Monday, March 11, 2013

A real quilt on the longarm!

I'm bold and daring, maybe a little stupid to do this but... I put a real quilt on the longarm and learned to do a pantograph! 

I put the one with the minkee backing fabric on.   gulp.  nothing like diving into deep waters, right? 

I did the first pass on the pantograph no problem.

2nd pass in, I paused for a minute to check my stitches and then continued stitching - BACKWARDS. gah.  At least it was only a few innches worth of a pass I had to frog.   (Frog-  means to rip out the it rip it!)

One thing I need to figure out -  my laser light has a double reflection and this can get confusing when I'm trying to follow the line.  I learned that moving a bit faster makes a smoother line for me....

So far so good.  One more pass until I finish this quilt.   See how the minkee looks on the back, isn't it nice?   
A few hiccups here and there, but I'm figuring it out!

One thing I'm learning about my machine -  controls on the back of the machine are backwards to the front of the machine.   brainfart happens especially when you haven't eaten lunch.

My thread cutter only works about 25% of the time.   ?????? 

They should include ear protection for your ears.  I have a feeling over time, this noise could damage my ears.   I don't see myself pantographing forever, but with one ear so close to the machine, I'm not going to risk it.  

I'm still practicing on my whiteboard every day.   What I have learned is that if I pick a shape/design and practice that ONLY,  I develop better muscle memory than if I do random stuff and my shapes become better and more consistent.    

Just including a few of my sketches to show my progress over time...I'm sure I'll look back at these in a year and be embarassed that I posted them!  


  1. The minkee looks great on the back! And the white board is such a good idea--I think if I got one and started practicing simple stippling, maybe I could do it on an actual quilt. Yes, it's true--I have only EVER tried straight line quilting...

  2. I took the mylar panto cover off my table as I hated the reflection and found it reflecting back into my EYES sometimes, not good!

    The thread cutter can be stubborn if your using Bottom Line or thinner thread in the bobbin.

    Yup I've done the backwards double track with a panto too after stopping for a minute!!!

  3. Minkee sbacking is so soft and forgiving. User will love the feel and not inspect your work so darn close. Have to start somewhere so make it good! Love your fearless start, you will blossom and bloom! Keep posting, love your thoughts and shares.

  4. That is so exciting! You are just moving right along...even backwards! Keep up the good work.

  5. you are so brave to tackle minky on the long arm. I haven't even done it on my domestic because I am too scared. If you want another quilt to practice on I have one all ready to go. I just want the thing quilted. I tackled my first feathers this weekend. They were ok.

  6. Looking fab there're a natural at this already.

    I love that pattern on the back of the minkee. It almost looks embossed.

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog and am so excited to see your recent posts! I am hoping to purchase a longarm machine in the next year (APQS Millenium). I will be following along on your journey! Best wishes!!!

  8. Judy Morningstar9:37 PM

    What an impressive start! Good on ya! I find pantographs harder than just doodling. Something about doing what I am told or something....

  9. Congratulations on your first. I have been quilting on my set up (Pfaff Grand Quilter an Grace frame) for just about 1 year and still learn something from quilting different quilts. I have only really done pantos. No custom. Feel I need a bigger throat for that.Do that on my bernina. Cheers Edith

  10. It looks great. I'm so impressed with how even and smooth your stitching looks o be. Well done..

  11. How exciting to have a long arm and congrats on the first official finish of many to come.

  12. I found that if I point my lazer a little further to the left that the reflection is reduced.


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