Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Thursday, December 4, 2008


A client asked me the other day how I cope with things I might not know how to do. Like, "Can minkee and a high loft batting be used together and turn out alright without any issues with the machine?" or "My machine is making a funny noise, what is wrong with it and how do I fix it?"

My answer? I belong to several online groups for quilters.

Quilt In A Day has a really helpful community. They were the first one I joined, and the quilters on there have all sorts of knowledge from the pros and cons of different machines to where you can buy thread the cheapest.

One lady I met on QIAD referred me to several other online groups.

Quiltropolis, which I don't go to often enough. I did sign up to get all of the messages emailed directly to me, though, and the members discuss a whole range of topics from quilting basics to who has cool quilting videos on YouTube.

Yahoo! Groups has a couple of longarm groups that I joined: Home Quilting Systems, and Gammill Owners. The Gammill Owners group has been a godsend! My technician up in SLC doesn't often return my calls as speedily as a normal person would prefer, so this group has become my go-to whenever I have a technical problem with the Gammill. They also have a lot of great advice for dealing with problem quilts, different fabrics and threads, and quilting techniques.

Home Quilting Systems is a more general longarm group. Members have a variety of machines. But, same thing as with Gammill Owners: if you ever have a problem with a quilt, finding a pattern, or need help finding a good deal on thread or supplies, these members will help you out.

It's so nice to know that there are support systems out there online, because when I started doing this full-time I really thought I was basically on my own. I quickly learned that no one can do it without some type of support. Even the moral support the members give each other is great. If I didn't love quilting so much, and feel like this was seriously my life's calling, I don't think I would be able to do it without the members of these great online groups. Most of them you don't even need to be a longarm-er to join...just a quilter who wants help or tips or whatever. If you don't belong to a group of some sort, I strongly urge you to look into one of the online groups available.