Thursday, October 29, 2009
Long Arm Quilting
Long arm quilting? What's that? It is the latest trend in quilting and makes the life of a quilter much easier and fun. Before machine quilting there was hand quilting which created a beautiful piece of work but was very time consuming and took a lot of endurance to complete a project. From that evolved machine quilting. Machine quilting allowed quilter's to be able to complete projects more efficiently and with more ease. It was "easier" but still possed many challenges.
For a machine quilter it is often difficult to finangle the large quilt top under the machine while trying to keep the tension between the batting, quilt top, and backing as well as stick to a specific pattern. One of the quilts I made was for my boyfriend and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I told him I would make him a queen sized quilt. I had no idea of the physical endurance that was needed to create a project, and on top of that, the quilting pattern I employed was a difficult one considering I had never done it before. I might have sped up the process of arthritis in my hands because of the strenuous activity coming from that project.
Machine quilting is great in its own right and many quilters still use it, like myself. However, the latest thing is long arm quilting. With long arm quilting the quilt top will be set up. The name explains it the best. There is a long arm attached to the quilt frame and you can move it freely and about as much as you please and where you please. Long arm and free motion quilting take an immense amount of practice to be able to begin to be proficient in it.
This is something that I hope to get into soon. I would need a larger space for the set up and being a college student unfortunately does not afford me that luxury. The other issue is that the machines are very costly, around $15,000 to $17,000.