maggienoella

Maybe this isn't for me? Update

Recommended Posts

Thank you all for your encouraging comments.  I am taking them to heart and I do agree that you have to suck at something before you get good at it. 

Last night I had a lot of things to do because my ADHD gets me into a lot of projects, etc., but I decided to just focus on the quilt that needed to get loaded and quilted (panto).  I just relaxed and didn't rush and that made a big difference. 

I have music but no tv and that's ok.

I avoid things that I'm uncomfortable with (like most of us) so ppp either on the machine or whiteboard isn't fun.  I'll try to remember that it's not going to be fun for a while. 

And I'm going to load something small too just for me that won't bring on any unnecessary stress.

I'm not a quitter and with your help I'll do ok.

Thanks again.

 

 

I thought I'd love longarming but so far I really don't.  I don't know if it's because I'm busy with other things or what.  It took quite some time to get used to the machine and loading quilts and all that stuff and I thought that once I did that I'd like it more.  Perhaps I didn't think it was going to take so much effort to get good.  I know I don't like sitting by myself in the quilting room...kinda lonely in there.  I've only done pantos so far and just a couple of simple custom jobs.  My question is, how long did it take you to know that this was for you? 

Thank you,

Joan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan, I'm sorry to hear that you are thinking that you don't enjoy longarming. It helps if you like the entire process - from setup to takedown, but I suppose the 'prep' would be the least favorite part for most of us.

 

It didn't take me too long to find I liked doing the all over designs (freehand and pantos), but I still stiffen up and procrastinate when I have a custom job to do. It's not in my comfort zone and I've been quilting for 5 years.  I tend to set up my quilts in the evening, and not start the quilting until the next morning.  This way it is up and ready for me and I can go in and out of the studio and work away at it bit by bit. Maybe if you put a video monitor or some music in your room you wount feel so lonely and keep your sessions short and frequent (like 1/2 hour at a time several times a day) so you don't get bored.  


Caroline

2009 Green Millennium with Quilt Path

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm one of those people that likes doing it all.  I didn't want to just make quilt tops and send them off to let someone else quilt it.  I wanted to quilt my own.  One of my other (many) hobbies is wood working so I knew I would like working with some type of machinery. 

 

Being new to quilting on a frame I do get frustrated, of course, at times but it's all in the learning experience.  I remember when I first started woodworking, I felt the same way but I persisted and years later my woodworking skills improved 500% at least.  I could do all sorts of inlay and fancy things but it took lots and lots of practice.  Same with quilting. 

 

Once I'm doing something I get lost in it so I don't miss my wife not being around or if she does come around while I'm quilting I just stop and talk and then start back when she leaves.

 

I hope if you stick with it you can learn to enjoy it.  I usually don't stick with things very long if I don't enjoy it.  That's the reason I quilt....I enjoy it.

 

David


David

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joan, 

I'm Joan also!  :)

 

 

I got my machine in late October last year.  It has been an uphill battle some days and I feel more frustrated than not.  BUT…….I love the idea of becoming good at it and want so badly to do so, that I keep plugging away.  Do you have a QB that can come help you?  Someone willing to learn and can load, or do other stuff to help you start to enjoy this?  Just an idea.  

Good luck!!


Joan

Houston, TX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joan, I think I know how you feel. I love piecing the tops but I feel that the actual quilting just isn't my cup of tea. I have had my long arm since 2005 so I'm not a newbie. The most difficult part of the entire process is deciding how I am going to quilt the top - what design am I going to do. I have a very hard time visualizing what the quilt will look like when it is completed. I am a prolific piecer so getting my quilts finished is just something I have to do - I don't have the $$ or the time to send them all out to get done as I also teach piecing classes and need my samples done most of the time fairly quickly. I do not quilt as a business - only my own tops and an occasional panto for friends. I am computerized so that helps but the actual quilting is not my favorite aspect of the entire "quilt making" process. I have never been able to master free-motion quilting so the computer is an absolute must. Give it a chance because it does take a while to master free-motion quilting and tension issues. You might grow to like it. Give yourself enough time to really decide what you like and what you want to do. You've made a huge investment. Give it a chance. I know that I either have music playing or a TV on (mostly for the noise) when I am quilting.


