Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Longarm Stuff

Some visitors have expressed an interest in more info about Longarms so I thought I'd share the process for the pink / batik quilt in the last post.
First I choose a quilt design that fits the space and suits the style of the quilt.  I have several books with patterns that can be trased or modified as needed.  This one comes from a collection by Golden Threads  from a series called Bold Beginnings # 2.  I've used several of their designs over the years.
In order to make a running design for the border I cut a strip of paper that fits the border to be quilted.
Then I figure out how to repeat and link the pattern evenly over the space in question.  Starting from the left you can see the pattern starts with the inner motif of the block design then one set of vertical loops then another block design and so forth.  The pattern ends with the block design and fills the space nice and even.
If you ever wondered how longarmers can do complicated patterns without marking the quilt this is one way. The pattern is placed on the back of the table and then traced with laser light that is mounted on the base of the longarm.  It takes a bit of time to que everything up but not as much time as marking a quilt and you don't have to treat your quilt with any chemical pens or pick out the paper bits after.
It takes a bit of practice, too to learn how to manipulate the machine so that the quilting comes out resonably smooth.  One reason I chose this machine (APQS Ultimate II) is because although not as fancy as some it is smaller and easier to move when it comes to detail work!
cheers, Claire W.


  1. So this is a completely foreign concept to me, and I have always wondered.. the pattern is under the quilt? You move the thing up above the quilt, but watch the pattern under the quilt?

  2. Ohh .. thanks for the explanation Claire. Seems like a lot of work - Deciding on a pattern, then finding a way to turn it into an "endless" pattern, and then scaling it to a size that works and then traceing it.

    But I get the not wanting to draw directly on the quilt. Probably the reason why I don't get my lines too straight.