Monarch Quilts were very understanding and I took my lesson on Friday.
As it turns out, half of the lesson is spent learning how to mount the quilt onto the frame. I guess that makes sense, since you don't have to baste the thing!
In the above picture, I'm stitching using a pantograph. Basically, after putting everything into position, you stand behind the machine, and look at a laser which is pointed at your pantograph (circled in red below). You trace the design on the pantograph with the laser.
Once I've got the hang of using the machine with pantographs I will take a lesson on doing free-motion quilting on the machine. When you free-motion quilt, you use the handles circled in green below and actually get to look at the needle and the quilt-top as you go.
This is what I really want to do, since (a) I usually prefer quilting that has a relationship to the patchwork, rather than an all-over design and (b) every pantograph I've seen is way too smooth and cute for my taste. I can deal with it for the time being...maybe...or maybe I'll draw my own wabi sabi pantograph.
I will definitely be needing some practice. Here's my progress so far:
You can see that I'm twitchy and tense!
I did 6 short rows in total, this is part of the 5th and 6th. I improved a bit.
Monarch Quilts provided the fabric and let me take it home in order to get more pictures, then bind it. It will be going to Project Linus or a similar charity.