F752C2E462B781E717889B2E38CCD698.png
Sue in Phoenix, AZ
Millennium with IntelliQuilter
http://www.flickr.co...aciouscreations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi my friend.

I don't know what to tell you about how long it takes to know if this is for you. 

If you're lonesome in the quilting room, remind your hubby to come get you after two hours. Have him sit and talk for a while or both go outside for a walk around the yard to get some air. He might be missing you too! If you're in the groove, ask him to come back in a half hour.

Make the quilting room as inviting as possible. Have your iced tea or coffee out there--going to the kitchen to get a refill or more ice can be a nice break.

Noise (TV, music, audio books) is a nice way to feel not so alone. Call an understanding quilting buddy to get some moral support.

 

Now here's my take on this ;) --I think you're not happy with your progress. You have to suck at something before you can be good at something. It's a rule.  :D  Give yourself permission to be not perfect and find some comfort that every stitch you make gets you closer to where you want to be. Piece something goofy like a panel with borders and go with the flow. Try things and challenge yourself. I think you'll find some parts of it you'll love and others not so much. When you unload it, take the scissors to it and cut out the great quilting and throw the rest away. Hang the pieces in the quilting room to remind yourself that you'll get ever better.

 

If you reach a decision that this isn't for you, please don't feel guilty about it. Just know that you tried and it didn't work. If you need a kick in the butt--give me a holler!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joan, I hate to hear that you are feeling this way, because you are very good at longarm quilting.  I think LInda has offered some good ideas: turn on some music or the TV, set a timer and come out to visit with the family after 90 minutes or so.  Invite the husband, kids, pets to come in and watch. 

 

I love the whole process. I just wish I had more time to do it.  I will be so thankful when I can quit my job or go to part time, so I have more time for sewing, blogging, and quilting.

 

Like Sue, I have a hard time deciding what to put on the quilt. For me that is the hardest thing.  I plan to take some classes to help overcome that.  Are you in a position to be able to go to MQX or one of the AQS shows to take a class or two?  How far are you from a dealer who might offer some classes in their studio? 

 

Maybe getting involved with other longarmers would help you get over the feeling of isolation.  I find myself wishing there were some quilters around here, just so I'd have somebody to share ideas and learn techniques from.  Send me an email or give me a call if you just want to talk about it.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear it!  I have heard of folks before who decided after getting their long arm that it isn't for them.  I think that's ok, and I know it might be a bit of a disappointment, I'd say don't beat yourself up.  I kind of knew right away that I was in love...but I'm also a stay at home Mom who spent quite a bit of time home - and it actually helps me keep sane because being home can be very lonely!  I understand your feelings though.  It's a commitment, it really is.  I have had to work my butt off to get better - and with each quilt I do - but I enjoy the whole process.  I am also lucky because at the moment, my long arm is in our second living room.  So often times in the evenings the whole family is watching tv right behind me while I work!!  LOL  

 

Have you tried quilting from the front?  Maybe you might enjoy the creative aspect more from free hand custom work?  I find that's where I find most enjoyment...keeping my brain working and thinking and trying new designs.  Or maybe find some books on cd or put a tv in there?  


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in love with it before I got my own machine!  I even took classes before I got my machine....when I finally got it, I then became disappointed in my progress.  I thought I would be great right away...after all I have been sewing for 50 years!  It took almost a year of daily practice, bolts of muslin for practice, charity quilts for practice, curtains for practice.....hundreds and hundreds of hours of practice before I felt great about my quilting.  I still think pantos are harder than custom.

 

I'm still learning.  But I never quit loving my machine. I don't have a problem being by myself in the studio, I prefer it that way.    We each have to decide how much we want to put into this endeavor and if it's really worth our time....it's definitely not for everyone.  If you decide that's not your route, that's OK.  Others have given you good advice.

 

Good luck!


Hand driven green Millennium, Bliss Table.

 

http://bunkhousequilts.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give it a little bit more time -   Do some charity quilts and just play for awhile.   Work from the front of the machine,  try some pantos,  figure out which style you like better -  doodling, or more structured pantograph work?

