“How-to” articles for beginners

September 25, 2022

Longarm quilting machine needle stitching a blue quilt

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. You can also sign up for our email newsletter to stay up today on the most recent posts.

How do longarm quilting machines work

A longarm quilting machine is a bit of a throwback to the simple straight stitch machines of yesteryear – just much, much bigger. It offers one stitch and one stitch only – the straight stitch. It doesn’t have a needle that moves left or right of center and there are no feed dogs. The beauty of a simple longarm quilting machine is its size, its powerful motor and the unique way the quilter moves the machine over the fabric. Keep reading.

How to select marking tools for your quilt top

Choosing the right marking tools for your quilt top will help you feel confident when you go to your machine to mark. In this video blog post we cover the pros and cons of different types of marking tools. View now.

Tips for loading your quilt

You’ll want to make sure your backing, batting and top are square, you have at least 4” extra on each side for backing and batting. Also, double-check to make sure you’ve loaded everything straight with no loose areas. Finally, remember to follow the right quilting order: ABC – Advance, Baste, Clamp. For how-to articles about loading a quilt onto your APQS longarm quilting machine, visit this page.

How to choose the perfect thread for your longarm quilting project

Your quilt is loaded onto the frame and you’re ready to quilt – but first you have to choose your thread! There are so many choices – how do you pick? The first question is to ask if you want your quilting to blend in or stand out. If you’re a new quilter or the quilt is quite busy, a thread that blends might be the ticket. Keep reading.

Plan your design

Have a plan for the quilting. Try out one new quilting design/motif on each quilt and have the rest be something you are confident in doing. That way most of the quilt looks really good, but you’ve stretched yourself. This article has some great ideas on how you can “audition” design ideas on your quilt

Things to consider before purchasing longarm quilting rulers

Selecting the proper tools for your quilts can be overwhelming. Follow along with APQS Dealer and Educator Lauren Jackson of Bold Notion Quilting as she shares her tips about quilting with rulers. This is a great resource to make sure your tools are versatile and ready to grow with you!

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?

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!