If you have any idea what that means you’re probably either a quilter, or you read my last post. If not, let me explain. A longarmer is a person who uses a longarm quilting machine (think giant sewing machine on a frame – there’s a picture in my last post). Well, I bit the bullet and purchased the Moxie longarm from Handiquilter. I got an 8 foot loft frame, which means that an entire room of my house holds that, the dog’s kennel (she’s too old for change now), and a bookcase. Yeah, it’s big.
There’s definitely a learning curve, but after just a few tries I’m way better at longarming than I have ever been at quilting on my domestic (i.e. regular) sewing machine. Moving the machine is so much easier than moving the quilt, and the longarm regulates the stitches so they’re nice and even. That’s something I’ve always struggled with on the domestic machine. It’s a great sewing machine, but I’m not a great machine quilter.
Now that the Moxie is up, I think it needs a name. It hasn’t come to me yet, but it will.
So far I’ve quilted up the sample gridded fabric that came with the machine (for practice), and a quilt top that had been just waiting to be finished. Since the learning curve means that my first several projects won’t be stellar (and I’m okay with that) I want them to be things that are useful, but not too near and dear to my heart. I’m also improving my machine binding skills, since hand-stitching binding is tedious, and my wrists will only tolerate a small amount of hand sewing at a time. This pink, white, and chocolate baby quilt was a perfect place to start.
I bought the printed fabrics as a jelly roll (precut 2.5 inch strips), then added in the white and solid pink. I wasn’t super happy with the result, and the workmanship is pretty awful if you care to look closely. I’m not sure why matching seams all of a sudden seemed impossible on that quilt, but it is what it is. The back is pieced from scraps and a very cute nursery rhyme fabric (which my sweetheart has proclaimed terrifying, go figure). I’m actually pleased with how it turned out. Now that it’s been washed and dried it looks like a timeworn and well loved quilt. It’s time to send if off to become just that for some little kid who needs it.
I have quite a lot on my plate for now (my submissions for National Board certification are due in a couple of weeks, and we have several weeks of school left), so I’m not playing with the new machine too much. There’s a colorful braid quilt in the works, and so many tops that need quilting just waiting for me. I ordered a bolt of batting and I hit the discount fabric store for large pieces to use as backings. It’s beautiful fabric, and at about $6 a yard instead of $12, it’s worth the trip and the hunt to find what I want. Just a few more weeks, and I will have the time to practice, practice, practice. I can’t wait!