Getting Ready to start Quilting!


Setting up to Quilt with me!

I have wanted this machine since I saw it at my girlfriends house!  She loved and loves it, so when I had to sell my ancient Longarm (we moved and have no room) I decided if I got a quilting machine again, I wanted the Sweet Sixteen.  Now 4 years later, for my 50th anniversary, my husband got her for me!  Yes, used, but as good as new!  So on to learning how to use her...

I made a set of placemats because I thought they would be good to practice on.  My disclaimer; this is not a tutorial.  I am only laying out what I do.  If you have suggestions, please comment.  Thanks.

 The first thing I did was lay out an old sheet saved for this purpose, place my placemats right side down and spray baste them.  I also sprayed my backing fabric.  Then sandwiched it all with some leftover batting.

I used some quilt spray by June Tailor, Inc that I've had on hand for a while.  I bought a few when I saw them on sale, so I know the exact spray isn't available.  But this is the new version.  June Tailor Quilt Basting Spray.  I really like this brand and it has good reviews.  There is a definite odor to the one I used, actually to all the basting sprays, so as recommended open the window when spraying.  We all have masks now so wearing one while spraying shouldn't be a problem.  When finished, remove the sheet you use to the washroom to remove the lingering chemical odor.
 How to use it?

1) Lay out an old sheet or washable tablecloth that is bigger than the project.
2) Lay project face down on the sheet.  Spray.  You don't need a ton of spray.  Just a sweeping motion of a well shaken can will hold.
3) Do the same with the backing fabric.  Remember, lay in down face, or right side, down.  
4) Sandwiching: Lay your slightly larger batting over the backing that is still in position, centering it.  Smooth with your hands the best you can.  Now lay the top wrong side down onto the batting, centering in.  Smooth Smooth Smooth.
5) Take this sandwich to your ironing board.  I usually press and smooth with my iron the back first.  Turn it over and press from the front, smoothing out the wrinkles.  

Now I was ready to mark my quilt.  I like to mark a quilt in sections as I'm ready to quilt it, but on these placemats I could mark the whole thing at once.   

I tried to use my pounce/swiper chalk box but, only having white chalk, it didn't show well.  So I used my Frixion marker.  I have a stencil that fit the heart perfectly but it didn't really show, so I winged it.

The stencil I used for the guidelines on the border worked well with my chalk box. 
You can also see that on the above photo.

So now I'm all marked up, let's get to quilting!

Setting up the machine.  This sit down longarm machine really doesn't need much set up besides making sure it's in the needle down position.  It came with a tru-stitch stitch regulator so I have attached that to the side.  I did practice on a scrap quilt sandwich but I'm not sure I like using the regulator.  I'm more familiar with quilting on my domestic so it's just some getting used to.  

So I'm ready to go! 


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