I have been longarm machine quilting the duckling quilt with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine, and I thought that I would show you what I did but also give you a quick overview of Minnie for those of you who may not have seen a longarm frame in action.
My first comment has to be that I now adore Minnie – she has opened up a whole new world of quilting for me!
Overview of Minnie
I know that many of you do have your own longarm quilting machines, but here’s an overview for those of you who don’t.
There are three rollers for the sections of the quilt. The quilt backing is put in place first. It is rolled on to the top one of the front rollers and stretches across to the roller at the back. The wadding is placed on top and then hangs down between the rollers towards the ground. The quilt top is loaded on to the lower of the two front rollers and then stretched up over the wadding and the backing. The sewing machine is sitting in this photo at the top right of the quilt and the black levers that you can see are what I clutch in order to move the machine over the fabric.
A huge benefit of this method of machine quilting is that there is no need to baste the three layers together. They are held together and in place by the frame – as long as I am careful when I roll the layers on to the various rollers.
Longarm machine quilting
The main thing that I have to remember is that I can’t move anywhere over the quilt as I can when using my domestic machine. With Minnie, I am restricted to a horizontal band of about 9″ across one section of the quilt. When I have quilted that section, I need to roll the quilt up so that the next section is in place ready to be quilted.
I have used the same quilting design all over – I am so grateful to Minnie for working properly at last that I didn’t want to confuse her (or myself) by using different designs for the yellow and for the white sections, which had been my original intention.
What I have done is stitched a freehand outline of a duck and then run two lines within the body – that’s one from head to tail and then back again. Then I moved from one duckling outline to the next by means of a series of circles. If that doesn’t sounds too clear, I hope the video will show you what I mean. Here it is: