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Lesson Learned- Becoming a Longarm Quilter

March 20, 2012

I had an appointment to do some long arm quilting today, and unfortunately I left discouraged and a bit defeated.  Please tell me that I'm not the only one that this has happened to!  

This is how today went down- I had two quilts that I wanted to quilt.  The first was MY quilt (yes, I finally got around to making myself a quilt), and the second was the Daisy Cottage quilt that I had started some time ago.  Back to the drama!  I selected the thread color and the quilt pattern, loaded MY quilt onto the machine, and when I advanced the quilt after the second pass I realized that the backing had folded over onto itself.  This picture doesn't really do the oopsie justice (or does it, and I'm just making this whole ordeal worse than it really is?).

At this point, I had two choices, leave the oopsie (folded over back) or rip out what I had quilted (an area that measures 26" tall x 67" wide), and re-quilt MY quilt another day.  Silly me, I opted for option #2.  I've spent approximately five hours unpicking the quilt today, and have not even made a dent.  My goal was to unpick and perhaps re-quilt the quilt on Friday, but I'm almost positive that my timeline is impossible.  I'll just unpick when I can, and re-quilt when I'm ready.  No need to make myself miserable by unpicking for hours and hours a day, right?  :)

After an afternoon of feeling so discouraged and defeated, I saw Stuart cuddled up in my currently imperfect quilt, made me smile.  He loves my quilt just the way it is, and if ever  again (fingers crossed!) the back of my quilt folds over onto itself, I too will love my imperfect quilt.  Lesson learned!  :)


  1. I would have unpicked, too. Unpick from the back. It seems to be faster.

  2. I unpicked a quilt because my tension was awful. The easiest way to do it is between the batting and the backing with a single edged razor blade or another similar tool. They make a seam like ripper that is like a razor for this, but I could never find them.
    Good luck.

  3. Oh, shoot. What a bummer, Candice! I'm so sorry. I think unpicking is the way to go. I had a friend who had a quilt long arm quilted. She got home and hated what the long armer had done. Her husband spent the entire winter unpicking all the stitches for her. What a sweetie. She sat and pieced, while he unpicked for her. hang in there. It will be worth it in the end, and you'll be glad you did.

  4. I would vote to unpick even though it is a pain and a painful lesson - rats and double rats! Can't wait to see your project finished however - love, love what you have done so far....

  5. I'm sorry you had a difficult time. Don't give up though! Longarming has a *huge* learning curve- but the payoffs are worth it! You can do it! You can do it!

  6. i would have unpicked it too! otherwise, it would always bother me. love that reunion fabric!!

  7. Hi, I'm a new longarmer. Wow, what a decision you had to make. But I would have ripped also. On my domestic machine,I ripped out an entire quilt because I didn't like my free motion feathers. Some of my friends thought I was crazy, but now that it's requilted I'm so happy I did it.

  8. Hi! I'm your newest follower and co-host of this month's blog hop. Thanks so much for joining in on the fun :) I'm looking forward to getting you know you better!

    Ooh bummer! I think you made the right decision though.

  9. I think it looks beautiful, I really need to learn how to quilt! I am your newest follower from the Networking Blog Hop! I would love if you would check out my blog and if you like what you see please follow back :)
    Modern Modest Beauty


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