I did free motion quilting on this test piece since that type of quilting is my most preferred design. Thanks to Mike, who will now be referred to as the "quilt man", for setting up my machine and showing me how to use it.  His calm demeanor, great teaching skills and reassurance that I will pick this up quickly was just what I needed. I'm not going for fancy quilting patterns, just yet, so there was no need for extensive training.  With many years of sewing experience much of what I know already came in handy during my lesson.  

The reason I picked a cute, vintage like, floral print for the top instead of plain muslin was to finish this off with binding and give the quilt to my great niece, Isa, for her baby dolls. 

I used a varigated thread and it looked great on the print side, not distracting from the floral print. The muslin backside really shows off the quilting which I kind of like.

Wouldn't you know, my bobbin ran out of thread last evening just before finishing the quilting and I was too tired to try rethreading the machine once I took the spool off to refill a bobbin. So I turned off the machine and left the project sit unfinished. Early this morning I remembered how I avoid rethreading my sergers by leaving thread in the machine and cutting it near the spool/cone. Once the bobbin was filled I put the cone of thread back on the spindle and tie that to the thread still in the machine and slowly pulling the knotted threads thru all the tension guides; I ended up just having to thread the needle. 
Viola.....it worked on the quilter. 
Shortcuts are fun. 

You can see the quilting in the photo above. Not bad for my very first attempt on a long arm quilter.  I've thought of making several baby size whole cloth quilts to fine tune my long arm quilting skills before I tackle larger quilts.  Who knows, if they turn out to my satisfaction I may even put some in the shop.

My Simple Dreams are coming true. When I bought my home many years ago, when my children were little, I envisioned having the 2 extra bedrooms (once my 3 children grew up and left home) put to good use as a sewing room/studio and the other room as a quilting room. I even replaced the carpet several years ago with wood floors as a step in that direction. Progress.

I have lived in the same town as the Gammill headquarters for over 17 years and have only been in the showroom two times.  The first time was several years ago, to drool over the machines.  The second time was yesterday to purchase needles and bobbins.  They have a nice selection of threads as well.  How convenient to be so close. I'm sure I will be shopping there more often for quilting supplies.

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