Saturday, 16 June 2012

Long Arm Quilting

Finally after 14 months of thinking about it and planning it and wondering if it's a good idea and "where would I put it" and "how often would I use it" and "can I live without it" and all those sorts of questions, the Week Day Home is now the proud home to a Freestyle Quiltframe!  And I'm doing the happy dance.  I saw this at the Malvern Quilt Festival back in 2011 and have thought about it ever since.  In fact every time I laid out a large quilt to tack all the layers together zzzz.  And every time I struggled to squash a mountain of fabric through my machine.  And every time I visited the Freestyle website in the dead of night to look guiltily at quilt porn.  Being a proper grown up with a car, my own make-up  bag and everything - I told myself to get over it and stop behaving like a child with the wanties but I couldn't.  I pretended to be sensible.  I waited patiently for May to bring the Quilt Show.  I went to the Quilt Show.  I looked at the Freestyle.  I had a go on it.  I took photos and measurements and compared it to other versions (how much??!)  I made umming and ahhing noises.  I pulled furrowed brow, serious thinking faces but I always knew I was going to get it.  So I did. 
I had been worried that it would be tricky to assemble and listening to talk on the stand at the Quilt Show about adjusting tension made me want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing "la la la la la la".  BUT, it arrived with a very helpful and straight forward DVD which talks you through assembly, how to prepare your quilt, how to get the tension right (la la la la la la) and off you go.  I've set up a practice piece made out of an old faded curtain and just look at the lovely, wiggly detail you can get!!  I also had a go at tracing one of the leaf patterns provided using the laser and this is so much fun there's a high risk I'll use all my thread just playing.  The way the machine glides over the fabric is like arriving in quilting heaven and being given a free pass to the seraphic fabric warehouse of eternity just as the arch angels are handing out jugs of iced Pimms with all the trimmings and extra fine, calorie free chocolate.  For breakfast.  
Once I'm confident I've got it all rigged up properly and I've got some clue about what I'm doing (hah!) the first quilt on this baby is going to be the Monopoly Quilt.  Happy Days!

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