Many quilt piecers are envious of quilters who are lucky enough to own a longarm quilting machine. I used to be one of those envious piecers myself. I consider myself very fortunate to have a quilting machine and be able to use it for a business that I love. However, there are some days that are not so rosy for the longarm quilter. I experienced two of them this past weekend. Besides knowing how to run the quilting machine, one has to know how to fix it. When your domestic sewing machine acts up or breaks, you can just put it in the car and run it to the nearest sewing machine repair place. That is not the case with a longarm machine. There usually isn’t a local repair person who can fix longarms and if there is, it requires some major manhandling to get your heavy quilting machine off the table. You have to first remove the take up roller since it sits in the throat of the machine. Then if your repair person has a longarm table that will work with your machine, maybe you’re in luck. Otherwise, he’ll have to make a house call and we know how expensive those can be. The other option is to box up your quilting machine and ship it back to the manufacturer to have it fixed. That isn’t a very viable option if you’re running a quilting business and can’t afford the down time involved. And it can be expensive to ship as well. So the best thing to do is to get to know your quilting machine really well and learn how to repair it or tweak it when it acts up. After twenty years, I’ve gotten pretty good at machine repair and maintenance. But the machine got the best of me this weekend. My husband and I timed and re-timed it trying to get it right. I’ve read manuals and notes from longarm maintenance classes and searched online for answers. I’ve got a couple of parts on order and hope to have my machine behaving properly in a couple of days. The moral of the story is that if you’re afraid of  fixing a quilting machine yourself, you should probably just keep piecing and leave the machine quilting to the professionals.