One last try

November 13, 2012

For the last two days, I have been practicing on the long arm. It is long past time for me to learn to be friends with it or sell it. It's ridiculous for me to have an expensive piece of equipment just sit around and gather dust. On top of that I feel guilty every time I look at it!

Yesterday I gathered up my courage, loaded up a baby quilt and began to practice.

It did not go very well....

I was seeing good stitches mixed in with some terrible ones. 

I would get frustrated and have to walk away.

I would come back to pick out all the stitching and try again. 

There may or may not have been a few tears. 

Today I was going to give it one more last try and if it didn't go well, I was going to put it on Craigslist and get rid of it. 

And, it did not go well. 

Stick a fork in me, I was done.

When Russ got home from work, he asked me if I wouldn't mind helping him load up the frame with some scrap fabric so he could play with it. I got it loaded for him and threaded the machine while he studied the bobbin. He asked if he could tighten it. I was nervous, but told him it was okay. It already wasn't working right so it couldn't get worse. He gave it a slight twist and popped it into the machine. 

"Give it a try, hon, and let's see what happens."  

The clouds parted and the angels sang.....


Front of quilt

It worked perfectly! I didn't have one single problem! 

The bobbin ran out and I put in a new one. 

Still no problems!


Back of quilt

I reloaded the baby quilt and I finished the quilting I began yesterday.

I had zero problems with my long arm. 


I do believe I will be keeping her after all....


  1. Yea! Cue the angels! I'm gonna sing with them. I'm so happy Amy ~

  2. ...and you should keep your Husband ;-) because he's a very clever one!
    Your quilting looks fabulous♥

  3. I am so happy for you Amy! Good job Russ! It looks so lovely.

  4. Hoooraaaayy! And your quilting is marvelous! your loops are so nice and circle-y :) Now you will be quilting up a storm.

  5. I'm so happy you finally won! Yeah Russ! Sometimes just a kind word and a hug helps, don't you think? Now keep at it. Practice, practice, practice, get to know her and soon you will be friends.

  6. So happy for you! Your quilting is beautiful!!!!

  7. Yay!! So beautiful and it looks amazing! Isn't that such a great feeling! ;) xo Heather

  8. Amy. I am NOT a longarm quilter, but I do teach free motion quilting (tomorrow is probably class #46 in the past 5 years) and as soon as I saw your first pic, I thought "bobbin"!!! I am so glad your husband fixed that bobbin tension. Your quilting is beautiful and if I can convince the show management (OSQE in Chicago) to give me internet access, I am going to pull your page up on my laptop so my students can see your work. And the example of how thread issues are not always the fault of the quilter's skills. I am so glad you don't have to sell your machine. Just think how quickly you can finish all those quilts waiting in the wings.

  9. You have a TWO keepers ... your Nolting AND your wonderfully amazing, mechanically minded husband!!!!

    Erin @ dutch girl diary

  10. Amy,
    I think your work is great...and what a wonderfully talented hubby "to boot" !!!

  11. It's beautiful! Sometimes it just takes another set of eyes on the situation. I may have some quilts to give you more practice. :)

  12. First of all...another colorful quilt!! And how lucky your husband took a look at that bobbin!! The quilt looks great!


  13. Good husbands are wonderful! Can I send you my quilt tops?

  14. I'm so glad that you have made peace with your longarm! I've had one since 1994, and they do take some getting used to! My late husband always worked on mine, and then our also late Pastor. A good "fixer" is hard to find. I'm so glad that your husband came to your rescue. Treasure him!!

  15. Glad that Russ 'played' with her and made her happier. Now you are happier, too.

  16. Ok, #1 GORGEOUS!
    #2 Your hubs is a keeper
    #3 I am SO jealous! I seriously would Love a longarm. maybe one day.

    Here's to quilty goodness :)

  17. BAA BAA BAA!
    I'm so happy for you!
    Love it when husbands 'fix things'!
    I'm just a beginner at free motion;I think your stitching is WONDERFUL+I look forward to the day when my stitches look like yours!!
    Now the longarm has a good home for sure!
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Yippee! That's great. :)

    I accidentally typed greta (Greta). Is that a cute name?