 

Practice - I always have a whiteboard or a sketchbook while I'm watching tv and if there is a particular shape or pattern I'm trying to get better at, I work at it while watching/listening to the tv.   Don't do whatever - focus on a specific shape and design for that sitting.   

 

Also -  girl, you need a stereo or a tv in your quilting room.   I have just a little one,  and it's hooked up so I can listen to the crazy antics on Dr.Phil,  listen to who is sleeping with whom on Days of our Lives,  Dr.Oz can give me the latest and greatest or... just watch a movie!   I know others listen to audio books while they are working.  

 

I think you have to give it just a bit more time.  mastering loading and unloading, tension and how the thing works is a huge learning curve in itself.   I have been doing this for 1.5 years now and I still doubt my abilities....

 

Hang in there...let us know how it goes!    Ask questions,   watch youtube videos,  rent some craftsy classes and watch people's techniques if you cannot get to a 'live' class.  


Andrea  http://www.urbanquiltworks.com

Motha Stitcha on an apqs millennium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone gives good advice, I knew I loved it the moment I tried a machine at a show...add a tv or music to listen to, take lots of breaks, and maybe a hands-on class would be helpful and go a long way to making you feel more comfortable with your machine.  I love custom more than pantos, I just like the detail, maybe some micro handles would help you with control on the machine - I use mine all the time.  If you get to where you really dread it....take a few weeks off and see if you feel better about quilting after a few weeks break - if you do decide it's not something you enjoy - then don't feel bad about moving on to something else - we all have different things we enjoy and should not spend time trying to quilt if you really don't enjoy it.  But do give it some time, there is a huge learning curve and it does take time and lots of practice...


aedc2cc10e0045c5397509e8f6b74d4d.png

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my TV, a phone and I take my cell phone with me so I can get e-mails if I want.   Sometimes I have the TV on just for noise and sometimes I just want it quiet.   I like a challenge, so get bored doing the same thing over and over.   I have bought a lot of DVDs and books and also draw a lot to practice.    If all I had was pantographs to do on the long arm, I would have run away screaming long ago.   I DON'T LIKE TO DO PANTOS !    I don't enjoy working from the back..........I like to to ruler work, and free hand work........also use pattern boards with my Quiltazoid (from the front).   I don't have easy access to classes, so I find the DVDs are helpful, as I can play them over and over.   I got some out the other night and played them again and thought............"hey, I think I can do that now!".    Just keep trying different things until you find what works for you.   Maybe none of it is your cup of tea, but that's OK, too !    I have a friend who does the same meander design on every single quilt she makes..........I would go bonkers and enjoy the challenge of trying new things. She doesn't like to get out of her comfort zone..........but that's just fine.  She enjoys what she does and I enjoy what I do.  

 

Sometimes my DH will come down and stand by me watching...........I have to stop and say ..........."what????"   I don't want him standing there behind me watching.........haha   I wouldn't be a good teacher.


Linda B.       :rolleyes: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to say, but the people that touch a machine and are immediately wonderful quilters are few and far between. It takes practice, and I hate yo say, but we are our own worse critics. It takes some time to find your niche, some like pantos others custom and others freehand. Some like it all. It takes time, however it is a solitary business. I recommend music, audio books and getting together to see with friends. Do not totally isolate yourself.

