Sunday, June 23, 2013


I've been doing a little shopping lately for things I need to start using Penelope, my long arm machine. As soon as Joey's 100 Good Wishes quilt is completed, I get to start playing and practicing with my new toy. I thought that I'd show you some of the goodies that have arrived recently.

This iron rest, available at Keepsake Quilting, is something that I've wanted for a long time. I actually had it on my wish list for Christmas but hubby didn't pay attention to the notation that said where to buy it and he bought something else instead that was definitely not this.
Since I make a lot of bigger quilts, I want to be able to use all the space on my ironing board so having the ability to rest my iron off the back edge would be great.  Here it is attached to my board. Much, much better...wouldn't you agree?
Though the above iron rest wasn't a must have for long arm quilting, when I got an email from Keepsake Quilting for 20% off my order, I didn't hesitate any longer. Plus my sister Tina wanted a few things too, including one of these iron rests for herself, so we were able to split the shipping cost.

Back to the topic at hand.....I have a list of needs and wants for my long arm quilting. One of them is a new surge protector power strip. I certainly don't want anything to happen to my machine and with all the crazy thunderstorms we've been having lately, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
My long arm machine came with a few bobbins but not many so a decent supply was definitely required. Knowing that a typical quilt could take 5-10 bobbins to complete, having a measly few just wouldn't do. I got these for a good price from Finishing Touches Quilting Studio. I also ordered from FT a stash of laser light batteries so that I'll be able to use the laser for pantos. The amount I received should last me a really long time.
I also ordered a Towa bobbin gauge. This is one of those tools that is highly recommended since a great deal of the problems long arm quilters have with thread tension stems from the bobbin tension. Being able to have good bobbin tension right from the start no matter what thread I am using will make quilting so much easier and more enjoyable.

The other item in the picture, the 3/4" circle labels...well they are for labeling the bobbins. For my piecing thread spools, I use pipe cleaners to keep the bobbin with the correct spool but I don't want to do that with the bigger cones of thread since they will be in a drawer. I don't want to have to struggle to figure out if the thread on the bobbin matches a specific cone so I came up with this idea. The stickers fit on the top of the bobbin perfectly, can be easily removed before using and I can note the brand, weight and color number and then store them in my bobbin cases neatly.

Penelope doesn't come with a built in bobbin winder, since she was a stretched industrial Singer machine originally, so a stand alone bobbin winder was on my list. I bought this one off of Ebay from Sharp Sewing Supplies.
Besides getting a lot more thread, I'm pretty well set up now for my long arm quilting adventures.  The previous owner included a great deal of the items on my Wants and Needs list so I didn't have to purchase them separately. I do need supplemental lighting over the frame since all I have is the room's center light fixture now but hubs is designing and making something for me that will work perfectly. There are a few other items on my list that I'll let hubs and Santa get me for birthdays and Christmas...micro handles, Bowers lifts, an extension table for ruler work plus I'm sure there will be a few different sets of groovy boards and specialty rulers that I will add to the list over time.

Keep tuned for my first quilting adventures. I'm so looking forward to it. Finally flipping that On switch will make this dream become reality.

5 of you added your own colorful comments:

beaquilter said...

yay! lots of goodies there. can't wait to see your first quilt on the frame, let me know I can be ready for your HELP emails :-) or you could skype me LOL.....

Melinda said...

Wow! You think you've done the big jump by getting the long arm itself, but then you've got to get the many little accessories. Can't wait to see what you do with her!!

Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

I need an iron holder!!!! NQA quilt show is on town later this week...maybe I will find one there !

Lesley said...

Sounds like the countdown is on to start putting miles, er, I mean stitches, on your machine. I have a feeling you are going to love using it!

Rachell said...

I really like my iron holder. it's great for per-washing and pressing large amounts of fabric, before starting to cut into them. and pressing larger quilt tops. I would someday like to make or buy a rectangle-shaped extension to lay on top of my board for that purpose.
have fun!