Lighting is such an important issue in working in the studio. I sometimes forget how important it is, until something changes and I’m reminded.

This week I was again reminded of lighting’s importance.

Friends of ours came down for race week from Canada again this year and we totally enjoy their visit. This year I had an extra special gift given to me. One of them is an electrician and last year while viewing my studio commented on my lighting issues and that he knew what I needed to fix it. I didn’t think too much of it. I trusted that he did know what I needed, but to look a year in advance awaiting something just isn’t in my nature to do. This year when he came down, he brought new lighting and I was thrilled!!!!!! Today I got to work under the new lighting for the first time. Barry, I can’t thank you enough! (and you too Chris)

Before, with the old lighting, I could see very well when I needed full light, but shadow light was almost impossible. I had tried several different lights and none worked. Shadow lighting is needed when you match thread very closely to the quilt top, then can’t see what you’ve quilted and what you haven’t. And as I’ve got a Gammill (longarm quilting machine) with a 12′ table, it can become an issue very quickly.

To illustrate, this is a play piece, not an actual quilt top, one of the most important things in longarm quilting is PPP, known either as practice, practice, practice or practice, perseverance, and patience depending on who you’re talking to. Before the new lighting, this is what I would see with the full daylight fluorescents overhead:

As you can see, the stitches sink in so deeply and the thread matches so closely, they are almost impossible to see. After a little while, my eyes would start to burn and strain and I’d be done for the day long before I wanted to stop.

Now with my new lighting, again THANK YOU BARRY, this is what I see:

Lighting is so important!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m a happy quilter tonight! And I think I’m going to go play (I mean practice) some more on the machine as I can see so well now!

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