Long arming

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On Sunday, I travelled across the country to Telford to rent a long arm machine for a few hours at Penny’s house (see Ginger Patch Crafts website). This was my first go on a long arm machine ever and I was surprised at how easy it was. I really loved stitch regulation, that is so so clever. When you move the machine it knows how fast to stitch based on how quickly you are going so if you stop moving, it stops stitching instead of making loads of tiny stitches on top of one another. If you’re considering getting a long arm, don’t bother unless it has a stitch regulator!

I did a bit of FMQ with the front side of the machine on tester muslin, but decided to go round the back and use a pantograph for my actual quilt top.

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Loading a quilt is a bit laborious though, all those pins! We must have used about 80 of them, and my quilt is lap size. You pin the backing to the leaders at the top and bottom, and the top along the top edge too, which takes considerable time, especially since it needs rolling on smoothly. There’s no way I’ll be able to figure it out for myself next time, so I will need to be shown how to do it again.

Just as the top photo was taken the machine threw up an alert and then for a couple of hours we tried to get the tension back to how it was, with no luck. I was the first person to use the machine as the Gamill replaced a Husqvarna Mega Quilter set up only days before and my quilt was the first on it so it wasn’t completely unexpected. Sadly I had to leave it behind on the frame for Penny to finish for me once sorted.

I only did a pantograph pass and a half but I really enjoyed it and I think I was quite good at it. I’m looking forward to getting it back, when the machine is behaving itself! I’ve got plans to rent a machine at a shop when we move, but I’ll need to finish some more tops first!

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