August 08, 2011

Quilting Around the Long Arm

I've been asked about the long arm. Where is it? What is it? Questions about various things that get used around the long arm. So, I took some pictures today of what is going on around "Polly".
This is an old picture of when I first had the long arm installed in 2009. I've personalized it a lot since then, and even turned the whole frame and machine around so that I'm looking out towards the living room. Actually it's so that I can keep an eye on Sassy, and I have a better view looking out the sliding door to the yard. We also have our TV, recliner sofa and chairs in the room. It all works out. The frame and quilts are interesting to visitors who have never seen a long arm.

"Polly" is built by company called Prodigy Quilter in SC. The frame is about 10' ft. long. I ordered it that length because I don't quilt overly large quilts, and because the long arm sits at one end of our long living room, and will live there forever--- the machine arm space is 24" inches. All 4 spidery looking handles are very adjustable, as is the frame. There are hydraulics to roll the quilt, to raise and lower the quilt, and to raise and lower the frame. The frame is very heavy so hydraulics on each leg, and a handle that lowers or raises the whole frame is appreciated. When you initially look at "Polly" it can be overwhelming, but you soon realize the machine, frame and how it functions are really very user friendly.
This pics. shows the end of the frame and rollers, magnetic pin dish is velcroed to the heavy aluminum frame support. There are my Grip-Lite side tension clamps. Luv them!

The round plastic container on the top holds an assortment of marking pencils, tweezers, needle tip fray check bottle and of course the always useful thread/seam ripper!
The paper cone coffee filter cone taped to the side of the machine is where I toss thread trimmings.
This is the Tadl Tales quilt and batting protector hang on the front of the frame. I float the batting and the quilt top, so this nylon protector keeps everything encased and out from under my feet---and also keeps Sassy from building a bed in the batting. It is suspended by velcro on both ends of the frame. Don't you wonder how we ever lived without Velcro! :o)
Someone on the Homequiltingsystems group asked about thread nets. I use this one on my slippery polyester threads. It's longer than what you see showing on the cone, and the part you don't see is tucked up inside the thread cone and metal thread spindle.
Here's my small wooden tote that has most of my everyday supplies.

I'm quilting on a Quilt of Valor that Mildred in Southern Calif. sent. It took me about a week to decide out what designs I wanted to stitch on it. And even then, I frequently change my mind about what I like once I start. Sometimes I can jump right in with an idea, and other times ----I have to study the quilt for awhile before I get inspired.

Here are some pictures of what is going on right now---I'm about half way finished, and then I will be turning the whole quilt 90 degrees to complete the side borders and inner sashing. It's just easier that way than trying stitch at an angle down the side of the quilt. I'll be turning the quilt once I have the top and bottom borders finished, and the sides basted. I'm free motioning some of the borders with a shell like design.

Here I've used a Simplex Expandable gauge to mark out some reference marks for the sashing design in the light area of the quilt. In the small squares I've stitched some continuous curves across, down and up the squares of fabric. This gauge is a neat tool to have.
Some small feathers in and around the embroidery.
Mildreds Quilt of Valor embroidery.

I haven't posted a picture of Sassy for awhile. She is 7 months old now, 8 lbs. of love and energy! We have a lot of fun with her! Here she is playing with her food dish which an every morning event! PS. Sorry the photos are so dark. New iPhoto application and new Lion operating system on my iMac is taking some getting used to. Especially iPhoto's latest edition software. :o(


Diane said...

Oh thanks for sharing-love to get ideas from how other longarmers organize there space! I've got to get me one of those batting holders-it's one of the most frustrating things to me;trying to keep the batting out of the way (I float mine too) I've been just folding it up and trying to keep it off the floor but it's a pain and right now I'm doing a quilt with batting that's 116"'s everywhere!! I'm quite excited. :)
Sassy is ADORABLE!

Bonnie said...

I agree with Diane that it is wonderful to read/see what others do with their long arms. I am wondering where you got the tool that evenly divides your space? And, do you actually mark the spaces or leave the device next to the quilting area?

Any other cool tools/ideas you want to share? Thanks. B.

mlcquilts said...

I enjoyed reading about your organized space. I'm moving my quilting room around and one of the first things I'll make it one of those batting holder slings. I agree that Sassy is adorable. We have a 1 yr old "puppy" that can't be trusted. He would eat the batting.

Lindah said...

Thank you for the tour of your studio. (My frame spans the end of our living room, too.) Always interested in gadgets... I think I'll need to look into the Simplex gauge and the batting protector. Although I keep the carpet vac'd, I still have never liked having the top and batting down there.

Whoever receives your quilt is sure to be delighted with it. The quilting is beautiful!