Quilting on a lang-arm machine is truly my happy place. I learned to quilt on a long-arm machine through a class at a quilt shop that was local to me quite a few years ago. At the time, my domestic machine wasn't great at handling the bulk of a quilt despite using all of the techniques. I really felt strongly at completing the quilt from start to finish, and didn't want to 'send it out' for someone else to quilt. The minute I started using the machine, I just loved doing it. Standing at the machine and controlling it to make a beautiful design to put the quilt layers together was so thrilling. It is so relaxing watching the machine make up the design while seeing your progress as you guide it along. Another dream I have is to own my own long-arm machine, and hopefully some day I will. I was surprised when I went to the long-arm place and saw the computer-guided machines. I thought it was really neat how you could pick different designs and size them to the areas on the quilt that you wanted. It is amazing that you can quilt in this way, but it is curious to me that the quilter doesn't have to really do anything. I'm not sure quite how I felt about that. You don't even really have to watch the machine that much. I think that personally for me it seems like the quilter is a little bit removed from the quilting process. It also made me think about quilts I've seen at shows. If it is a computer-guided quilt design, then how is it really judged on the quilter's actual quilting skills, if the machine is controlling the process. It definitely is easier, and probably leaves less room for errors in the quilting design. I am going to try it during my next machine rental. I have a lap-sized Christmas quilt that I am going to do next, and the owner of the long-arming shop said that she has a lot of computer guided Christmas designs, so I am going to give it a try next time! In the meantime, I have some photos of my time on the Gammill machine using a pantograph design.
One thing that happened as part of this wonderful day quilting, is that I was able to determine how I was going to proceed with some of my quilting projects. I have several quilts that are in different phases. Many of them are partially pieced, and do have the backing fabric and binding fabric chosen. I had been looking ahead to the quilting and final finishing, and have felt stalled because I didn't know what I would do for the quilting. Seeing the different types of batting and also the examples of quilt finishing at the shop gave me quite a lot of days, and was a bit of a relief that is helping to look ahead to future quilting projects.