Wednesday 15 June 2016

Let's Bee Social ....

This week I am all about finishes - more specifically trying to get some items ticked off my 2016 FAL list before the end of the month!  Currently I have ticked 10 projects off the list - but there's still 15 remaining!
On Monday there were two pairs of pyjamas trousers, yesterday was a small quilt for Project Linus and today we have another quilt for Project Linus.
Not only is this a FAL finish, it is also my #BraveQuilter challenge for June.  I got my longarm machine last July and I have never attempted to use a pantograph with it so that's what I did yesterday.
This was the pattern that came with the machine and 11 months on it was still wrapped in plastic!
I didn't get any progress shots because I was too busy concentrating.  Basically you use a laser light to follow the lines on the paper which in turn quilts the pattern on your loaded quilt.
My thoughts on the process:
1.  It felt very strange to stand behind the machine and operate it from there.  The handles are at a different height, there's not that much room for moving around there but the biggest thing was that you can't see the quilt .... it felt very weird to be quilting blind as it were.
2.  I don't like the pattern on this pantograph very much which meant I didn't really enjoy doing it.
3.  There is no point in using pantographs for small quilts.  I could have quilted this size quilt freehand with just one advance of the rollers but using the pantograph I had to advance every row - so 5 advances in all!
4.  Always advance with the needle in the correct position - it takes a lot longer to figure out where to start quilting the next row if you don't.
4.  I think I would get far smoother curves and points by doing this freehand.
Ok, so here's the results ... visually!

The texture is gorgeous and I admit I quite the uniformity of the design.  In fact I think I like the back more than the front!

I applied the binding in the same way I did yesterday, by joining the binding with an angled join.  Perfect again - and this time I didn't even need the tutorial up.
Would I do it again?  I think it would be a good skill to master, especially if you are going to do customer quilts.  Some people like to see exactly what design is going on the quilts and pantographs give this option very well.  However, I don't think it will become my thing - I love freehand guiding the machine and seeing where it takes me!  Although I do remember saying something similar about ruler work and I now quite enjoy it!
Linking up with Lorna at Let's Bee Social today.
I will be linking up to Pink Doxies when the link opens at the end of the month.


  1. The quilting turned out beautifully as did the quilt. The quilting does really pop out at you and that is a plus in my book. Very, very nice!

  2. I think it turned out beautiful.

  3. It was very interesting to hear about your first experience with a panograph. I've never tried quilting with one but have watched them being used. I've always thought I would drive myself crazy trying to keep the little laser on the line. Do you think you would like it better if you had a different design to try?

  4. Even though you're not all that excited about it, it really does look pretty! I really like the way it turned out. But I hear you though on the "turning" thing. :)

  5. Lovely! I had a similar experience with the first and only time I have longarmed. I used a pantograph that I chose too hastily and did not enjoy the process. I am now willing to give it another go, 2 years later. I would really like to try free-motion and have been doodling quite a bit.

  6. I really like the texture it created.

  7. I think it looks lovely. I am with Tish on this. I wonder if you would enjoy it more if it was a design you really liked?

  8. Love the texture it created. I think it is wonderful for the first time you have used one. It does look wonderful especially on the back.

  9. You pushed your envelope and used something new. Now if you find a pantograph you like, you'll know you can use it. The quilting turned out nicely, love the texture.

  10. I have very little experience with a longarm, but enough to know about marking before advancing the quilt. I learned the hard way. And I see the awkwardness of standing behind the machine. Looks like you followed along nicely!

  11. Congrats on being brave and accomplishing your goal! I think the quilting looks great. The important thing is that you tried it and now you can decide whether you want to do it more or not.
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,

  12. I think it looks lovely! I'd love to have a go as i think it would be fun

  13. It is a lovely texture, and I think worth pursuing with a different design. I don't know much about long arm quilting, but I di know of longarmers who don't really do custom quilting, all they do is pantographs, so in my mind your already ahead.

  14. Congratulations on giving it a go. I can see it will be a useful thing to offer customers, even if it's not really your cup of tea, and an all over pattern like that does work well on some quilts.

  15. I have the very same panto that came with my Avante, and it was the first I used, too. It flows a lot better than some others I've chosen to try, so if you do pick another choose wisely. I agree about it not being as speedy, but also enjoying the uniformity as well. It's a skill, and I vote for it being in the scary category to try as well! It definitely counts as an act of bravery in my book, though that doesn't count here, and I'm glad you've worked through your personal June challenge for #BraveQuilter. Thank you for linking up, and congratulations!

    Julie @ Pink Doxies

  16. Wow, the result here is just marvelous. I would encourage you to find pantos you like and to practice using them (on larger quilts, of course). You may end up liking them just as you did ruler work. You are a very Brave Quilter indeed!

  17. Beautiful! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.


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