Shirley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved quilting when I first got my megaquilter....I tried a few pantos, designs, edge to edge but because of the small space I had on it.  I mainly meandered..sometimes threw in some bubbles or spirals....now I got Lucey...and I am intimidated...yep...it is sort of scarey now...I have so much more expectations for myself...cuz now I have all that space and see what others are doing on this forum...yikes...it is now sort of a tense thing to do!  So...I have sort of been dragging my feet.  I now have eight tops pieced and ready to go....some I think I will just do on overall "something" on...but what?  I don't know yet.  some I think I have to maybe do different things and maybe even SID.  Yikes!  Yeah...I am one those folks who think I can just dream about doing something and arise one morning and just do it....ok...I still am dreaming....so...I am thinking that doing simple edge to edge is probably fine for a while...if I really want a custom...I can still send my top out...I do get bored with the meandering and simple bubbles and spirals (although they still are not uniform and spaced right) and can't help trying something else about half way through the quilt...bad I know!  I don't have computer....so there I am!  I really don't like practicing!  Even when I played instruments...the sight reading was always so much more fun than that tedious Practice, Practice, Practice.  so....my whole experience with this fabric and thread stuff has been about teaching myself patience, and perseverance ....and those qualities are "so not me".  I took a class on feathers from Karen McTavish...and learned that even simple marking seemed like a lot of work...but I really liked the feel of attempting the feathers without the stitch regulator on...it was so much more fun even if my stitches were not exactly even...so the bottom line is....I just need to keep on doing tops...lots and lots of tops....I am ok with making lots and lots of bed quilts to be used and abused....so that is it for the next period of time although I am thinking that maybe a little quilt with areas to do some fancier stuff on may be a fine idea every now and then....I obviously do not quilt for others...just me...I do enjoy listening to music when I am quilting away....listening to my old CD's.  Dixie Chics, Alabama, Neil Diamond, Herman Hermits (anyone remember them?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to add some thoughts to my first comment.  Lots of great advice given already.  Don't force yourself to quilt on a day when you don't feel like quilting.  That's probably one of the reasons I don't think I could ever quilt for others as in a business.  I worked for 40 years with deadlines every week....I've been retired about 1 1/2 yrs and I DON'T want deadlines....I don't want a schedule where I HAVE to do something at any given time.

 

I have a lot of interests besides quilting.  Last week I needed to pull the camper out and clean it up getting it ready for spring.  The next day I did the same thing with my bass boat.  I didn't do any quilting at all.  Don't feel guilty if you can't do it every day. 

 

Take breaks when quilting especially if you feel yourself get tired.  I was born with clubfeet and have arthritis in both feet so I'm good for about an hour standing.  I quilt for an hour and I can feel my feet swelling so I sit down and watch TV or read or do anything as long as I'm off my feet.  After about an hours rest I'm good to go again and I start quilting again.  I've come to the conclusion that I will have to deal with quilting that way and I accept it and don't worry if I can't quilt as much as others.

 

Also don't be hard on yourself if you are not as good as some of the others here.  Some of these people here are fantastic and I'm not sure if I will ever be that good...but that's ok.  I'll just keep practicing till I can get as good as I can get and then I'll just be thankful I got that good.

 

I think it was Linda that said (and this is my new saying), "You gotta suck at something before you can be good at something."  In that case one of these days I'm going to be one of the best quilters on this forum.  LOL.

 

 

Let quilting be fun....don't let it be a chore.  Makes all the difference. 

 

David


David

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan if you haven't tried something from the front try that, maybe it is pantos that aren't for you!  There most definitely is a learning curve and you have to relax.  I was in love with my machine almost instantly but it was because I was sooooooo frustrated trying to quilt on a domestic and this just gave me the results I was looking for.  Everybody gives really good advice.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does your local guild have a longarm group?   Joining a longarm group could give you inspiration and fellowship.  Our guild has one but it on the only evening I work...Tuesdays :-(   I am not very experienced at longarming even though I have had a machine for several years.  I recently bought a computer and that has really given me courage, freedom and inspiration.  I work full time and mostly do longarming for my own quilts.  I do enjoy it but I don't think I'll ever want to make it a business. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate.  I never got the hang of working the machine.  I could do a great meander, some clouds and some pointy things but that was as far as I could master.  I took lots of classes but just couldn't get it from my brain to my hands.  I bought a quilt path and it is great, does exactly what I tell it to. (Most of the time anyway!)

 

I still don't use my machine as much as I should.  It is that lonely thing.  My machine is in a room with a teeny tiny window with no view in my husband's tractor shop.  I have to leave the house and go out there by myself most of the time if I want to use it.  There is no internet or TV there because it won't get a signal in the metal room inside the metal shed.  I can get one radio station with really bad elevator music.  I know if I could get the machine in the house I would use it a lot more.  Countdown 4 1/2 years to new house with a big sewing room!


