Adventure #1 with the Q’nique Longarm Quilting Machine

We recently got a new Grace Q’nique 14+ longarm quilting machine and frame here at work.

As things happen, the day we were to get lessons from Nathan with Grace, the weather didn’t cooperate. It was a nasty, snowy day. Another editor Tricia, our photographer Mellisa and I were the only people able to attend. We set up a phone so Content Director Carolyn could watch on FaceTime.

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Our Hi-tech Camera Mount

Here’s Mellisa with the phone taped to a tripod with masking tape so Carolyn could see.

That was in January. Things were pretty harried here for the next few weeks, but we’ve finally been able to start quilting on that wonderful machine. We are all beginners so I think it will be fun to watch our progress as the weeks go by.

Below is the Q’nique longarm quilting machine, the frame and my quilt ready to load.

It’s not a special quilt at all. I just pieced together some PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) and strips to make something of a reasonable size. I also pieced the back using PIGS and whatever to make something large enough. I wanted something I could practice on and not feel bad if things didn’t go well.

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Ready? Set? Go!

I did loop-de-loops the first pass across the quilt, but decided that was too ordinary. And it took a long time to get across the width of the quilt. I wanted something that would go faster. And because the quilt was not anything special, it felt okay to change to something else.

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We have lots of samples in our sewing studio so I found a product from that was fun to use. They sell rolls of paper with a longarm quilting patterns on them and it was perfect for what I was doing. There are glue strips at the top and bottom of the roll. I stuck a strip of the #309 waves pattern to my quilt top and followed the line with my stitching.

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I’ve stitched this and it’s ready to have the paper removed.

It took practice to even get close to being able to follow the line. But it gave me the confidence to give something more complicated than loops a try.

I was nearly done with my quilt when I ran out of the waves paper. But, because I’d made a number of passes with the paper pattern, I was brave enough to just “drive” the machine without the help of a longarm quilting pattern.

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See the difference between the top half and the bottom half.

I was following the pattern in the top half of the photo and just doing my own thing,  free-motion, in the bottom half of the photo. There is a definite difference, but again, it’s just a quilt to practice on so the difference doesn’t bother me. I gift most of my quilts to my children and grandchildren and they don’t mind a little weirdness. I just tell them the quilt’s story and they are happy to go with it.

My quilt is done. The binding is on and it’s ready to be put away!

I’m actually very pleased with it and I can hardly wait for my next turn on the Q’nique.

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Ta-Da. Here it is.

I work hard at learning all I can to make myself a better quiltmaker. One of the hardest parts of creating a quilt for me is deciding how to quilt it.

 Adventure #1 with the Q’nique Longarm Quilting Machine

Here’s a book I refer to often when I am stuck.  It’s put out by Quiltmaker and is available at

LoriBaker ProfilePic Cropped 267x300 Adventure #1 with the Q’nique Longarm Quilting Machine

Lori Baker

Lori Baker
Acquisitions Editor: Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts
I’m a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker. I enjoy writing, gardening and reading.  I feel like I’ve been a seamstress nearly forever, but I didn’t start quilting until the mid-1990s. Quilting became my passion almost immediately. 

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4 Responses to Adventure #1 with the Q’nique Longarm Quilting Machine

  1. Brisha says:

    Hi Lori,
    Am I seeing two sewing machines on one frame in the picture? Just curious about it :)
    when I read your blog about Grace Q’nique 14+ longarm quilting machine I was smiling because I felt the same while playing around with Grace Q’nique 21+ longarm quilting machine which I got couple of weeks ago. Installing the table is the hardest task but it’s fun learning this new machine mechanics. All my longarm experience is with APQS longarm machines but ended up buying Grace because it has all the features which I am looking for quilting quickly without spending big bucks. So far so good.
    Good luck with yours.

  2. Karen Ackva says:

    Thank you, Lori for given us some insights to your beginning experiences on the long arm. I think everything seems to be intimidating that first time. With practice, you will become a real winner. Keep on going and don’t give up!

  3. Lori Baker says:

    Yes, there are two longarms on the frame. The folks at Grace set it up that way for us so we didn’t have to do a bunch of adjusting when we wanted to do computer guided quilting designs. We use one machine when we are guiding – the other when the computer is doing that part.

  4. Brisha says:

    oh thanks for the response. That set up is very interesting :) I finished my first quilt on my new Q’nique 21+ longarm. Not sure how I can post the picture here but I would love to.

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