Following yesterday’s coverage of the introductory session, today I’m moving on to my quilt.  I’m sorry, I only remembered to take one pic!

Here’s Madrona Corners all ready to go:

I started with the geometric pattern so that I could start in the centre and work outwards.  We debated thread colours for a while, and went for a mustard yellow varigated King Tut thread, Sheaves, for this part, and the lower half, which has the pink/orange colourway, we went for another King Tut varigated thread called Chariots Of Fire, which is a pinky red/orange/yellow colour.  For the cobblestones it’ll be white on white.

After about 2 1/2 hours of actual quilting on my quilt, I was rather knackered (a large part due to a distinct lack of sleep this last week I think!), so I elected to stop at that point before I wrecked it.  By this stage I had all the geometric work done in the centre, and I had a couple of sections of cobbles round the blue panel you can just see on the far left.  I’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to finish it off, hence no pics at the moment, as the geometric is subtle on the front, and I don’t have a big enough space to lay it out for a pic right not.

So what can I say about long-arming at this point?  Well, I enjoyed the experience – it’s a lot lighter trying to move a long arm machine around than trying to haul a quilt through your domestic machine for starters!  Also, you get a much better idea of scale and effect as you’re going along.  I don’t think I’ll abandon doing simple quilting at home on mid sized quilts, or more complex stuff on minis, but I think this is the way to go with the big guys!

As for the experience, Carole and Brian are great people, and will help and guide you every step of the way, even if they are challenging you to go one step further than you intended ;o)  If you’re in the area, it’s well worth contacting them to have a go, and bear in mind that simpler quilting will take much less time than the stupidly complex stuff I went for!  If you’re from a bit further away, you can always put up in the B&B for the night too, to allow you to get everything done.  Oh, and get a good night’s sleep beforehand ;o)

Cost wise, the introductory session, which you’ll only need to do once, is £25, there is a thread charge of £10, and then you hire the machine by the hour thereafter for £15.  The woman that told us about this place told us she’d managed to do 3 lap sized quilts with simple quilting in 2 hours, so think about what your time is worth when comparing to doing the work on your domestic machine.  Also, be aware that they don’t take cards, so cash or cheque only, and there’s a cash machine up the road apparently (I’ll be taking that option when I come to settle up, as I don’t know how long it’ll take to finish off).  If you want another practice before your next session, it will cost you £7 for the calico.  They do sell batting, but I brought my own as I have loads of the stuff.