I can safely say, I am now past the half way mark with the quilting on "My Texas Bluebonnet". Needless to say, there is still a bit to do, but I thought I'd post a pic as it came off the frame in preparation of turning it, so that I could do my borders on the other 2 sides. I have tried doing the quilting on the vertical, and nope, it just doesn't happen for me in any relatively neat fashion. So for the small inconvenience of turning the quilt, my pay off is, sides that I am happy to look at that actually resemble the first 2. Maybe when I've been long arm quilting for 50 years, I might be able to do the vertical quilting thing on borders!!!
I wanted to also share a little tip I picked up on the internet. For the life of me, I can't remember who's blog or web site it was shared on, so my apologies for that. It was on a long arm related site, (doesn't narrow the field down much does it??) Now I don't usually clamp my sides like this, but if I did it as usual, you wouldn't actually see anything. (I only clamp to the backing) For those less familiar with long arm quilting, the side clamps are (coupled with a couple of other really cool tricks) very useful for keeping the backing taught, but not overly. They help prevent the sag. The clamp at the top is really good and works well. But sometimes I do have a few hang ups with it, especially if I have my extended base on for ruler work. I crash into it sometimes with the base and it tends to make the stitching skew if. The pin pads underneath that you see attached to the elastic straps, work well when the base is on, as I can get virtually right up to the edge, without any interference. Both clamping systems have their benefits. The top clamps, clamp a wider area of fabric, the bottom pin tension clamps, allow up close to the edge work without any hassles. Easily made with just a bit of interfacing inside to strengthen them, because they are going to take a lot of pinning! That's it for now, so until next time, happy quilting.-Julie.