I have only a single regret in my quilting life. I sold a favorite machine.
In 1990 I took my first Free Motion Quilting class and it changed my life! I still have the first quilt and I'm proud of the work. I have come a long way since then. I counted the first 30 quilts I made, then lost track. I have made small quilts [12" x 12" and smaller], really big quilts [100"+ x 100"+] and every size in between.
In 1997, I pieced and quilted a large twin quilt for a neighbor's son for his birthday. I didn't take the time to rearrange my quilting table and injured my back with poor posture. Since then, every time I attempt to spend much time quilting, I pay for it. I would try to quilt for 20 minutes at a time. Not a good way to get things accomplished.
I started Free Motion Quilting with my domestic sewing machine, but found visibility to be an issue as well as the small throat space. I graduated to a larger throat machine [up to 11"] and that improved my quilting abilities a lot, but things still were not perfect.
Around 2007, I bought myself a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. The machine has a 16" throat and it is set perpendicular to the quilter on the table. This seriously changed how I quilted. I loved how I had lots of hand space and could spread out my quilt for easy movement. The other improvement was the needle position. On my domestic machines I was often scrunching so I could see behind the needle for stitching backward. The Sweet Sixteen solved that issue as I had clear visibility all around the needle and the foot.
I still found that I was struggling with my big quilts. I could easily handle smaller lap size quilt, but the biggies were getting to me. Four years ago I sold my Sweet Sixteen and upgraded to a Handi Quilter Avante on a 12' frame. So much room to quilt and so much easier than struggling with the quilt.
But, I regret selling my Sweet Sixteen. I had a tear in my eye as I watched it head away from my house. The sale of my beloved machine helped me to purchase the Avante, but there are times when sitting to quilt a small project is like coming home.
I am trying to quilt on a domestic machine. I am struggling. I have taken the center stitching out 2 times and now have taken a break before I pick up my seam ripper for the third time.
And to top it off, look what I found on the back side this morning. My backing fabric has folded over and been quilted in the feathers.
So, I'm taking a break and giving my poor back a rest. I'm going to spend the afternoon delivering quilts to customers and loading something on my Avante and Frame while I pout! The frustrating thing is that I do need to do this project on a domestic machine.
I WILL QUILT THIS QUILT ON A DOMESTIC MACHINE, and report my success soon!