The Care and Feeding of Your Longarm Quilter

The Care and Feeding of Your Longarm Quilter

Longarm quilting machine

I asked Deb, for a longarm quilt-er’s wish list. How can we, her beloved customers, help her make our quilts the best they can be?

Here are her Top 10 Guidelines for better finishes .......

  1. Pressed is best. Longarm quilters love it when we get nicely pressed tops and backing! I normally do not, but some long-armers will actually charge to press a wrinkly top and backing.

  2. If your top doesn't lay flat on the floor, it won't quilt flat. Fullness happens to the best of us, if you know your top has some issues let your quilter know if it's OK to take a "tuck" as needed. We try to hide them as much as possible. There are a few tricks we do to reduce fullness such as steam and starch. We also have certain designs that will reduce it more than others. For example, a heavily stitched pattern or horizontal lines do not reduce fullness, but a nice meander or swirling pattern will. Be open to a thicker loft batting, this helps with fulness as well!

  3. I love your pet, but not in my sewing room. If your top or backing has cat or dog hair, please lint roll it before it arrives at my house. This reduces work for me and helps keep other quilts clean.

  4. Tell your quilter what you'd like for a design if you want something specific. We love surprising you, but if you had your heart set on feathers and never said anything and we chose geometric, both sides are bummed! We want to make your quilt what you want!

  5. Sharing our name/services with your quilty friends is the best thank you ever!

  6. Properly applying your borders is a huge gift to your longarmer! Ruffling borders are very hard to baste down and even harder to keep from puckering. This most often happens when borders are stretched to fit the length of the top as they are sewn on. Better to be a little over and trim than to stretch and create wavy-ness.

  7. Pieced backings are great but keep them straight. We need to attach two sides of the backing to the leaders, if the two sides that need to be attached aren't straight, we have to straighten them which adds extra time.

  8. I will generally pick a thread color that blends with the quilt top, if you'd rather have a color that pops or that specifically matches the backing, let us know.

  9. Needle hazards! If your quilt has embellishments on it please tell us! If our machine runs over something hard it could knock the machine out of timing, which is a big bummer. Please warn your quilter of possible hazards. Better yet, if possible, save the embellishments and put them on after the quilting has been done.

  10. We aren't the quilt police. We don't judge your points, color combos, if your quilt is square, etc. We are happy to be part of your creation!

    Over the years, I have worked with several quilters—mostly in the Twin Cities Metro. All were good at what they do but none of them gave me the care and service that Deb does. And at very reasonable prices. I do appreciate her.

    Sew sincerely,

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