Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm so excited... and I think I like it!

What an exciting day it was for me! I tell you I felt like a little kid waiting for a big surprise.

I had planned to take dd to school in the morning so that I could have a coffee at the new coffee shop that opened in a town close by and read from The Ultimate Guide to Longarm Machine Quilting: How to Use Any Longarm Machine:Techniques, Patterns, and Pantographs: Starting a Business: Hiring a Longarm Machine Quilter by Linda Taylor. (What a friggen long title that is!) I did want to look like I knew a bit what I was doing! ;o) But, the coffee shop is closed on Thursday. So I headed back home and caught up on my e-mails, anxiously waiting for 9:45 a.m. to arrive so I can head off to Cowles Quilting Machine!

The course was pretty much what I had expected. We worked with the Gammill Classic Plus machine. She taught me how to set up a quilt on the rollers etc… Once we were all set up, she went to answer a call and left me alone with that baby. Well, I m sure you can imagine what I did. Yes, sir, I stood there dutifully waiting for her to get back! LOL NO way! I took that baby for a spin! What a beauty it is! I was in heaven! Of course when she came back she looked at the cloth and said, “I guess we can skip the next lesson on loops, hearts meandering etc….” On ward we went to the pantograph.

This is the prize I came home with!

I will admit, I did not do as well with the pantographs. For the record, I uck at it!

She had a snow flake pantograph on the table that I found hard to get my points just right. All I wanted to do was get it right so I kept practicing on the previous stitching. She looked at me and said "you're a perfectionist aren't you?" Darn, it is that obvious?

This is not a pantograph I would use again. One of it's major issues, aside from the fact that my points aren't right, is that it was not designed in such a way that would make it look not “pantographic”. I think I just made up a new word, but you know what I mean. The flakes do not intertwine in the gaps of the previous row. So it really looks like straight line flakes. The last rows are my attempt at getting it right.

I did learn that I work much better without the stitch regulator. To get a perfect point you need to stop and proceed. I have a difficult time associating the sound of the needle with my position on the pantograph. The stitch regulator reminds me of those IBM ball typewriters. Gosh, here I go dating myself again! lol They drove me nuts! I'd sit waiting for the ball to catch up. lol I did book the machine for next Thursday! I need to practice and I do want to get working on some quilts!

Thank you so much for your encouragement. It meant so much to me! You guys are a blessing!

17 comments:

Vicki W said...

Everyone "ucks" at pantos at first. For a first time you did great!

Pam said...

Your hearts and stars - free motions quilting looks great. It will be great to have all the unfinished quilt tops completed. I think there are a couple of shops in Washington state rent out their long arm to quilters. It will be exciting to see what you get done. Lucky to work on the Gammill.

Debi said...

I did the very same thing and practiced on their machine before I attempted a quilt. It did not take long before I could book time and get a couple of quilts finished in a few hours.

Guðrún said...

How exciting you will be like a pro in no time.

Julia said...

ooooooooooo! I am so jealous. Was it everything that you imagined it would be? I am afraid that I might be overwhelmed. Now you are really going to want one.

Darlene said...

I can imagine that you felt like a little kid in a candy store! Fun, fun, fun! I can't wait to hear more about this. :-)

Kim said...

What fun! I'm sure you'll pick it up in no time! Do they have some better pantos you can use? You mean people actually "typed" on something other than computers at some point? I hear tell that they used to have something called 8-track tapes and long playing vinyl record albums too, but I'm MUCH TOO YOUNG to know anything about that stuff!

Kathy Wagner said...

That is exciting news!
Good for you...you'll be out of UFO's before you know it!

Susan said...

Sounds like a profitable day, and one where you had fun, too. You know what? You don't *have* to do pantographs! I had a successful business for 8 years and never did a one. And you don't have to use the stitch regulator. Free yourself to do whatever you want. =) Best of luck in your practice sessions.

Nour said...

You are so lucky to have this machine to use/borrow. If I were in the States right now I would totally check it out! How far from Plattsburgh, NY are you? Ton ouvrage est pas mal de tout! Felicitations!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

It's fun huh?? And addicting. I love doing pantographs. Love that laser light.

gwen said...

You lucky girl. To be able to finish a lot of tops in no time at all. A LAQ shop is doing the same here from May on and I had thought of booking a course and then the machine for exactly the same purpose. After your experience, I just HAVE to! Take care
P.S.: I loved your report and the beautiful pictures of your travel in Amish country.

Libby said...

What a fun day *s*

I remember those IBM Selectric machines . . . we had them in high school. Before we were allowed in the classroom with them, we first had to successfully complete a full semester on the manual machines. Wow - now I feel old *s*

Sweet P said...

You did a wonderful job on your first day. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

atet said...

Oooh -- what fun! And does it date me that I have worked at a job where I actually USED one of those IBM typewriters? (ok, so I also used a computer as well -- but there are some things it's just EASIER to type on a typewriter!).

Yvonne said...

I think you did wonderful for your first time. :)

Helen in the UK said...

Sounds/looks like you had a great time! Enjoy :)

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