Last week I decided that enough was enough and I signed up for a long arm quilting certification class. I am extremely lucky to have Angela Huffman's studio, Quilted Joy, right in my home town. Beyond being an amazing quilter, she is a APQS dealer and has long arms for rent by the hour. Having considered buying a long arm for awhile now, I decided to try before I buy. Smart, no?
I got the girls off to school and quickly whipped up a quilt top using a layer cake of Erin Michael's new line, Purebred, in a little over an hour. Armed with that and a quickly pieced backing from my stash, I arrived at the studio for my four hour class. After a quick tour of the studio, Amy showed me how to load my quilt on the frame and let me go at it. I didn't really have a plan and because I knew that we would keep the quilt at our house, I didn't worry about messing it up. I just started stitching flowers, hearts, little doodles. I wanted to play and to feel the machine. Let me tell you: IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!
A couple of hours and a few bobbins later, we took my quilt off of the machine. I was really excited to see that the quilting isn't horrible. It's far from perfect, but I am happy with my first attempt. The stitches show up so well on the back side. Of course, I can see every tiny misstep, but that's ok. I immediately drove to my local quilt shop and picked up a half yard of one of the prints for the binding. At home, I squared it up and bound it by machine. Yes, a quilt start to finish in one day! That was beyond satisfying.
I have already booked more rental time for next week. I have a half dozen tops that need quilting and I am going to try to finish them before I start any additional big projects. I know: famous last words.