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