LETTERS FROM A LONGARMER : #1 -
My journey to becoming a longarm quilter started in 1998, but it was August 2000 before I owned a longarm.
We had just returned home to live on the south coast of England after living in Northern California for a few years. My quilting machine arrived a few weeks before our container of furniture hit the docks, and this gave me the space to install the longarm machine, have a few lessons from my distributor and start to practice. And I practised!
We had three small children at the time, and any spare moment was precious, but I practised as much as possible. I practised early in the morning and late at night. I practised Monday through Friday and over the weekend. Whenever I had the opportunity, I stood at my machine and I practised.
The results were not always pretty, but I was quilting and more importantly, I saw continued progress. My quilting improved one day at a time.
'Practice' is the biggest tip I can give any new longarm quilter.
Practice as much as you can, but more importantly, practice consistently.
You don't have to be as obsessive as I was, but the habit of practising little and often will pay dividends.
Practising your quilting 10 minutes a day - every day - is better than practising for 1 hour once a week …and this is why….
- It's easier to remember what you did yesterday than last week.
- You will sharpen your hand-eye coordination.
- You will develop muscle memory for the patterns you like and love to quilt.
- You will become confident with the shapes of the designs you love and the techniques you need to make them.
- You'll discover styles you love and ones you will leave for another time.
- You will become so comfortable with your machine that quilting will become second nature.
and the best reason ….
- You will be ready and confident enough to finish a quilt top!
Take action today and start practising now!
My second best tip is to start with the patterns and techniques you can already do! Build your confidence by getting 'really' good at what you can do today. Quilt as many quilts as you like using the pattern or technique you can do now. It's okay to do this. Make it your signature style.
Quilting on repeat will build confidence and bring a tremendous sense of accomplishment. When you are ready, switch to a new design or technique and practice, practice, practice again.
Do what you can do today…
Practice what you want to do tomorrow.
Hit reply and let me know your practice schedule.
Happy Quilting !