You know you're a sewing geek when...you take a half day from work to go to a quilting or sewing class! Last Friday I did just that. Sew Inspired, my local quilt shop was offering a class on getting certified on their Gammill long arm machine. While I believe my regular machine will be sufficient for quilting most of the quilts I make, I want to have the option of getting something done FAST. That's what this machine can do.
There were seven of us, and the first part of the class was around getting to know the machine;
Learning about threads to use, and how to load the bobbin properly;
And how to get the bobbin thread up to the top of your work. The size alone of the machine is pretty impressive.
The second portion of the class was about how to prepare your quilt top and attach it to the zippers that will connect the quilt to the machine itself.
Pretty cool, and truthfully, fairly straightforward. The pieces go on rollers, which pull the quilt sandwich through evenly (we HOPE) as they get quilted.
One of the things I think will work best for me is that you don't have to baste or pin your top to the batting and backing. In fact you can't. That's part of why the process is so much quicker.
The remainder of the class was about how to program the computer, how to continually monitor the progress and roll your quilt through after the various rows of quilting were finished.
The next photo is the machine checking where we said the edges were and calibrating for the size of the quilt. There is a cool red laser "eye" that shows up at the edges of the top. All together now.."ooooh!".
And finally, the quilting itself begins...
It was a wonderful class, and although I'm sure it would take me multiple times going through the process to get comfortable, it is a wonderful option to have. My goal is to have 3 tops to take with me when I go back. That way it will really be clear in my mind when I'm finished.
Next up, updates on my projects. God willing I will get my sewing machine back tomorrow. I've been without it for over a week because of the weather, and the shop being closed. Think dry, warm thoughts for me!