“How-to” articles for beginners

March 10, 2015

beginner longarm, how to mark a quilt top, quilting stitch length, quilt backing, beginner longarm class, APQS, APQS longarm machines,

In today’s blog post, we’re diving into some of our favorite “how-to” articles for longarm newbies! As a beginner, longarm quilting might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!

We encourage you to take advantage of the many “how-to” and tips articles we have that can help you get a handle on longarm quilting techniques. From some of our favorite rulers to finding the right stitch length, our blog has something for everyone – including beginners.

Favorite articles for beginners

Rulers: Before settling on a set of rulers, make sure to spend a few days on your longarm machine exploring freehand techniques.


This Ask APQS article shares some favorite rulers and ruler sets of Dawn Cavanaugh, APQS National Education Director.

How to mark a quilt

Marking a quilt: Chalk, ink, erasable pens and other types of pens are all available options to mark your quilt. Many times meticulous marking is the key to beautiful quilting!

What stitch length is best?

The right stitch length: Finding the “right” stitch length to quilt depends on the quilt! Longarms don’t come with presets for common stitch lengths like most sewing machines. But that allows you more flexibility and creativity! This article gives an overview of stitch lengths for a variety of quilting designs and styles.

2 common backing troubles

Common backing troubles: There are two common backing problems – the backing fabric is too small, or the backing fabric is not square (it doesn’t have to be truly “square,” but it needs two straight edges that run parallel to each other). Read more about how to solve these common backing problems.

Sign up for an APQS Beginner Longarm Class

Another great place to start is by taking one of our APQS Beginner Longarm Classes. In this class, our goal is to teach you the skills you’ll need to accomplish a typical quilting project on your longarm machine. You’ll learn valuable techniques to accomplish your projects creatively and efficiently. This class is mostly “demonstration” – which means we’ll squeeze in as much information as possible!

Thinking about purchasing an APQS longarm machine?

Maybe you’re only just starting to think about purchasing an APQS longarm machine! If that’s the case, two articles called “What is the difference between the 5 APQS longarm machines” and “Which longarm machine is the best buy for me” are great places to start the process.

The APQS Forum and Facebook page are great places to ask questions and talk with other quilters. It’s likely that if you have a question, someone else does too!