Baring my black heart

March 5, 2011

My husband is {the most} amazing husband in the whole world.

Yes, he is.

Look at what he bought me, just because he loves me....

No, I didn't ask for it. He did all the researching, went to the Nolting factory many times over his lunch break, called them numerous times to ask them all kinds of questions and then surprised me with this amazing machine for Valentine's Day....

A Nolting Fun Quilter on a Hinterberg stretch frame.

As for me, I am not the most amazing wife.

Not by a long shot...

See the word fun on this machine? It even has a smile on it. I think it's there to convince you she is ever so much fun to play with...

Ummm....My question.

When does the fun begin?

Just keeping it real, people...I am afraid of this thing.

No, that's not entirely true....

Miss Fun Quilter causes me to be filled with anxiety.

Anxiety as in {panic attacks}.

Last night, I cried on my {perfect} hubby's shoulder and told him to take it back.

Go ahead...Take a moment and feel sorry for my hubby for having such a terrible wife.

I'll wait....

I am baring my {black} heart in the hopes that someone...anyone...can relate and will have some words of encouragement for me.

I'm all ears because I really, really want to {heart} quilting with Miss Fun Quilter.


  1. No worries... my best advice to you is practice, practice, practice. You will become more comfortable every time you use it! I know, I got my first one almost 11 years ago. Just practice, you will become more relaxed and better and better at every turn. I know you will. Take a few deep breaths, relax and breath. And yes, your hubby is wonderful!

  2. Wow. I've never even seen one before. I'm sure you will (eventually!) do well with it. I can relate. My husband bought me an antique floor loom about 20 years ago, and I still haven't used it. It has survived one move and is in pieces in the basement. We are chickens!

  3. I highly recommend taking a LA class. I did and I feel so much better with my LA skills. It took me 3 months to set up my frame before I actully used it. I was shaking also. but after the class I have no more fear!

  4. I commiserate with your feelings. I have a Tin Lizzy. *MY* most amazing husband bought her for me in late 2006. I took classes. I doodled. I practiced. Right before I was about to jump in and do a "real" quilt, something electrical went horribly wrong. It took a house call and 3 hours for my service guy to find and correct the problem. (It was a very weird problem that never should have presented itself, but it did.) He said the problem was fixed and left.

    I was *scared to death* to turn Lizzy on. What if the problem wasn't fixed? What if the problem was *me*? The more I fixated on the *PROBLEM*, the more anxiety I felt.

    At that point, I kinda let my quilting slide for well over a year and did other things.

    I think it was about 2008 when I finally get my head on straight and realized I either had to face my fears or get rid of Lizzy. So, I plucked up my courage and started back at the beginning with Lizzy.

    Oh hooray! It was fixed! :-) I hadn't ruined a very expensive piece of equipment! I think I almost collapsed from relief. :-)

    From that point onwards, I really began to use Lizzy. It's difficult at first because you don't know what you don't know. It's like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. It's like learning Chinese. But, you start out with baby steps and pretty soon, you discover that you don't wobble any more. Then you're doing pretty good .. hey, that meander looks doggone great! :-)

    And you practice, practice, practice. And practice some more. Get books, DVDs, mentors and any other help you can. But *Practice*.

    You WILL get better. Your UFOs will get quilted and you will feel *fantastic*.

    Go do it! :-)

  5. Amy, it's gonna be okay! You are even going to get to the place where you wonder how you ever quilted without it! Did you get my email regarding my machine? I'd be glad to talk more. I had exactly the same misgivings you are dealing with. Shoot, I didn't have anyone tell me even how to put the quilt onto the thing! I watched every you tube video on how other people did it, and I even have a couple of nice quilts, with some ugly pleats and folds in the backing. Keep your shoulders down, don't scrunch up your neck and get more anxious...classes are the best thing if possible, but videos help alot. I'm thinking of you, pokey

