Category Archives: Longarm

Expanded longarm….

With Grace discontinuing their Continuum 1 longarm frame, decided to extend my longarm from a 10 foot frame to a full 12 foot frame before the parts were no longer available. This also required extending my Luminess lighting too.

I purchased my 2 foot light extension directly from Grace Company. As always, it came quickly and was quite easy to install.

I purchased the 2 foot table extension from AllBrands.Com. The extension comes with the new 12 foot track and all the parts to extend not only the table but also the take-up rail, belly bar (aka backing rail) and the front rail. The upgrade was $599 no tax and no shipping. It was drop shipped from Grace Company and also came quickly.

In researching my longarm, I also discovered that Grace makes locking rolling casters for the Continuum frame. So I purchased the 8 casters which were also drop shipped directly from Grace Company.

In a matter of about a week all the parts were in my studio and ready for assembly. The first step was adding the extension to the table. This is the first time I have run into a problem when assembling a Grace product. The new 12 foot tracks were wider than my old 10 foot tracks. They slid easily into the new 2 foot extension but would not slide into the two 5 foot sections from my 10 foot original frame. Of course it was a weekend so required waiting until Monday to call Grace.

Before calling Grace, I used my micrometer to measure the difference between my old track and the new track. When I called Grace the following Monday, I gave them the measurements. Two days later, delivered to my door, were 4 new 12 foot tracks, no cost to me, that had been trimmed to my specs. They slid in perfectly!

So now that the frame assembly was completed it was time to add the new casters. We laid the table on it’s back, then removed the adjustable feet replacing them with the locking casters. Given the height of the casters, we also lowered my table to account for the change in height. Next, we turned the table up and started the process of adding back the carriage, belts, longarm, and encoders. Along the way we made sure all wheels turned, the belts were aligned, and the encoders were also working

Finally it was time to test the stitch out and do final adjustments to achieve stitch quality. When all the adjustments were finally completed, I was quite happy with the results. I used a very light color on top and a deep red in the bobbin.

Sample Quilt – Longarmed

I mounted my sample quilt to my longarm. For this quilt, I chose an overall design for the center of the quilt and a coordinating border and corner design to finish the outside edges.

When I quilted the borders, I removed the first set of basting stitches. The I folded the points back down to the completed center quilting. I again basted the points, this time with them folded toward the center. For my border I set my margins to be 1/2” from the outside edge (allows for binding) and 1/4” from the inside seam.

This quilt has prairie points so I had to be cautious. If the foot got caught in these pockets I could break the machine and destroy my quilt. For the inside of the quilt, I folded the prairie points up onto the outside border. Next I basted them down. For placement, I made sure to leave 1/4 inch below the points for stitching.

I used Anne Bright’s “In the Swirl” designs from her February 2020 bronze collection. I used the B2B design for the center, the corner for each corner of the border, and finally the border design.

I use QCT5 pro on my longarm. There are features found only in the Gold version of the software. I used pattern eclipse for my last row of the center pantograph. This ensured my pattern stopped 1/4” from the last row of prairie points. Next, I used the borders and corners feature. This allows me to easily place, set margins, and adjust for ‘wonky’ edges using fabric compensation.

When quilting the borders, I first do the borders and corners on the quilts top and bottom. When these are finished, I the remove the quilt from the longarm.

Next I choose to measure about 5 inches from the seamline of the quilt’s outside border toward the batting edge. I then mark and cut along this line for both sides of the quilt. This provides a straight line to remount the built on the longarm. I rotate my quilt clockwise when I remount. (Meaning the left side is now the top of the quilt and right side is now the bottom of the quilt)

For the sides I only quilt the border because the corners have already been completed. The important part is marking the left and right edges so that the stitches connect. Finally I removed the quilt from the longarm and trimmed up so it is ready for the final step, binding.

Quilting for my hubby’s quilts….

Had fun quilting two of my Sweety’s quilts. The first is built around a solar system planet. For this quilt we went with circular spirals.

His second quilt is a winter/Christmas panel. For this quilt we went with Snowflake Swirls. The back of this quilt is a light silver. He had me use red thread for the entire quilt. Very pleased with the results for the stitches top and back.

Kim Diehl “Hickory Dickory” Wall hanging….

One of the only outings last year, was to a quilt shop in Leavenworth, Washington. I had never been to the shop. My hubbie visited them, prior to Covid, on his way home from out-of-town meetings. To support the shop and give me a change of scenery, we planned a day trip to visit. I have never bought a quilt kit but saw several small wall hangings I thought were really cute.

While we were at the shop, my hubbie secretly bought me one of the kits. It is Kim Diehl’s “Hickory Dickory”. It came with the directions….we think it is only 3-point font …. along with the fabrics. There are several small parts – each square is 1″ finished.

This week I spent time cutting out the top and piecing. Today I put it on the longarm (okay my husband is laughing at me for having done this LOL) and added the binding. I honestly have enough material left that I cut out a second quilt too.

Finished up “I Love Sewing”

Saturday I added all the decorations to the quilt top. Next I loaded the quilt on the longarm. The goal of this quilt was to teach me several skills, from digitizing to free arm quilting. On the longarm I practiced stitching in the ditch for the vertical and horizontal lines. Around the applique, I practiced tracing around the designs. Today I added the binding. While it isn’t perfect, I love reflecting on what I learned and skills I am practicing.