Experimenting with Longarm Quilting


Over the years, I have dabbled in piecing and quilting. I completed several small projects (wall hangings, table runners, etc. on my domestic machine) before deciding to invest in a small longarm. I purchased a BlockRockit 15″ machine several years ago. I used it on a Bernina 5′ frame and it worked nicely to again complete small projects (wall hangings, table runners, etc.). I also used it to quilt fabric and foam for bags and totes. You can see a video of that process here:

That set up was great for small projects, but I was limited in the size of quilt I could manage on that frame. So a few months ago I invested in this 10′ Continuum frame from Grace Company:

I purchased the frame through Leah Day’s Website. I live about 40 miles from the Grace Company, but it was less expensive for me to purchase it through Leah Day and have it shipped to my home, that it would have been to purchase it locally and pick it up at the warehouse. I ordered the frame on a Friday and it was delivered the following Tuesday!

I love not being so limited in the size of quilt I can sew. But first, to familiarize myself with the new set up and to practice using my new frame, I quilted this small wall hanging. It is a printed quilt panel, so no piecing (other than the borders) was involved.

I still consider myself a beginning quilter, so please don’t judge me too harshly. 😊 I stitched an all over swirl on the background, I outlined the truck then added vertical straight line quilting to the body of the truck, and I added jagged line quilting to the tree to mimic pine needles. It was a great learning process.

I used white batting because that is what I had on hand and it worked out okay, except there was a bit of batting show through on the back where the needle pierced the fabric:

I’m okay with the batting show through, since this will be hanging on a wall, and it was, after all, a practice project. But in the future, I will be certain to use dark batting with dark fabrics.

I have since completed a queen size quilt top and plan to load it onto the machine later this month.

I would love to hear your quilting experiences (domestic and longarm). Please leave me a comment below.

Until next time, keep sewing my friends!

Silhouette Patterns #600: Classic Blouse

**Please Note** Links to the pattern, fabric, interfacing, etc. are listed on YouTube below my video (video link at the end of this post)

I don’t own a lot of blouses, therefore, I don’t wear a lot of blouses. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because RTW button up blouses seem a bit stiff – the collar stands up too high and rubs my chin line, so I end up with makeup all over the collar of my blouse – the bodice area is too snug, so all my rolls show – if I purchase a blouse that is not so snug in the bodice area, then the shoulders are too wide and droop down my arm! This blouse pattern addresses all those issues. I shall be wearing more blouses in the future!

I sewed this blouse with a cotton/rayon blend voile shirting that I purchased from Stylemaker fabrics. It is so lovely and soft, no stiffness at all.

The collar is attached to the blouse body. No collar stand so it does not stand up high enough to rub my jaw line.

The bodice features front and back waist darts that can be sewn into the garment, or left off completely. I sewed the waist darts (front and back) because I like the little bit of added shaping that they give. The blouse has shape without being too snug and the shoulders still fit nicely.

To give a little stability to the under collar and the placket, I used Pro Tricot Deluxe Knit Fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The pattern suggests fusible knit interfacing, but Peggy Sagers discourages using interfacing on her sew along video on YouTube. In my video, which I link below, I address this discrepancy and why I chose to interface the collar and the placket.

The pattern notions listed on the back of the envelope, indicate you will need 8 buttons – 6 for the blouse and 2 for the cuffs. I used 10 buttons – 8 for the blouse and 2 for the cuffs. That was a personal preference choice.

The sleeve does not have an actual cuff such as one thinks of a traditional sew-on cuff. But rather, the sleeve has extra circumference that is folded over at the wrist to create a sort of psuedo-cuff effect.

This is what the sleeve looks like when it is not buttoned.

Here’s a photo of the placket/yoke on the inside of the blouse.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

If you are interested, here’s a video of my review: