My quilting endeavors begin and end with placemats, table runners and tote bags. How do I quilt the rest of my quilts? I take them to the longarm quilter. I say this with no guilt or shame. When students in my classes ask – I speak the truth!
The woman who “quilts my quilts” is very talented, and she is also my friend. When I visit her studio it’s fun to check out the latest quilt on her machine. On occasion, she gets a quilt that has problems, which adds time (and sometimes additional cost) to the service. To avoid some of the most common problems, here are a few tips to keep in mind before heading off to your longarm quilter:
- press your top and back thoroughly
- ensure the top and back are square
- the back should be a minimum of 4” wider and longer than the top (check with your quilter – some have different minimums)
- check your seams for holes or gaps – they should be securely sewn
- trim dark colored threads from the back of the top (especially important if the top fabric is white or light colored)
- avoid “ruffled” borders by measuring your quilt top through the center and using that measurement to cut your border strips
- if you’re going to do a scalloped border, mark where the scallops will be and cut them after quilting (it’s much easier to put straight sides on the machine)
I acknowledge all of you ambitious souls who do your own quilting – either by machine or hand. You have my utmost respect and admiration! And last, but certainly not least, thank you to the talented longarm quilters who make our quilts even more beautiful with their artistic stitches. Many of us would be stuck in the ditch without you!
PS Congratulations to Deborah, the winner of the little wallet giveaway from my April 26 post. Thanks for your super gift bag idea!