Well, I’ve done it! I bought a longarm quilting machine after wanting one for about 10 years. I had to convince myself that quilting was an activity I’d continue to enjoy before plunking down such a large sum. I bought a Baby Lock Crown Jewel- at a good discount, since it was a floor/demo model. I’ve never used one before. The vendor set it up in my studio and walked away, leaving me a short instruction manual. And I’ve been on a steep learning curve ever since. I hope my experience can save you time and bewilderment if you are ever in the same position.
I had it set with the short set of rails because all I have ever made is wall quilts, baby quilts and lap quilts. I have already learned that the reason I stuck to this size is because otherwise quilting on a domestic sewing machine was so slow, ever for this size, that I didn’t want to tackle a larger quilt. Quilting on the longarm, even with my current inept-ness, is worlds faster, and I will soon have the shorter rails replaces with the longer ones.
This is my view when I get down to quilting:
Here are issues I am learning about, and will address in more detail in further posts:
(1) Lighting for longarm quilting (my photo above shows the lop-sided-ness of my current lighting, obviously not ideal!)
(2) The role of Rulers in long-arm quilting
(3) Why the stitch speed is much greater going horizontally than vertically
(4) How to master free motion with this machine.