I returned home from the Machine Quilter's Showcase (MQS) on Saturday evening. It was a long, tiring week, but loads of fun and lots of new techniques learned. My quilt "Arabesque" even won a second place ribbon for Wholecloth Traditional! I'm thrilled to say the least! Arabesque is my first national contest winner. My brain is stuffed full of ideas for future quilts - if only I can find the time to try them all out!
The class I took on longarm machine maintenance was really good. My poor Gammill has been asking for help for a while now, but I couldn't figure out what it needed. Now I know! This past winter I knew that my old bobbin case was needing replacing and I had bought a new one, but it didn't seem to fix the problem. After taking this maintenance class I found out that I had purchased the wrong case :( I've bought another new case and hopefully that will solve the problem. At least I'll find out today when I get back to quilting. I could have probably fixed the problem with purchasing a new tension arm for the old case, but I didn't know that at the time. I also bought a TOWA Tension Gauge and will see how much of a difference that makes.
I'll be making new zippered leaders for my machine in a few weeks and will post a tutorial on that method. I bought heavier zippers at the show to replace the ones I now have on the machine.
Shopping at MQS was loads of fun! I spent way too much money, but I also stocked up on thread to save on shipping charges. I now have enough thread to last quite a while. I also bought a few tools for quilting and designing, and books for inspiration, color theory, and just for fun. Playing with all the machines on the vendor floor was also fun. The computerized systems are amazing! I'm not in the market at the moment, but who knows what the future holds.