Weblog and Idea Spot for Quilters

01 August 2008

The Secret of My Success

Dawn Ramirez showed me this. Well, on a video anyway. She's the gal that made the Pajama Quilter dvd that many of the long arm bloggers have been raving about. It is one of her recommendations that anyone who does longarm quilting find a big whiteboard and some markers and practise new patterns on the board before putting them on quilts. It was a GREAT suggestion. You get to hold a marker pretty much the way the handles on your machine stand (for a gammill anway), you can put the board in your lap so that you're making your strokes horizontally like on a quilt, and you can ERASE.

The stuff you see on my board right now is a list. I'm quilting a TATW* by putting a different kind of floral pattern in each color as it makes its circuit around the quilt. It's a very big quilt, so to keep from messing up the order I've started things in, I put one repeat down each time I move to a different color. Then when I hit the bottom corners I can just go through the patterns in reverse order without having to scroll back and forth to see what's next.

I still do a fair amount of quilting on my domestic machines for small stuff that would be too annoying to load onto the longarm (potholders, table runners, that sort of thing) and have found that practising on the whiteboard has even helped for this.

If you don't have one yet, go get one. They're only $30 at any major office supply joint. Get some colorful markers, too, not just black. Practise something brand new and surprise yourself with what a great quilter you've become in minutes.

*Trip Around The World


  1. YOu really have come along quickly with your long arm skills. I am sure all that practice on your domestic machine helped. Can't wait to hear from you.

  2. I've been doing one flower, the wonky feathers, and variations on dwirling....I need to pull the DVD out and pick a new one. I should also get a large dry erase board since I only have the small one but it doesn't take up much space.

  3. I also have this DVD ,no long arm, but thats ok I can do most of it on my domestic machine .Your work is fantastic .

  4. Thanks for the great suggestion on using the dry erase board. I just quilt on my domestic machine, but I think it would help me on that as well.


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