A story of Fast Needles…

Once upon a time, I was afraid of fast needles. You know the ones that go up and down using electricity 😉 A friend who took her online community user name from her cat convinced me that I really should pull out the old Baby Lock sewing machine my DH bought when we were first married (he used it to repair sleeping bags and tents) and try to make some of my stitched ornaments into little pillow type ornaments. That wasn’t too bad. One thing led to another and an 8 year old convinced me to take a quilting class. 22 project hours after the start of the quilting class, I had a finished project. It was instant project gratification and I was hooked. Now 8 years later, the 16 year old who started the quilting obsession for me still gives me geometrics he wants pieced into quilt tops and someday when my skill has improved I may actually be able to make them for him.

As of today, I have 36 quilt tops which I have all the supplies to piece the tops in various stages of completion and, not only do I have the trusty Baby Lock, we have a temperamental Elna for appliqué. I have 6 completed tops which need to be quilted, numerous wall hangings and table runners to finish and 1 quilt which is about 10 hours short of having the hand quilting complete. These numbers are different from last week’s spreadsheet. (Yes, I spend more time on spreadsheets for my hobbies than I do actually working on the hobbies :lol)

Friday, I had my first session with a Gammill Long Arm Quilter. It took me 45 minutes to get my quilt layers loaded onto the frame and 75 minutes to completely quilt a queen size wedding ring quilt. That includes changing the bobbin 4 times and breaking a needle since the bobbin wasn’t loaded right. I know it was a simple design and I can see why a lot of the machine quilters put lots of close details in – it’s because they can! It still blows my mind that I quilted the whole thing in less time than it took to make the binding let alone attaching it. (It took me all of Corpse Bride to attach the binding to the front of the quilt and after an episode of Numb3rs and 2 episodes of Airwolf, I’m not even halfway through using a blind stitch to attach it to the back.)

My friend who owns the machine told me that if my stitches were too big, I should either slow down or turn up the speed. It took only one center ring to find that 70 was way to slow. By the end of the quilt, I was up to 110. I guess you could say, I’m over my fear of fast needles since I can’t wait for another session with the Gammill.

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