Drh took Monday off anticipating we would pick up the Jewel that day. He had been putting baseboard trim in the sewing room that day, and halfway through the day, he called and said that we really should paint, too. So when I got the call that the machine was in, I left work early, went to buy paint, and met him at the shop. YAY - all the boxes were ready to go. He took them home in the truck, and I stayed and talked to the shop owner, sweet Ms. V, for another 1/2 hour asking questions. It seemed to me that it would be a huge mind-bender to learn how to use it, but she was very assuring.Monday night we finished painting (I mostly helped by making meatloaf and roasted potatoes while drh painted), so the assembly didn't begin until Tuesday. He took off another day of work to do this! Isn't that nice? (I think today he's finishing up the closet trim, too!) By the time I got home Tuesday, the Jewel was ready to go. Then came about 3 hours of both of us reading directions, installing the cloth leaders, figuring out the laser placement, threading, watching instructional videos, consulting with each other on how to do things, biting nails in trepidation, and finding two pieces of fabric big and expendable enough to be the practice quilt. For batting, I used that crib-size piece I'd ripped out of Baby G's quilt. We loaded it on the frame and it was about 9:30, but I did get to practice and made my way across the first span of the fabric. I was pretty amazed at how easy and quickly it went. Wednesday night I helped with beginning runners again, ate supper (crockpot pork chops with sauerkraut, apples, onions and hard cider - mmmm!), managed to rehang pictures, put away a few more things in the sewing room, and roll up a notch and quilt the next span. Then it was bedtime. Boy, these evenings have been going quickly.
Last night I went running at the lake. Drh came and met us for hamburgers, so there was no dinner cleanup. The last two spans of quilting went very fast. I took the quilt off the frame about 10, went to bed and slept like a rock.
So I can officially declare long-arm, free-motion quilting to be a fun thing to do, and easier than I thought!
My coworkers went to buy some fabric on their lunch hour, so I sent this with them and said they could choose something for the binding. I hope they have fun!