I will admit to enjoying some of the rhetoric about what has become a passion for me. I am not quite what is considered the norm when associated with quilting, quilters and longarms. So from my perspective, a man, a Marine, a Vietnam combat veteran, a retired law enforcement officer, wood worker, a PantoVision Trainer and an Executive Staff Member of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, who has the free hand, free motion and artistic talents of an ostrich; I give you this.
My wife, when longarming is using a 22" Innova with the Standard Stitch Regulator and PantoVision on a 12' Table. I on the other hand am using a power tool connected to a pattern delivery device that is transmitted via a Samsung Computer Tablet operating Windows 7 sitting atop an aluminum erected structure and rail system for X and Y Axis maneuverability. It is because of the pattern delivery system, PantoVision, that I am now referred to as a longarmer. If ABM hadn't brought pantos into the 21st Century I'm listening to Elaine longarm from the Man Cave while I watch golf, rugby and football. And she would probably be doing it on a Gammill. I'm not certain but I think throwing five year old temper tantrums when she was leaning towards Gammill may have influenced her decision to buy the Innova. That and an ABM employee and a new and first dealer in Virginia helped.
As previously stated, I am not an artist. Not in a former life, not now, not ever. My artistic talents involve tracing, copy and paste and asking Elaine to draw it. So PantoVision is the tool I use to transfer the artwork of someone else, in my case two favorites being Jessica Schick and Dave Hudson, to cloth instead of wood. I also have an array of rulers and devices that I attach to the foot that allows me to maintain some resemblance of consistency when quilting circles, straight lines and diagonals if needed. For those I thank Teryl Loy in Utah. But PantoVision is the main system I will use until I can't longarm anymore. I think I have become quite proficient. So here is my take.
Using Panto has absolutely nothing to do with following the line. You follow the pattern. The problems, the frustrations and the dissatisfaction with the results you see on your quilt is directly related to following the line. There is no need to follow the line. Free motion quilters have the ability to relay what they see in their head to the needle and onto the sandwich; there is no line to follow. PantoVision gives me on the screen what I can't see in my head, a pattern to follow. Your trouble begins when you try to 'follow the line. Try it...load any pattern that has straight lines. It is a guarantee you'll get off the line and try to get back on it and the next thing you know you have waving lines or lines that look like lightning bolts. You don't have to stay on the line you just need to follow the pattern and what is relayed to the sandwich will be a nice smooth line of stitching of the pattern. Which is what you're trying to do, what the free motion quilter does. Put a pattern of stitching on the quilt. Trust me on this.
Regarding PanotVision that's all for now...If you've gotten this far I have taken a lot of your time and I apologize. Those that know me know I get a tad bit wordy. Oh but I do have one more thing.
A Quilt of Valor is not now, not ever, never has been nor will they ever be 'charity quilt'. The last thing the men and women that deserve the Award of a Quilt of Valor need is charity. The Quilts of Valor Foundation provides comfort and healing for the service members and veterans who have been touched by war. Please don't forget that.