Free motion quilting on the Handi Quilter Avante longarm

I want to share my latest accomplishment. This time I made a bed quilt for my kids on my Handi Quilter Avante longarm machine. It took me a little bit of time to make friends with my new machine. I will admit I was slightly intimidated even though I had been trained to use it by the trained staff at Handi Quilter in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a change from my comfortable home machine — moving the machine rather than the fabric — and the speed was just incredible. However, it didn’t take long for me to see the merits of my new friend. I definitely found a new comfort zone.

I don’t typically spend a lot of my quilting time working on traditional quilts, but I promised a queen-size bed quilt to my kids when they got married, 6-1/2 years ago. After I installed the new machine, I thought it was finally time to fulfill this promise. As they say, “I put the pedal to the medal” and didn’t leave my room very much over the next two weeks. By the end of this time, I had free-motion quilted this massive piece. The difference between a longarm and a domestic machine is that you don’t have to fight with the quilt to push it through a small throat space. My shoulders didn’t hurt as I moved the machine over the layers. I found that the technique of free motion quilting is the same whether you are moving the fabric or the machine. Finally the speed of the machine and the fact that I didn’t have to baste the layers was an awesome time saver. I entered the “zone”… and didn’t notice the passage of time. It was really an enjoyable experience.

I am thrilled with the result and my kids are already using the quilt. They too seem very pleased. Here’s a photo of the new quilt.

Queen-size bed quilt