Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Long ago, back in the early days of NEMQG, our friend Alice told us about a longarm rental studio about a half-hour outside of Boston. After spending most of the year talking about how much we needed to go to the studio every time we saw each other, we finally bit the bullet and enrolled in an intro class at Laurena's Longarm Quilting in Burlington, MA.

We had to wait about five weeks for the session because there were enough of us to constitute a full class and Laurena is so popular! Laurie anticipated that it would be the highlight of 2011, and it was fantastic. Laurie showed up even though she and her son both had the flu all week.

I had used a longarm once before, for just a few minutes. This was a full lesson on using the machine, plus hours of practicing different styles of quilting. Predictably, I was the worst of everyone, by far. I felt like the machine was completely dominating me, like a cartoon robot that comes to life or something.

Laurena said she could "sense" that we were a "free-motion group," and she was right. We tried out the pentograms (which I liked) and the rulers (which we all thought were tedious), and then went crazy in the free-motion session...some of us more than others.

Isn't this a good likeness of Rebecca?

Rachel is a natural.

I am in the process of making the World's Ugliest Quilt out of all of the print fabrics I never liked to practice on when Rachel and I go to Laurena's next week. I think my learning curve will be steep.

Renting a longarm isn't appropriate for every quilt project, but it will be a huge improvement over my tiny machine on quilts larger than 50x50. But I've also been investigating frames for machine quilting at home. If any of you have any recommendations, please post them in the comments!


  1. I'm so jealous! I still need to sign up for my class.

  2. This looks like it was so much fun! I WANNA PLAAAAAAAAAY.

  3. So glad you enjoyed it!!! Definitely a learning curve but once you get it it's sooo much faster. Can't wait to see you Sat: )