I want to quilt ALL the quilts.
My home machine is awesome, but after 9 years of heavy use the tension is completely buggered when I drop the feed dogs and try to free motion quilt. Despite repeated trips for tune-ups, extra cleanings and some repair work, it just won't work. The Pfaff rep tells me I probably blew a bearing and it won't work well again. Of course, he is also the Janome rep and he may have been trying to sell me a new machine. And he very nearly succeeded. If I'd had the cash that day...
So when the chance to learn on the long arm came, I took it. When the rental studio moved 5 minutes away from my home I started to book time.
First quilt: followed a pantograph with a laser guide. Fun, but a bit boring. Good for getting used to how the machine moves in your hand.
Second quilt: a large, random stipple. Couldn't face another pantograph and decided playing would be more fun. And so much easier (and faster).
Third Quilt: moved in for a tight, squared off pattern on a precious quilt. No point wasting time building up to it.
Did I mention I want to quilt ALL the quilts now?
Renting out time on the long arm is a lot of fun and a sure fire way to make some progress through the last of the Just One Slab quilts and the stack of my own quilt tops. It is not, however, an inexpensive option. If I keep up with this I will spend the money on that instead of my new machine for home!
But it is fantastic to have another skill in my kit. There are times when the long arm will be the exact right option for what I'm doing. And sometimes it won't be. For now, however, I think it is perfect. And makes for a nice change from all the walking foot work I've been doing.