You all know how long it took me to decide to add robotics to my longarm. Part of the reason I hesitated was because of my fear of the learning curve. Turns out, even though the ProStitcher is a powerful program with monster capabilities it’s also pretty user friendly for the scared and not so skilled longarmer. Specifically, me.

I started by learning how to do an edge to edge design. I choose what looked like a pretty easy design – no backtracking, no wrapping of the design, not too big, not too small…..juuust right. After I picked the design I wanted to use I loaded up one of my Mom’s quilts and hit the Go button. Okay, there’s not really a Go button, it’s more like a >Quilt>Run button. And there’s a bit more to it than just loading a quilt and pressing a button, but I won’t bore you with the details. Basically you tell the computer what area you want to quilt, set up the design (which involves fitting the design to the area by making it larger or smaller), choose a start point and then press that >Run button.

E2E digital pantograph

Mom’s quilt turned out really pretty. The design I used was the perfect choice. I even braved using a darker thread on the light fabric back and I’m soooo glad I did. It really lets the design show on the back, and I think the back is almost as pretty as the front.

e2e digital pantograph

I had a few mistakes on this first quilt. My biggest mistake was marking the area for quilting. Turns out when doing an E2E design, you should mark your area about an inch bigger than the quilt on the sides, the top, and the bottom. Because I didn’t do that the design began shifting on the quilt top each time I advanced the quilt. This shifting occurs for two reasons. First, if the top isn’t the same width all the way down the quilt. By the time I got to the bottom of the quilt, the design had moved in about half an inch.

Second, it turns out this also happened because of the way I moved the design on the screen when advancing the quilt. So, lesson learned. In the end, after adding the binding to the quilt my mistake wasn’t even noticeable. But it was a lesson I needed to learn and I’m glad it happened on this first quilt.

There is a lot more to learn about edge to edge quilting. Figuring out the size of the design in relation to the quilt top will come with more practice and experience. Even though the ProStitcher allows you to see the design full size, it’s difficult for me to make the visual translation from screen to quilt top.

I feel like the size of the flowers on Mom’s quilt was okay – not too loose, not too dense. Again, juuuust right! 🙂 Later I did an E2E on another quilt where I think the design is a bit too big. The quilt looks good, but a smaller design might have been a better choice.

feather swirl digital design
This design looks a bit too big

I hope you don’t get tired of reading about my adventures with the ProStitcher. I know that I would have loved to have read posts like this when I was considering making the purchase, so hopefully what I write will help someone else who may be holding an internal “should I, shouldn’t I” debate.

In other news, I’m excited to announce that Bernie of Needle & Foot has started carrying a couple of my patterns in her Etsy shop. Thank you Bernie! She is the second shop owner to carry printed copies of my work, and I was just so pleased when she contacted me. So hop over to her Etsy shop by clicking this link, and check out all the great fabrics and patterns she has available!

Finally, I’m going to brag for just a tiny minute. Our local quilt show began on Saturday, March 9 and I entered “A Little Less Grunge”. It won Best Machine Quilting! How exciting is that?? I haven’t made it to the show yet to see all the beautiful quilts, but it’s high priority on my list of things to do this week. If you have a chance, go on down to the Blennerhassett Museum and check out the show. It runs through March 17th, and there are always fantastic quilts hanging at this show.

Grunge quilt featuring curved crosshatch quilting
“A Little Less Grunge”

This week I’ll be quilting like a crazy mad worker bee, trying to keep ahead and on schedule with the quilts I have to do. I would also like to do some piecing – I have fabric cut so maybe I can sneak in some sewing. My ‘one seam a day’ plan hasn’t worked out real well, but I’m optimistic I can turn it around. 🙂

What are you working on this week? It’s time for you to share the projects that have you excited to be in your sewing space. You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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