Learning to Long Arm Quilt
I try and learn some new type of art form every year during Baby Lux Design's off season. Last year I learned how to weld metal, This year I'm learning how to free motion quilt on my Mom's Gamill, Statler Stitcher long arm quilting machine. I'm pretty lucky to have access to not only a professional machine like this but the talent and knowledge of my Mom who has competed in quite a few quilt shows the past couple years.
Big RED is her name...she's super pretty and mighty capable!
the first five minutes on the machine and I'm already making silly faces, leave it to me!
Above a practice drawing in my art journal. Attempting to "train my brain" to one line draw, meaning that in a confined space I start drawing continuous shapes without lifting up my pencil tip. Doing these drawing exercises have helped me tremendously before I get on the quilting machine and attempt to create the same continuous design while free motion quilting.
It was a 30 minute lesson the first day from Mom just to learn how to thread the machine and load the bobbin after checking it's tension. I also learned how to properly oil the machine. Longer quilting machines take way more oiling than home sewing machines do.
Like always I took lots of photos to fall back on if I get stumped and Mom's not around to help. Her machine has a custom paint job! It's totally sparkly :)
Changing the thread color from black to cream was so much more forgiving of minor mistakes, overlaps and backtracks...
My brain tends to drift from one design to the next, I find it hard to stay on one design over and over again in a single space...but maybe that's not a bad thing?!
Had to get the jitters out in between serious practice...there were a few critters spread out over the 12 feet of practice quilt top!
free motion words are super challenging...I thought a quilt with a written message or poem would be so cool...
Above, free motion feathers...they're easy to draw in pencil, whole other story translating them in free motion quilting.
AND...practice continues. Challenge accepted...stay tuned to see where this next creative chapter takes me!