Monday, December 29, 2008

Sew Colleen

Well as you faithful blog readers know, my Mother-in-law (mil) has a long arm. We went to the in-law's place over Christmas. Its our first trip down to their place since they've moved back to the USA from South Africa. {No, she didn't have the Long Arm in South Africa.} Holy smokes, that long arm was HUGE. Yes, I've seen Gammill at various quilt shows and shops, but I just don't think I was ready to see it inside a home. My mil has a separate 20' x 20' studio building for her long arm business- but still, to see the machine NOT on a convention floor or retail space... it was HUGE. My own mom has a mid-arm Juki on a 108" long Hinterberg frame- so I was expecting "big" but- wow.

We arrived at their place for the holiday about 6 days early- and she was still working on a last small little table-topper sized quilt for our big dinner on the 25th. She did all the quilting from start to finish while I watched. I got to see how you pin the leaders to the front and back of the quilt and how to line up the batting and how to do the tension and how to start & stop your threads and how to secure your blocks and how to use the ruler and how to plan designs and how to free arm and .... wait- I bet you want more pictures and less run-on-sentences...

Well... wouldn't ya know it- I happened to throw a big fat UFO -Un Finished Object- in my luggage right at the last minute. I honestly, hadn't planned on taking it- so I didn't have a backer fabric for it. I just grabbed the ORANGE that was on top of my recently used stash. (You know that corner of your sewing room that you're convinced you will get back in order... someday. Thats where the orange came from.) I've been sitting on this Karen Combs' pattern top for about 2 or 3 years. {see the photo below.} I just love it. I love her work. I think I've mentioned that here, before, though. My quilt is just a wall hanging size.

Mil helped me get everything lined up and pinned and started me rolling on my way to custom-quilting greatness.

I have to tell you- she made it look SEW easy. (gigggle) Its like watching Tiger Woods and thinking "eh, he's just hitting a ball- I'm sure anyone could do that." Well... She might not be Tiger Woods yet, but it IS much harder than it looks.

I quilted the piece in black thread- since it would be a wall hanging, I didn't care if the orange back fabric had black all over it. But I did get a picture of the under side of my quilt- while it was on the stretcher bars.

I went with some meandering and some long swooping swirls. The up close design of what I quilted... well... I'll have to post that on another day. Lets just say it is so worth the money to pay a machine quilter for her craft. =)

And I officially have another UFO to cross off my UFO list. Whooo hoooo.

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of her finished table topper quilt. It was 4 large sampler blocks and in keeping with the theme, she quilted each one of them differently. Its an "all 'round" sampler. Maybe she has a photo on her site. It turned out great.

And now, after almost 1/2 year of researching an practicing and perfecting- she's open for business. You'll have to go to her site or email her for more information.

I still have more Christmas projects to tell you about, but I'll save that for another post. Merry Christmas! ~jen~



Owens Family Adventures said...

OMG! I am totally lusting right now!!! That is just so cool! And you got to play with it!!!!!

the Campfollower said...

The one thing I am REALLY looking foreward to about moving back to the States is looking into buying a mid arm or long arm....depending on what we will have room for. Great post Jen! I want to go play at your MIL's too!