I taught the APQS beginning longarm quilting class yesterday with three awesome women! We had a wonderful time but my voice is so tired from spending the day sharing all I could about basic longarm quilting.
This class is day long intensive class is included free with every new APQS machine purchase. Dawn Cavanaugh wrote a wonderful curriculum for the class that gives such great structure and outlines a ton of information to cover. I know my students today walked out the door feeling much more confident in their abilities. We even watched one of Dawn’s videos on the APQS Youtube channel she did that covers needle flex and how the hook operates. Be sure to check out the other great videos on the channel.
They asked me to share some of my favorite tools, notions, books and sites that I love. So… I thought I would put my list here for anyone else who might be interested too. This is sort of like Oprah’s Favorite Things, well except you won’t get any of these items free. YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! But, hey, go on and check under your chair just in case. 🙂
I use an air compressor to blow out the bobbin area instead of the canned air I used to use. Plus, it works great blowing up my kidlet’s bike tires.
We talked about the different ways to load a quilt. I recently put zippers on my frame and I’m so in love with them! (*note: I’m now using LeaderGrips which you can purchase in my online shop). I bought my zippers and installed them using Darlene Epps wonderful tutorial on how to install zippers.
I started out with the Quilting with Lines book from Pam Clarke. I use the Machine Quilting Stencil- both the small and the large. I also use all of the line stencils. You can find all the stencils in my online shop. You’ll need some pounce pads too. I like the iron off one but sometimes white won’t show up so you’ll have to use the wash off one. Just wash the stencil between the colors so you don’t accidentally set the wash off one’s color onto your top.
My favorite quilty internet hangouts are the APQS forums and MQR resource. The talent of the quilters on those two sites is simply inspiring. Be sure to subscribe to the APQS YouTube channel and “like” APQS on Facebook. You’ll find helpful maintenance tips and other tips there.
The keep up with all the inspirations, I use a free application, Evernote. I wrote about how I use this program in On Track magazine. Evernote allows me to clip quilting inspiration and place them in notes which I can tag with multiple words. I can then sort those tags when I’m looking for something specific. I can collect anything, photos, articles, techniques, pdfs, anything. Later, I don’t have to rely on bookmarks or memory. I use Evernote almost every single day and in almost every single customer consultation.
My favorite marking tool is the Marvy Erasable Fabric Markers. I was introduced to these markers by Ruthie and I’m so thankful! I now buy them by the dozen. I use the Clover eraser pen along with it to take out any marks as necessary.
Other great beginner books are the Pocket Guides to Freehand Quilting by Darlene Epp. She is also an APQS dealer and is incredibly willing to offer her help in any way she can. Someday I’d love to meet her in 3D!
I am also enjoying Leah’s 365 Days of Freehand Fillers and Vicki’s Field trips. My favorite internet newsletter is from Bob over at Superior Threads. He intertwines thread knowledge in tidy bits that really help build your thread knowledge. I especially like the article that shows visually how to tackle tension issues. The article that tackles the myth that scares people away from polyester threads is really helpful.
My last favorite thing to share is small Wacom tablet that I use to draw on photos of quilt tops inside my paint program on my computer. The tablet allows you to use a pen instead of a mouse to move the cursor on your computer screen. It plugs in with a basic usb port. You can use any paint program but I happen to have Photoshop so I use it. But you could use any paint program you’ve got on your computer. I can draw designs on photos I’ve taken with my digital camera and audition ideas. I can even send these ideas to my clients to see if they like the direction I’m headed if that is appropriate.
So… thanks for joining me for my Favorite Things! I know this was a long post and if you’ve read all the way to here well… YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! 🙂
Do you have any favs to share? Let’s hear them in the comments.