16 February, 2014

Long Arm Quilting

I need a tote bag for SewExpo in two weeks. I got distracted into finishing up this tote bag.
A while back, Pencil Girl and I took a long arm quilting class.  It was designed and taught by the folks at Boersma's in McMinnville, Oregon.

The Boersma folks set up 16 long arm quilting machines for the class. They had prepped the fabric beforehand (main, batting, base). 
All basted together.  All we had to do was DRAW.

Here I am - driving.
Intense - as in - keep remembering to loosen up your knees and your lockjaw from concentrating so hard.

The object is to fill in the spaces - draw inside the lines.
With patterns.
A dry-erase board was very handy.

And when you drive to the left with your pattern, you have to mirror-image it coming back.

Very intense.

I did manage to free-hand 'draw' my airplanes. I was impressed with myself.

Pencil Girl drawing with chalk or tying off threads.

Pretty much done.
Except for part two - sewn into a tote bag. The lines at top are going to be the straps.

Thinking how to get out of the star into the next motif.

Boersma's drawn in thread was to be the bottom of the tote bag, but I found this bag to be very very deep, so this 4" was sacrificed.

I recently cut the hardware out of a previous (sad looking) tote bag - which had an inside pocket with zipper - which was still in good condition. I took a scrap of the base fabric and topstitched it onto the pocket front, hand-sewing it in place by the zipper. I then re-inserted the old pocket into my new tote. I am a pocket hound.

Here's what I started with. You can see the long vertical lines to the right - they will be the straps.

I serged all the edges, sewing up the sides first. I tried it with the Boersma-scribed bottom but it was way too deep, so I serged that off.
I then boxed the corners.

To finish - I just folded down the top. I pinned my pocket in place and my straps, folded the top down to cover and sewed in place. I then turned the strap back upright and sewed again near edge.

I don't think I am gonna be a long arm quilter.
This was a fun class but physically and mentally tiring.
A fascinating look into another creative world.

Pencil Girl - have you finished your bag???


  1. Oh Kathy, that's awesome!!!! I'd love to have a play on a long arm!

  2. Are you sure this is the first time you've long armed? It looks amazing!

  3. It was my first time. You can thank Boersmas for the wonderful template.


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