Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lola -- L O L A -- Lola!

Can you hear the music in your head?
I'm thrilled to say that Lola moved in with us in early October. She is a HandiQuilter Avante with no fancy computers -- just tolerant of my learning curve and a great temperament. I am living my dream with my own long arm. I never thought I would have one and so this is the best ever.

I have been so fortunate in my quilting world. I first had LogCabinQuilter who trusted me enough to train me on her Gammill and then rent the machine to me. At that point, I could only do loops and those weren't very good. I could not fathom pantographs and how to line them up so I frequently paid her to finish some quilts that were important to me.  Particularly when wonky loops weren't right.
I then was lucky enough that MacQuilts gave me complete access to her home (when she was there and when she wasn't) and I used her Gammill (Sadie). I was able to make progress in my quilting and learn to do more things. After moving to Kentucky, I went back frequently for quilting marathons and to see friends. I have been known to quilt six quilts in 2.5 days. Yikes - did my shoulders and knees hurt for a few days - plus I had a 7.5 hour drive to and from! But again - more generosity and trust.

After getting settled in Kentucky, MonkeyMamaQuilts opened her doors and gave me free rein on her HQ16 (Ethel -- she also has a more sophisticated Fusion with a computer who is named Loosey). I was able to start working on my backlog of tops and get back to a more regular schedule of long arming.

Fast forward to August or September when Mr Iquiltforfun and I were talking about how wonderful it would to have my own long arm so I could improve my skills. When you are invading someone else's home, there is a bit of pressure to get in, get it done, and let them get back to their lives. That was completely internal and my issue. Not theirs. They couldn't have been more accommodating for those times when I had to leave a quilt on their machine and come back later.
The other complication here is that it meant the machine would have to go in the living room. I love my living room. It has great morning light. It is separate from the family room and kitchen and there is a bit of privacy. And, the idea of taking over our "parlor" was a stumbling block for me. Never mind that EVERY single member of my family told me I should make the living room my studio before we ever moved in the house. But I couldn't. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I realized last summer that we had not entertained in there once in the two years we had been in the house!  Not once!

So -- Lola is in the living room and having a couch is quite convenient when I need to ponder next steps. Am I getting better? Not yet. Am I trying new threads and new techniques and playing when I want to? I sure am! I have no intention of starting a business and taking on the pressure of showing good faith in making a profit nor working on someone else's masterpiece. MacQuilts said it best when she told me one time that I would go nuts trying to fix someone else's mistakes and would hate every minute of it. And she's right. I'm happy to do charity quilts for a few people. I'm happy to share Lola with friends and family who might want to use her. I'm happy to learn about tension and know that the world won't come to an end if I mess it up!
This was a challenge quilt from fabric that MacQuilts bought for Mom22smartchix and me about two years ago. I love this fabric by Andover Fabrics. And I had enough to make two quilts. This is the first one and the quilting is called "continuous curves" (or CC). This quilt is symbolic of what it means to have my own long arm. This took forever!  It looks easy and it should be.  But it is not easy for me to be consistent so most of these were done with a template and very carefully for a number of reasons. I would never ever have been able to do this on someone else's machine. I sometimes worked for 10 minutes before church. I sometimes work for three hours. I sometimes didn't work at all if I wasn't on my "A" game since I'm a bit intimidated by ruler work. But, it's finished! I often would go into the living room and just look at it.  The texture when the light was right made me ever so happy.
And Lola makes me ever so happy!  Now when I want to see my friends, I can "visit" and not engage in a quilting marathon.  That also makes me ever so happy!

I hope there is something in your life that is making you ever so happy!

Jan

AND -- as an aside -- here's something to make you ever so happy!

Have you heard?  Keepsake Quilting is giving away fabric for 20 years to one quilter!  How about that?

All you have to do is click on this link to enter.  It's simple. It's fast. And it could mean fabric for the rest of your life -- or at least 20 years!  Give it a go….and enjoy!

http://ck.upickem.net/r/4aV3RJQyx5v?r=734125

23 comments:

Quilt Musings said...

Your quilting on this is nothing short of AMAZING!! You may be 'learning' but it looks to me like you are making great strides! Beautifully done!

I chuckled to myself when you said you don't quilt when you don't feel you are on your A game - I have learned this on many occasions in both piecing and quilting - and I am definitely in learning mode on both! :) Thanks for sharing this very inspirational post!!

Tubaville said...

Beautiful work!

Shauna said...

I think your work looks wonderful. I recently purchased an Avante also (Abby), and right now I'm working on mastering the meander. Like you I don't want to go into business, just quilt for myself, maybe a friend or two. I makes me so happy to be able to finish quilts!!!!

Michele P. said...

Lovely quilt.

Jeni B Quilts said...

Your quilting is beautiful! Someday I hope to have a long arm machine...

simplecraftylife.com said...

Lovely colourful work! I would love something like this on my bed! :)

Hitch and Thread said...

Just wonderful quilting and lucky you!

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

What a fab quilt! Thank your linking up to TGIFF!

Crochet Hooks said...

What a wonderful quilt :) entered too so maybe I can win and make a totally cool quilt like yours!!

Schulz Family said...

visiting you from nifty thrifty sunday. Great result from your quilting marathon. The quilt looks amazing

Dona said...

Congratulations on the long arm addition. I agree, quilting makes me happy, no matter what part of it. Happy days to you!

Charlottes Chair said...

Your quilt is BEAUTIFUL!! I love all the colors! Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt with us!

imstudiolou said...

Oh, to own a long arm... Have fun!!

Mary Huey said...

Great quilt and lovely quilting -- hope your journey with Lola continues to be a good one!

Marsha Cooper said...

Looks great. I had to open the pictures so that I could get a closer look.
Having a long arm would indeed be a dream come true!

madfabriholic said...

How wonderful for you! Clearly you and Lola get along well already!

Susan@Organized31 said...

Lola sounds like a wonderful new housemate! I can't wait to see all the beauty you both create together. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

Crystelle Boutique said...

Gorgeous, Wonderful, Fabulous!!! I have no idea what else to say....
:)
xx Crystelle
Crystelle Boutique

Kwiltzby Stephanie said...

LOVE everything about this quilt!!!!

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

So happy a dream came true getting a longarm machine! Love the quilting on your quilt. Such a wonderful and colorful quilt!

Sarah @ mila+cuatro said...

I love hearing about people living their dream, that's awesome! Thanks for linking up.

Vicki in MN said...

Congrats on getting your own longarm! It is a very fun and addicting journey for sure, love my Nolting!

ipatchandquilt said...

Congratulations on your longarm. It is a wish of mine too. My house is really to small for one, let alone my purse too empty! :-)
Someday!
Esther
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com