Hand-quilting is amazing, and will always have a place in this craft. But like so many other things in the 21st century, many of us want quick results when it comes to finishing our quilt tops. Machine quilting is an alternative, and some quilters learn to use domestic sewing machines to achieve beautiful work. But a long-arm is another way to get the job done quickly, and is also beautiful in its own way.
It has been eight weeks since my long-arm was delivered and I began a new phase in my quilting practice. I’ve quilted five tops; two baby quilts, a lap quilt and two queen-sized quilts. With each piece I’m trying new things so that as I work my way through my first ten projects I get experience in a variety of techniques. An experienced long-arm quilter told me I’d need to do ten quilts to become proficient enough to take in client work . I know it isn’t that cut-and-dry, but it gives me a goal for my initial projects, and a way to track my progress.
Although it may sometimes feel a little like cheating, I mostly consider the long-arm as another tool. Adding new skills to my repertoire is not only fun and exciting, it also challenges my brain to think in new ways.
So stay-tuned for an announcement of when I’m ready to take in quilt tops to finish, which I project will be early 2015!