Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Picnic Schnibbles Quilt and a" Long Arm Machine"

This one was such fun to quilt with daisies and leaves, that seemed appropriate for the "Picnic" theme and for the prints Angela used. If you click on the picture it will zoom, the quilting is hard to see.

It's a bit clearer on the back.

I already have another quilt loaded on the longarm machine, so I need to go get busy!

PS. For non-quilters, a long arm machine is basically a huge domestic machine! It has a much longer, larger throat, and has handles either end of the machine. There are also mid arm machines that have a throat space of 18" or less[I think that's the approx. cut-off!].
These machines have wheels that run on tracks so that the machine can be manipulated in any direction 360 degrees up and down the length of the "table". Mine is a 14ft. long frame though 12ft. is more common. You need lots of space for these machines because you also need room to walk around them -mine is in our large loft. Most people stand to use a LA but ergonomic saddle stools are available so you can sit for small detailed work; I have one and it does come in handy especially if I have to "frog" some undesirable quilting ["frog"= ripit-ripit, LOL].

Here's a picture of my machine, it's an A-1 Elite- there are many excellent LA machines but this is my preference. I always say that using a long arm is like "drawing with thread" because you can stitch any design that your brain can imagine. Many LA'ers give their machines a name, mine is Ellie, though she seldom is addressed by name!
The quilt, batting [filler] and backing are attached to rollers either side of the table and you stitch across the length of the table then roll the quilt on to the un-quilted area. Some LA'ers have computers on their machines so they can choose a design, or make their own, set up the machine and the machine will sew it [this is a very simplified explanation!] and if you really want to increase your productivity this can be a good way to go though it way more than doubles the cost of the machine.
Personally, I love the creative experience of actually "driving" the machine myself and I am blessed not to need the extra productivity that a computer driven machine would afford.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Ros, the Schnibbles Picnic is lovely. Thanks for a peek at your LA. I'd love to be able to get a mid arm one day, but right now room for it is an issue.

Khris said...

Ohhh what a gorgeous fresh looking quilt Roslyn. Love it...and I know how lovely your quilting will be on it...hugs Khris

Gramma 2 Many said...

Amazing Ros, just amazing. I am drooling over a new Bernina, but just cannot bring myself to part with the dollars.

Reddirt Woman said...

That machine is fascinating. I'd love to see it at work. I think I'd be like you in wanting to 'drive' the LA because it would afford me some of my own creativity. Thanks for the intro to your long arm.

Hugs and happy quilting, my friend.


GardenofDaisies said...

Thanks for this little peek into how the Long Arm works. Sounds like you are on your feet an awful lot! Do you do all your quilting freehand, or do you have a pattern that the arm follows?

farmlady said...

Thanks for my first lesson in Quilting 101 for dummies. Now I know what a longarm is. That must be a wonderful machine for quilt makers. I would guess that this was a real gift to the quilting world when it was invented. Sure beats hand quilting in the old days.