The Free Motion Quilting Project: Longarm Quilting with Mom and Pop Quilt Shop

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Longarm Quilting with Mom and Pop Quilt Shop

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I'm chatting with Laura-Lynn Fulford, the mom from the Mom and Pop Quilt Shop! Listen to the episode or download it using the player below:

You can also watch the podcast and see what I'm stitching as I share the intro here:

Laura-Lynn is a longarm quilter from Canada. She and her husband share videos on longarm quilting on their Youtube channel Mom and Pop Quilt Shop.

She also has a website where you can check out all of her services. Find it at WeSewIt.Ca.

Laura-Lynn quilts on a Gammill Stattler Stitcher, which is a BIG machine! It's 16 feet all around and she can quilt 24 inches before needing to advance the quilt. She also has automation set up so the computer can drive the machine and stitch out digitized designs.

What struck me immediately about Laura-Lynn is her connection to her community. She's a crossing gaurd, teaches quilting to kids, and quilts for a living. She also does alterations and makes charity quilts for her local fire department.

Laura-Lynn always sewed and her business started naturally a few years ago when someone needed alterations. Then she and her husband decided to make it their retirement income and got a small business loan in order to purchase the longarm and a Janome Horizon 15000.

The biggest part of her business recently has been finishing quilts for people that didn't finish them before they died. These projects sound like a real challenge because they might be in a seriously unfinished state and Laura-Lynn has to figure out how to work with the fabrics, stabilize, and complete the project for the family to enjoy.

That sounds like a lot of work and could be very expensive, but Laura-Lynn tries to work with everyone. She'll barter with customers and accept straw for her chickens in exchange for alterations or other services.

We and I talked a lot about quilt basting on a longarm and basting the batting before layering the quilt top on the frame. She's made a video for you to see how this works right here. 

Laura-Lynn's longarm quilting tips:

- Check your tension with every bobbin. Weird things can happen when you change bobbins so always test off the quilt before getting into the project.

- Baste your batting so the quilt rolls up nice and square.

- Practice! The more you quilt, the better you will get.

I've shared a few videos quilting on my Grace Qnique, but Laura-Lynn was super helpful sharing her tips for setting up my cameras. She uses a Go Pro and sets it up on the handles of her longarm using a bicycle mount. She's also set up a web cam to the top of the machine that films livestreams.

With a name like Mom and Pop Quilt Shop, you know there's two people involved, but Pop is the behind the scenes guy. He helps with editing the videos, designs quilts, and digitizes designs. He's also focused on keeping an archive of their work to leave a legacy behind.

I loved talking with Laura-Lynn and learning about longarming as well as her wholesome approach to business and life. The last thing she said has really stuck with me:
There is always something to be happy about and be celebrated in the future.
Make sure to check out Laura-Lynn's website here and the Mom and Pop Quilt Shop YouTube Channel.

Now for the quilting updates from my neck of the woods...

I finished my gingerbread house! 5 years after it began, this little massively huge cross stitch project is finally finished, stitched and stuffed!

It's such a relief to have this project finished. I was very scared of cutting into the embroidery canvas but thanks to an inspiring comment from Suzi J, I knew I could do it if I stitched carefully and focused on each step.

After finishing the ornament, I fully anticipated taking a break on cross stitch and embroidery for awhile. I was packing away my supplies when I ran across another unfinished project.

This little goddess has been stashed in a bin for over 17 years! She's traveled with me from my home to college to living with Josh, always stuck in this unfinished state.

I largely put her away because I didn't know how to stabilize the edge of the aida cloth. I designed the border as an after thought after stitching the goddess design and got way too close to the edge. It shows just how far my skill and understanding of fabric has changed. Once I saw the problem, I immediately stitched along the edge and fixed it.

I added ribbon around the piece for now. I might pick that out, I might leave it. Mostly that's just stabilizer so I could put her into my embroidery frame and begin stitching.

I've also made some adjustments to her face (she was a bit grumpy before) to lighten her up. I was 16 or 17 when I designed this so...yeah...I'm allowed to change it!

Working on this project feels very different than the gingerbread house. I'm making excuses to work on it more and I'm excited about finishing it. This feels like a project I NEED to finish verses kinda sorta want to finish.

Squares and Sashing is Coming Back

Another project I'm working on this week is a video series for the Squares and Sashing Quilt. I quilted this in several years ago, but after our website change in 2015, I didn't have time to get it updated into a workshop.

But the issues with this quilt went back a bit further. I made this during a time I was very critical and saw only how my work wasn't good enough.

This week I watched the videos and honestly I have no idea what I was so upset about! They're great! I shot a new intro for the workshop along with some basics videos to get you started and I'm looking forward to getting this quilting workshop updated and back on the site in March.

It's easy to get stuck. It's also easy to look at all the ways something doesn't measure up.

Now I look at this quilt and see all the ways it's beautiful and interesting and so different from what I've been quilting for the last few years. It will be a great addition to our Quilt Shop!

Mally the Maker Update

I've set myself a tight deadline to wrap up the final scenes of Mally the Maker, my fiction quilt novel. I identified three scenes that needed the most work in order to finish the book so I'm focusing on those. Reading the scenes out loud made me cringe at first, but then I began editing and polishing and feel a lot better about my writing.

It's kind of like a gemstone - it comes out of the ground looking pretty ugly, but once polished and cut, it's gorgeous. I have a very raw gemstone in this book, but it's going to be great!

Nearing the End of Whole 30

Today is the last day of February so I only have 2 days left of my Whole 30 diet. I feel AMAZING!

I know I've lost weight (I've cheated and weighed myself), I feel smaller and stronger. I've also lost mental weight and I'm moving forward on many goals with less fear, more excitement, and getting away from that STUCK feeling I can no longer stand.

Many quilters commented last week with advice to take care of myself and not push too hard. Burnout and workaholism was a major issue for me in the past.

I do feel pressure to do more of everything: more tutorials, more patterns, more books, more workshops. The quilting world is changing and consolidating and I am a bit worried about how things are changing online.

But I also know that I wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life! It's worth the work, it's worth the push in order to do what I love.

Catch Up on Quilting Tutorials

Speaking of things I love, I finally tackled a quilt design I've been wanting to make for years: Tumbling Blocks!

Come learn how to make a Tumbling Blocks quilt without Y-Seams! Click Here to find the tutorial and free quilt pattern.

We're continuing to quilt new walking foot quilting designs. This past week's tutorial was how to quilt Curving Lines.

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

Look for new walking foot quilting videos posted every Friday during the month of March. Click Here to find all of the videos shared so far.

We have another fun quilting project in the works for this spring! We will begin piecing and quilting the Prism Path quilt on April 2nd.

Yes, we're making another rainbow quilt! I can't wait to show you how to piece this unique pattern with a Bargello quilting technique and quilt it with easy walking foot quilting designs.

Would you like to find the bright rainbow batik fabrics I'm using in this quilt? Click Here to find them in a fat quarter pack.

Would you like to binge listen to the podcast while you quilt? Click Here to find all the podcast episodes and a convenient player so you can listen to them all!

You can also find a playlist of all the episodes on YouTube and watch all the videos shared at once.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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