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I just want to point out a quick thing about the quilt "One Last Orange" that won my Third Place ribbon:

That was my very FIRST quilt done on my Millie. I\'d had her about a month and was practicing on plain fabric and got bored. That quilt was sitting around on a shelf, I\'d forgotten about it. SO, I put it on the Millie and got going. I figured that when I was done, if it stunk, at least I\'d have learned something.

I showed it to Marilyn Badger, who recommended that I submit it to MQS that year. I did and it got the Rookie of the Year award. So there you go!

I also submitted it to MQX this year as they do allow older quilts, and it won something there too.

I use this as proof that longarming is not as hard as people think to get started in. I already did a pretty good job of free motion quilting on domestic machines, it was simply transferring skills. Plus Marilyn\'s Micro Drive was an essential tool.

I just want to encourage those of you who have been reticent about submitting a quilt to go for it.


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Just to be clear, that was a rookie quilt for MQS, several years ago. I have since quilted a bunch of them. (But not near as many as you longarmers who do other\'s tops. My output is a trifle compared to yours.)

I HAD done quite a bit of free motioning on domestic machines, so the muscle skill was there. It was a matter of transferring it over to a longarm and getting use to the greater "heft" of shoving the machine around and getting it to do tight corners and smooth curves.

Also, at the time, most longarmers seemed to be using giant needles, and I was used to a domestic 75/10 or something like that. Plus, I wanted to use fancy threads.

I teach free motion unmarked quilting on domestic machines at "regular" quilt shows, and people ask me a LOT of questions about the longarm. I\'m happy to tell them that the learning curve, when you are doing your own quilts, isn\'t that bad at all.


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