Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to move a Longarm Quilt Machine – DON’T DO IT ALONE!!!

(and don't include alcohol or easily excitable friends!!)

Next came moving day. Like any quilter preparing to begin a new project, I organized. I read article after article about longarms. I prepared with blankets, tools, men (at least 3), trucks, trailer, moving van? I was getting overwhelmed fast. Hopelessly stuck – and here is where quilters are a unique group – one of my friends (a longarmer from Hemet CA) graciously volunteered her husband to organize and help move this behemoth. She said he had moved her Gammill three times and was an expert. Easy Peasy! Right! In my mind I knew with such an expert, this would be no problem. Well – right! Did I have a lot to learn.

So today we moved it. I figured you just picked it up, put it in the truck and drove it home. Popped it in the house, plugged it in and started quilting. Oh was I wrong – soooo very wrong. These machines come delivered from the company in 3 CRATES. YES, CRATES that are 12 feet long. I didn't know that before I took on this – guess I choose not to think about it. Needless to say Baby had to be taken apart to get out of her former home, and then further disassembled to get up my steps and into my house. All the time three men were unbolting, unscrewing, disassembling pipes, bars, plastic, light bars, and anything else they could get their wrenches on. All I could do was stand and pray to God someone would know how to put all the pieces together again. Yes, please let someone say they could put it all back together again.

Well, so far today Baby is inside her new home. Not dropped, scratched, or bent. All the pieces are lying quietly in the living room while the table and the quilting machine ‘head’ is in the den. This is no walk in the park. I don’t know why any quilter would volunteer her husband to help move a longarm. This is a test of patience; finding the right tool when you need it; leverage physics, blankets, balancing, and an awful lot of sweat. I swore if I ever sell my house, it will have to be to a quilter and the Gammill goes with it! Thank God my sons weren't here or there would have been pieces of a very expensive machine all over the pavement. But Baby is in now. Not put together, but inside and safe.

After my friends left, I was so tired, I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep, but NO – friends and neighbors knew the machine was coming today, so guess what? Just like when you have a new baby at home, everyone has to come by and visit. What does the new baby do? Sleep. So I had the pleasure of showing off Baby unassembled and quite honestly, not as impressive (other than size) as they all thought Baby should be. I had to explain she’s not assembled, which means they will all have to come back and inspect the next phase. That will be tomorrow…maybe. We will have to see if Dave and Nancy have the guts to return to the scene of the crime and if any of us can actually move or bend after yesterday. This was not for the faint of heart. I realized you really have to love this to go through this, notwithstanding using friends to help bear the torture.

It made me wonder about all the longarms I see advertised for sale on the internet in towns all over the country I didn't know existed. How in the world do these things get packed, shipped, and assembled by the totally unsuspecting? Thank you God for quilting friends who just roll up their sleeves and say “we can get this done.” So, what do you think tomorrow will bring? Will we find all the parts? If we do, will any of us senior citizens remember where they go? Don’t know. That is for another day. All I can say is thank you Dave and Nancy, thank you God, and pray for us all. These are the times that try quilter’s souls . . . to be continued . . . 

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