This is what I did on on Saturday morning. I rented a longarm quilting machine to see if I would like to own one of these big babies. This is my test quilt. Originally, I made it with negative space so I could learn how to use my embroidery module on my sewing machine. What I learned was that I don’t like embroidering by machine. I like to be actively involved with my sewing, doing, not watching. So my embroidery will be limited to labels for my quilts, some monograms, that type of thing. I have moved on to longarm quilting machines.
This is an APQS Millennium, a really nice machine, but it does not fit the budget that I have planned. It also has more bells and whistles than I need…in the form of buttons…too many buttons. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful machine and I am having fun with it. This quilting project has no planned design nor is it expected to look nice. I am just working on getting the feel of the machine…just drawing, doodling, and stippling. Oddly enough, it’s still looking pretty good, from a distance, when it is off the machine. Most important, I love quilting on a longarm as much as I love quilting on my sewing machine. I wasn’t sure I would like it because the process is different. As you know, with the sewing machine you move the material and with the longarm you move the machine.
Here I was trying to create a grape type image with a contrasting background; ie, circles versus lines. I think I was pretty successful for the first attempt. I also attempted depicting motion, but I don’t think I was successful at all, hence no photograph. What did work really well were some square classical motifs, but again no photograph. I only had my point and shoot camera with me on Saturday so I apologize for the poor quality of photographs. I don’t have any idea why the colors on the picture above are so far off the true blue, red and purple of the quilt.
Here’s one more look at this fun machine. This Millennium is on a 12 foot table. While I can fit a 12 foot table in the room I’ve chosen for my ‘studio’–I say that loosely and with a smirk on my lips–I am leaning toward a 10 foot table, as I would still be able to work on queen size quilts easily, and possibly king size quilts if I quilted the borders separately, and yet it would fit more easily into the room, allowing ample space for the other parts of quiltmaking.Do I go for the larger table? Would a less expensive but well built machine, like an APQS Lucey or a Nolting be a good choice? Or is local service more important than the machine? If so I might consider a Baby Lock Crown Jewel. This machine needs to last me for 30 years so it is a big decision.