Longarming Again

Last year I bought fabric to make a Christmas mat. The intention is that we will lay this mat on the floor and put our Christmas tree on it.

HQ Amara
HQ Amara

I was supposed to work on it and finish it last year, but stuff happened and I didn’t do it. I was able to use a friend’s longarm last week and I got the thing quilted. It isn’t finished.

My friend has a new HQ Amara on a large frame. I was excited, but also apprehensive as it has been a long time since I longarmed anything.

Quilting the Christmas Mat
Quilting the Christmas Mat

My intention was to free motion, but I ended up decided on a computerized pattern. Since the fabric is just one length of yardage – no piecing it didn’t seem necessary to spend a bunch of time on it. I thought choosing a computerized pattern would make the process go faster. Overall it took us about 2.5 hours to quilt a 41 x 44 inch sandwich. My friend is still learning and the software isn’t as intuitive as I expected it to be*.

Quilting the Christmas Mat
Quilting the Christmas Mat

We both worked on it and I was finally getting the hang of moving the quilt from a finished line of quilting back to the right to start the next line (no, it doesn’t do it itself) when we finished. I was glad to finish, because it was exhausting. I am VERY grateful to my friend for helping me quilt the thing and also for just getting another project quilted.










*SIL n.2 and I have discussed how longarm computer software manufacturers don’t have the market to make really great software. If longarm software sold as much as something like Microsoft Word, then there would be more development, but the market just isn’t that large. It is a shame, but business is business.


Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

2 thoughts on “Longarming Again”

  1. I zoomed in on your photo to see the pattern, which I REALLY like.

    I think we glamourise long arms. I get the feeling that quilters think you can just set it up, practice on it for a few hours and then you’ll be zipping out quilts left, right and centre. But it’s just like anything new – a big learning curve and LOTS of practice before it becomes second nature.

    1. Thanks! It is a pattern on the Amara, which I think is a HandiQuilter. I don’t remember. I had planned to free motion, but my friend encouraged me to change my mind. I like the pattern as well and it fits the purpose of the piece.

      I longarmed a few times and it is very time consuming. I agree that you have to do a lot of it in order to get good.

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