  19. What a great story with a happy ending! I'd hang on to that guy!

  20. I'm glad you figured your longarm out. I have a nice quilting sewing machine, but struggle with the stippling/quilting. I've been told I need to keep practicing, but I have limited time to sew. I don't want to use that time practicing! I end up hand quilting which I do enjoy. I need to keep at the machine practice because I like the look of a tight machine quilted stipple effect.

  21. Hi Amy! your quilting looks beautiful...front and back! I know you're excited that you get to keep the machine and quilt your own quilts! Great job!

  22. Amy -- that is fantastic. Hurrah for your husband thinking "bobbin problem".
    Your quilting is awesome. You have a great gift as you can quilt both left
    and right! Which is an wonderful gift!!!

  23. YEY YEY YEY!! So glad you wrote me and told me your success. I have truly been thinking of you too!! and praying you would NOT give up!! I just finished 4 quilts and 5 shams recently, in just a few weeks time. Now, we could just do that much great quilting without a longarm! Or maybe we could but we would be at it 24/7. What kind do you have? I have a Gamill. Last year it started stopping and starting for me and so a few months ago I did have to take it to the "DR"....remember the jump rope rhyme?...ha....well, the "DR SAID" that it needed some work on its "thinker" and so when he fixed that and worked on a few other areas, BINGO! it was fixed! You can always keep a check on the little wheels that let your "thinker" know that they may need replaced so the communication keeps coming! I am not a mechanic, can you tell?....I am just going to dance today knowing of your success. If I do get retreats going in NW Indiana would you ever consider teaching a quilt here? Since you have become a Longarmer now, I might be able to help you become a teacher! and Praise God for Hubs that can figure things out!! wooo hoooo! Quilted Blessings, Kari

  24. I'm so happy for you!! It looks great!!!

  25. WOW. I think he's a keeper, lol. That is GREAT. You must be so pleased Amy!

  26. OH Amy I am so happy everything worked out. I would not trade my long arm for anything. Your quilting looks beautiful.

  27. I really enjoy your blog as I am a newbie to quilting!!!
    Blessings, Deanna

  28. Oh, how sweet! Your husband came to your rescue and it is a happy ending! I am so happy for you! And it looks so lovely! i am glad you are keeping her.

  29. Hi!!! Yaa!!! Glad it worked out!!! Your quilting looks great!!!!

  30. What a sweet hubby you have. Maybe he can start a long-arm least he would know how to fix it! Love your work.

    Happy Sewing!

  31. Your knight in shinning armor saves the day!!

  32. Beautiful quilting with your longarm! I have a friend who also tried and tried with her long arm machine. She had it in the shop, well, actually, several shops, and they couldn't find a reason for her problems. Someone who was visiting her and does upholstery work told her he thought it was the bobbin. She had to purchase a new part for the bobbin, but it is working just fine since. She spent about a year trying to get it right. Now, she is doing beautiful work, too.

  33. Hey Sheepy! I didn't know u had a longarm! You done good, the quilt looks great! What type of longarm do u have?
    I bought a used, one owner 2007 about 18 months ago. Its an HQ 16...Her name is Bessie, ya, like a cow, so I can milk her!
    Just keep thinking that the longarms are really simple but BIG machines. There isn't a whole lot that can go wrong....
    Have u tried a panto yet?
    Keep stitching girl...

  34. How Exciting!!! Better be keeping them both I'd say!

  35. Such a nice husband to fix your bobbin and encourage you to keep trying. Beautiful quilting! :O)

  36. I have a Nolting Hobby Quilter. I bought it used last summer and sometimes I struggle with my quilting looking like yours did! I was surprised to read that your husband tightened the bobbin case. I would have thought the opposite was the answer. I think I may need to try this on my machine!

    BTW, love your blog :).


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