I had the most wonderful weekend!
My birthday gift from my brother and his wife this year was to get to spend a weekend quilting with Patsy -- my sister-in-laws mom. She has a beautiful, historic home out in the country, and a long-arm quilting machine! So I spent the last three weeks busily sewing quilt tops together, but really had no idea what to expect when using a long arm.The learning curve was huge, and setting up the quilts on the long arm takes forever. On the first day, I think it was 2 o'clock by the time I actually started quilting! I'm happy to report that I quilted THREE quilt tops during the weekend (the second 2 went much faster, once I got the hang of the set up, bobbin loading, etc), and I'm so happy with how they turned out.
For my City Sampler Quilt, I used a feathers pattern for the quilting -- the machine is set up so that you can move the handles to the opposite side of the long arm, and use a laser pointer to follow an all-over pattern. It was really weird to be looking at the laser pointer and not at my quilt while quilting, but I just love the result. I would never be able to free motion quilt in this intricate of a pattern on my machine. For my next two quilts, I moved the handles back to the front of the machine, and free motion quilted my own designs. It's harder than I thought! But again, I love how it looks -- and these 2 smaller quilts were speedy -- finished in no time!
I'll be spending the next few days (or weeks?) sewing on binding!
(Linking up to WIP Wed at Freshly Pieced)