Oh I have the best news – it took a while but it finally happened. We got word on a longarm, second hand and IN CANADA at a great price, in Canadian dollars.
Just to roll back a little, somewhere this winter my husband came into the sewing room and was watching mush and smush a queen sized quilt through my regular sewing machine. “That looks painful,” he said. “It is.” I said.
And he’d seen the basting process and how long it took.
It turns out, a longarm studio opened up in a community 2-3 hours away from me so I went up for a class. Worst case, I figured I would spend a few hundred in lessons and rental time but at least I’d get things done faster, even when including the long drive.
Ron was so interested after my first visit, I bought him along for my second visit and HE took the beginner class. He did great! And of course he was hooked too, so we started looking around. Then we got word and bit our fingernails and measured rooms and cleared out space and waited for it to get packed up and mailed all the way across the country.
(Canada is HUGE.)
This is our 2004 APQS Millie on a 12 foot table.
It got here just after our wedding anniversary in 8 large boxes, including a roll of batting we had tossed in our order. We spent two days setting it up.
We spent a few hours taking it apart and then putting it back correctly too.
Finally we were able to do some test runs and load our very first quilts. Then we quilted non stop, I swear. The first week the machine ran every single day. Some days we did two quilts, taking turns getting used to it, figuring things out, practising on the huge stack of my own quilt tops I had standing by to get done “some day.”
Eventually I put on the first customer quilt that had waited so patiently. And that bed sized tshirt quilt was done in 5.5 hours. It was amazing.
I can and DO finish customer quilts so much faster now. I had seven piled up. Three are already out the door to customers and two more are getting mailed out this week. It’s only been three weeks at this point.
I keep shaking my head and wondering why it took so long for us to make the jump but I guess it all happened at just the right time.
Ron and I are both quilting and right now I am catching up on customer quilts that were in the backlog. By June we should be ready to take on more quilts and do some machine quilting so all the quilters we know can get those tops done!