I want to have a serious post for a brief moment so please bear with me. I own a Voyager 17 quilting machine and a Hinterberg Stretch frame. I love them both. I purchased them after researching machines and prices, options, etc. Since I am only quilting for myself, out of my newfound passion and since it's rare to "treat" myself to anything big, I purchased it. I have had this almost 9 months now. It's taken me a good 5 months to even get it set up and once up, I've only had the opportunity to play with it (maybe the better word is practice) for about 2 months on and off. Not nearly as often as I'd like.
I purchased this from Mindy (http://www.atqsales.com/) who is a wonderfully helpful source of information. I am only sorry that at the time of purchase, she was moving her studio from MD to PA. I have, as of yet, been unable to attend the seminar for beginners on this machine. No matter, I had confidence that if I follow instructions and if I continue to reference the DVDs on this machine (also manufactured and produced by Mindy and her husband Lars and sold on her site), I would eventually get the hang of it. Truth be told, I think I'm too impatient or I've finally found an area where I'm so full of self-doubt I'm questioning myself.
Did that last statement sound odd? Let me explain. I believe there's a learning curve for everyone. I believe where there's a will there's a way. I am certain I will one day be a wonderfully talented quilter. I know that day is not today. I need to remind myself of my basketball playing days when I was in school. I was not the most talented player but I became a three-year varsity starter based solely on my passion for the game and my hard, hard work. This is no different. I need a coach. Mindy's DVDs are wonderful and they are great but in this instance for me (and I don't mean to say it's the same for everyone so if you are thinking of a mid-long arm purchase, please do more research based on your own personality), I've discovered there's no substitute for hands on learning. I need the coach to teach me how shoot the ball correctly. I need the coach to look at what I'm doing and explain where it can be better. I need the coach to explain what the heck she meant when she said don't make the side tension on the quilt too tight. What is too tight? What is too loose? -sigh-
Now that I've figured out I need the coach, I've found time is, once again, against me. I work full-time and have 3 kids. DH is working in another state right now. Kids and I are going to visit him for the next couple months and my sister will be staying in my home for the remainder of the summer. My V17 will be with her, unused and silent. No practice time for me. Since this thought depressed me, I realized I should just schedule myself for a class when I return and can get there. With high hopes, I check the schedule on her site but it won't work out this summer. It's too far to travel and I'm truly sad. I hope she schedules a beginners class soon for Sept. but I'll have to be patient again since she has nothing listed for the fall yet at all. I'll have to continue to bide my time and practice, when I can, on my own when I can get back to my Voyager.
Alas, my finished quilt tops will continue to multiply and with any hope, I'll have practiced enough to feel comfortable enough to create finished quilts on my machine in time for the Christmas gifts I'd like to give out (for my kids, is that too much to ask?) I pray I have enough patience to remember hard work and practice is the only way it will look the way I want and that it is not a matter of "just doing it".
Phew... thanks for the patience, this post was more for me than you. However, make no mistake about it, if I could get Mindy to come to my house at my convenience to give me a private lesson, I WOULD. But, real life isn't like that. She has a business to run and as any customer, I have to find a way to get to her if I want to learn in the class offered. And I will, don't you worry about that!