Lynne

Quilting in the tractor shop with Lenni and her QZ friend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all.  I am in very much the same place as you, Joan, but was too embarrassed to confess since Lucey has been living with me a long time.  My problem is not loneliness--I live alone and am used to solitude (although my doggy, who is usually right there with me, is afraid of Lucey and won't cross the threshold of Lucey's bedroom).  It's more that I just love to piece.  I am still working so piecing is my relaxation--I know what I'm doing and can lose myself in the purr of my DSM and the routine of making the blocks.  I think Linda hit it on the head--it's so hard to be bad at longarming and it's so much more effort since I am sooo at the beginning!  I need to discipline myself and practice, but oh yuck!, it's still so hard!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad there isn't a longarm retreat like there are quilting retreats. Someplace where stitchers of all levels could support each other, where there is a machine for each person, and where there are classes or one-on-one to help you take (or be pushed off) the next step. ;) 

My first classes were at Longarm University in 2004 and Cindy Roth did a great job educating about starting a business, with three days of lectures and two other instructors. But only a bit of hands-on since she had only one machine. 

Maybe one of the APQS learning centers could try this approach to support their customers. I paid a lot of $$ for those three days and I'm sure there's a market for this type of retreat.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you are not loving your machine right away.  I didn't love mine either at first.  In fact, I wasn't even sure I liked it very much.  It wasn't the machine's fault.  I was actually kind of afraid of it and wasn't sure I was even loading the quilts correctly at first.  Then I had tension issues, railroad tracks, birds nests, etc. and thought why did I ever want to quilt on a longarm?  But finally I spent a little more time on the machine, got loads of help from this and another longarm forum, as well as from APQS experts (when I encountered mechanical issues mostly caused by me).  A couple of my friends wanted me to quilt some tops for them, so I did that and it pushed me to try to do my very best, which I didn't really have to do on my practice pieces.  I joined a longarm quilt group and learned a lot from listening and watching them discuss their projects. 

 

As far as loneliness in your quilt room, I do understand.  Mine can be lonely too and television reception is awful in there.  But I put in quilting DVDs and VHS tapes (yes, I still have old technology too), and sometimes run the same ones over and over because you can always learn something, plus if they are running while you are quilting, you probably don't even see the whole thing while you're working.  Some people like books on tape (or whatever medium they are now) that you could use if you don't have good radio/tv reception in your room. 

 

I look at pictures of quilting I did when I first started that I finally thought was okay and it wasn't that great, but then it wasn't really that bad either, so don't beat yourself up if you can't get it the way you want it right away.  And maybe you will decide you don't even like to do certain types of quilting.  Not everyone does all styles.  Do something you feel confident in doing and that may make you want to take on a new project and maybe use the same technique but also stretch a little to learn something new each time.  I do remember laying underneath my machine when I had goofy tension and crying and wondering what in the world I was thinking, but from what I've heard over the years, I know I'm not the only one who ever felt like that. 

 

I know this was kind of a rambling note, but I do understand how tough it is especially when you're still learning how to really master your machine.   Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad there isn't a longarm retreat like there are quilting retreats. Someplace where stitchers of all levels could support each other, where there is a machine for each person, and where there are classes or one-on-one to help you take (or be pushed off) the next step. ;)

My first classes were at Longarm University in 2004 and Cindy Roth did a great job educating about starting a business, with three days of lectures and two other instructors. But only a bit of hands-on since she had only one machine. 

Maybe one of the APQS learning centers could try this approach to support their customers. I paid a lot of $$ for those three days and I'm sure there's a market for this type of retreat.

That would be my dream!!  hmmm, maybe a business idea for those that own several machines and are dealers.  


Joan

Houston, TX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a much bigger learning curve than I thought it would be.  Deciding on designs at first had me spending hours and hours looking at magazines.  This  forum. blogs, and books have really helped.  Taking classes is really a great way to gain confidence in what you do.  At some point you may want to say...what the "hay" and just dive in on that quilt!


2AF6EA6AFBEB2DAF23A7834B094E912A.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...