Category Archives: Longarm Quilting

A new pattern for a new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

If anyone had told me a few years ago that I’d be teaching people to maintain their vintage machines, I’d have probably thought they were crazy.   We’re planning more workshops for 2016 though!

For that matter, if they’d told me that I’d be quilting on a massive quilting frame and have a long arm as my most consistent dance partner and half my basement dedicated to sewing machines and quilting, I’d have shook my head and thought they really didn’t know me.

Similarly, it never occurred to me that I’d become a published pattern designer.  As of today, this too though has come to pass.  Today, my very first pattern has been uploaded to Craftsy and is available for sale and proceeds from this pattern will support the upkeep of ArchaicArcane.com and facilitate the upgrade of certain video making equipment. Continue reading A new pattern for a new year!

Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

Note:  I talk mainly about long arm quilting in this post and how humidity affects it because it’s so much more quickly noticed with the speed of the machines but this post is relevant to anyone with a crafting space that uses thread and other fibers that can change for the worse with humidity changes.

Living on the prairies in Central Alberta, we seem to get a lot of weather extremes.  Normally, this doesn’t affect the inside of the house or my studio much – thankfully now that the roof thing has been taken care of! – but there’s one particular situation that I do have to manage – humidity.  With plummeting temperatures and the liberal use of a forced air furnace, the air becomes extremely dry down here.   I ignored it for the first winter that I had Lucey – not really recognizing it as a problem.

Last year – around this time – I started having major problems with thread breakage on Lucey.  No amount of pleading or bargaining or whining helped.  Continue reading Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio

Not inspired by it? Rip it.

One of the things that a lot of new Long Arm Quilters hear / learn is:  Don’t rip it!  Or “Leave it over night and look at it again in the morning.  If it still offends you, then rip it.”

I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have to say there have been a few projects on my frame in the last little bit that have not inspired me.   I can’t really say why.  Maybe it’s just the stress in my every day life seeping in or maybe it’s just a lack of practice lately.    Sometimes I’ll quilt something that makes me think I forgot I was quilting for a few minutes.

You know what I do then? Continue reading Not inspired by it? Rip it.

Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

I received an email from Roger about a month or so ago that asked for clarification about one of the posts I made last year. The post in question is Common Thread – Evaluating the Real cost of thread

Did I mention that I love hearing from readers?  Even if it’s questioning what I’ve written, I enjoy the conversation. 🙂  Feel free to comment below or drop me a line. I always answer, even if it’s not right away because I’m perpetually behind on email.

The question Roger asked made me realize that I might have been guilty of a little thread “geek speak”. He emailed me to ask what I meant by “cross wound” or “stack wound” thread.  The two other questions I also inferred from that question were “what’s the difference and what does it mean to me?” 🙂

Continue reading Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’ve been fairly absent for a bit here.  First, trying to get Ryan’s Christmas present finished.   I almost made it on time!  Then catching up on the corporate books.  I don’t recommend a 5 month absence from those.   Ugh.

At the end of it all, he got his gift before New Year’s Eve, which considering all of the hurdles I cleared to do it, and the fact that I started it WAY too late, I’m accepting of.

I’m told that the significant other is often the last one to get a quilt.  Not in Ryan’s case.   He actually managed to get the second ever quilt I’ve made.

Continue reading It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Ergonomics Part 2:  In the last article, we discussed why we need to pay attention to ergonomics.  Now I’d like to talk about some of the ways we can do this.

Most of the time, it’s little changes that we can make that are inexpensive, or even free.  Sometimes we can trade cost for a little sweat equity.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on the cause(s) of your ergonomic pain, I suggest that you have a helper take a photo of you when you’re working at the machine(s) and then you can review your posture.  You’d be amazed at what you can pick out from a photo.

Continue reading High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Dance the Night away – Panto Fun

Note: I’ve noticed lately that the photos in the posts look blurry and low quality.  This is not true if you click on them to look at them.  Until I figure out what it is that’s doing this, please click on the images to see them the way I intended for them to look for you.

I attended a pantograph class at Sparrow earlier this month and learned a few things.  The most important was speed.  The easiest (and most counter intuitive) way to get a better result – less boxy corners, smoother lines –  is mash the gas pedal.

In the past few weeks, I’ve also learned that – within reason, this is also true with a lot of quilting and sewing in general.  For instance, I sew a much straighter line by going faster and watching the guide tape I’ve put on the bed in front of my machine than I do to watch the needle and try to keep it straight against the 1/4″ guide.  My bindings may have a chance, one day in the distant future, of being presentable! Continue reading Dance the Night away – Panto Fun