  6. Amy My My! You can do it. Remember to analyze it and then conquer. As the others have said practice. WE all make mistakes from time to time and you learn by doing that. Chin up girl I am so envious. Chris

  7. I had my setup for over a year and never touched it. I was SCARED. TO. DEATH. of it. One of the women's husband offered several times to buy it from me. I was tempted, but didn't do it. One day, two of my quilting girls asked me to set it up, and they would play with it. I stayed CLEAR. ACROSS. THE. ROOM. It was not a pleasant day for them, as non of us knew enough about it to do anything, but we LEARNED by our mistakes, and by research, and trial and error, and now, it is very easy to use. Three more of those women have the same setup as mine, and one more has the stretch frame and a Voyager machine by Hinterberg. I just wish I had a place to leave it set up. It will be ok. BREATHE!

  8. That is a wonderful husband! What a thoughtful, thoughtful, gift.
    Don't worry, you will get the hang of it. I don't have one yet, as I just don' t have the space for it (though my husband has offered numerous times as well), but, everyone I've talked with says it just takes practice and once you get the hang of it, you love it!

    Blessings to you!

  9. What a lucky gal you are and no need to feel badly, you are a good wife, just a little intimidated, you will get the hang of it...really you will and then we all will be trying to keep up with you.

  10. Come over and join us on the Nolting longarm group at

    Mindy Wiley has the most amazing DVD's using Nolting machines

    There are longarm classes online at
    free to join the forum

    It does take time so hang in there. I love my Nolting but I'm mostly a pantograph quilter. I love love pantographs.

  11. i know the feeling...the pressure that comes with a fancy gift like that tears me up. my husband has given gifts in the past that have filled my heart with fear....there is one we don't even talk about because i never use it(pasta maker). are an amazing quilter i am sure that before long you and the fun quilter are going to be great her that should be a fun place to start.

  12. Awww....what a sweetie you have Amy.
    I have the Nolting model before that one. And I loaded my first quilt wrong...couldn't figure it out. Finally through trial and error I did. The previous comments say it so well. Don't give up...practice, practice, practice.
    Also the representative your hubby bought it from should be willing to come out and help you.
    I wish we lived closer...I'd jaunt over there and help you!

  13. Group email...Never done this before. I usually answer each response individually, but I am so overwhelmed with the support and encouragement, it will take me hours to get back to all of you.

    First...A great big and heartfelt THANK YOU! Seriously...I am overwhelmed.

    Looks like many of us were afraid of our new machines. It helps knowing that my fear response isn't totally out of line.

    I will be taking a class but Lance at Nolting suggests (and I talked to Bev, who will be teaching the class, agreed) that I practice for a good solid month before taking the class. I've played with it for maybe 20 minutes so far. I need to get up there and just do it. But not when I am stressed or anxious like I was the other night. I forced myself to go work with it out of guilt. Probably not a good idea.....

    I borrowed a video by Mindy, "I've Got a Longarm and I'm Not Afraid to Use It." For some reason, neither of my computers would play it. It would skip over huge chunks of the video. I finally got the PS3 to play it. The tension section was what I needed to see! I am way less intimidated about messing with the tension now.

    Okay...I need more videos to watch and I need to practice-practice-practice...And remember that I have some sisters who have gone before me and conquered their fears over their longarms.

    I can do this!....Maybe. *grin*

  14. I know you can do it :) Put on some music while you practice and take your shoulders out of your ears from time to time... It gets better every day you work with it. Think of taking baby steps, those babies don't stop trying to walk

  15. Like you I'd be scared but with a husband like that you've obviously got a personal cheering section! Everyone says practice and I know they are right but remember to be forgiving of yourself because you won't be satisfied with what you do for a long time. I'm a newbie at free motion quilting and I still think my stitching looks like a drunk monkey did it but I'm finally at the point that I think the monkey is just tipsy...and that's progress. :) blessings, marlene


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