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Thread: Preparing for LA: Top Five "Must" dos

  1. #1
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Hi all... on another thread, it was mentioned that some folks stay stitch around the edges (???) of their quilts before sending them off to a LA-er.

    That got me to thinking. I'm about to send off my first quilt top I ever sewed, a wall hanging, to a LA-er... local, not for competition obviously lol, just to please myself. I'm letting her pick the design/style of quilting...

    What are the top five things that one should 'do' before/when giving a top to a LA-er (or whatever the correct terminology is, sorry!).

    Please educate me. I'd like to be a responsible and considerate quilter...

  2. #2
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    I'd clean off all loose threads so that you don't get any loose threads caught between the top and batting (one gal calls them worms!), make sure the top is squared up and that seams that intersect the edges of the top are still intact. Then make sure backing and batting are about 3 or 4 inches bigger than the top on all sizes.

    Other than that, check with the long-armer you'll be using and ask what he/she wants you to do - some want you to mark the center of all three layers, some may want you to pin the top edge of all three pieces together, some....well, the list goes on.

    I've never stay stitched the edges before taking them for LA quilting since the stitching can inhibit the stretching that the LAer uses when the top is on the machine rollers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Check with your LAer about how much larger she want the back to be - usually it's 3-4" all the way around. If you are supplying your own batting, make sure it is something she accepts, or if you are buying from her inventory, decide what kind of batting you would like for this particular quilt.

    I like the staystitching when the quilt has lots of seams meeting at the border. If the stay stitching keeps the quilt from laying correctly, it's easy to snip a stitch here and there. I just figure that's better than the seams splitting.

    If you smoke or have pets, run your top in the dryer on an 'air' setting with a dryer sheet. If your top is well pressed before this step it will be just fine after.

    Don't 'sandwich' your quilt top. That is usually done on the longarm.

    Have fun and enjoy the process!!

  4. #4
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I have to say I thought you were going to Louisiana not sending your quilt to a long arm quilter. I too will be sending one out this is great information!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Iron the top!!! It will go on the machine much easier and not have any hidden wrinkles.

    Clean up the top of stray threads and lint and pet hair.

    Square up the top.

    and all the rest.

    Oops, check with your LA person. They might NOT want to do your tops if you smoke. This is becoming more common now. I know I won't do a smoker's quilt as my machine in in my home.

    I don't stay stitch the edges of my tops as I do that with longer basting stitches when I put it on the HQ frame.

    ali

  6. #6
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    All of above AND:

    I just did a quilt that had 2 1/2" blocks all around the border......they were coming unsewn, so I had to put them on my machine and do a backstitch stitching. I didn't charge extra because I hadn't stressed to do it. If it had had a solid border with 4 seams, it wouldn't have mattered, but all those blocks had been sewn together in strips, then cut to size......and were coming apart.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions given already. Here are a few other things:

    If your backing is pieced, make sure the selvage is removed and the seam is pressed (check if she prefers open or to one side). Also have the backing square - we can't load it straight on the frame if it's not.

    Communicate your likes and dislikes to the LAer - we're not mind readers. Some people like dense quilting, others prefer looser, more open patterns.....some people love feathers, others hate them.....you get the idea. This will help you not be disappointed in the finished product.

    Measure your quilt along the edges and also through the center - the measurements should be fairly close (no more than an inch or so different.) If your borders have more fabric than the center, we may not be able to quilt the top without pleats and puckers. If you need to know how to add borders so they are the right size, you can see my instructions here: http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm

    Thanks for asking!

  8. #8
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltforme
    I have to say I thought you were going to Louisiana not sending your quilt to a long arm quilter. I too will be sending one out this is great information!!!
    LOL!!!! "Oh, I'm a-goin' to Loui-eeezee-annah, with a Quilt Top on my knee....."... .

    Actually, I bet it would be fun to goto Louisiana... or even Los Angeles.... since I hear there are some 'wicked good' quilters in both places!

  9. #9
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Wow... Okay good responses... you all have my thanks.

    I wonder if I should make up a .pdf sheet of check off points to list A. Things to check with the LA about (amount of extra fabric on edges, density/style/type/thread/etc. of quilting preferences) and B. Quilt prep things (getting rid of worms a.k.a. loose threads, squaring, staystitching if quilt has lotsa blocks or pieced borders at the edges).

    I did press my little ol top, but then had to fold it to put it in the box for mailing. I haven't mailed it yet... I could just fold it down the length wise way, then roll it up from there for less wrinkles.

    That's curious about the smoking thing. I don't smoke, in fact I'm allergic.... I better make sure that my LAer doesn't smoke herself!

    Thanks everyone!

  10. #10
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    ALL the above and make sure there are no pins left in....my wife was quilting one tonight and luckily she found a pin before she ran over it. Its for the safety of your top and the LA'er

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