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Thread: quilting

  1. #11
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I am not very good at the quilting either. I usually do a stitch in the ditch or diagonals across the quilt (now that I have fancy stitches on my new machine it's not as boring) I have never hand quilted, I figure If I hand time to sit and hand quilt, I should work on my first love of cross-stitching (which has been set aside for a while) It has not been in my budget to have someone else do the quilting for me, though I do have a queen size flannel quilt that I am considering sending out. I have done quite a few (10) queens on my regular sewing machine. I need to learn to use the BSR foot on my machine and "go for it"

  2. #12
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I've been qmaking tops for about 10 years. I quilted the smaller ones on my sewing machine. I did a queen size myself on my DSM (domestic sewing machine) and said never again!! I then started hiring a longarm quilter, and she did my stuff for about 6 years, and did a beautiful job. She decided to retire, and I decided to start my next career: I bought a longarm last year, and have been quilting for hire since then.


  3. #13

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    The ladies that have long arm machines....would you rather do pantos or stippling and free motion? And how many quilts did you have to do to feel confident enough to start a business? I'm no good using a regular machine to quilt so is it easier with a long arm? What I'm trying to get at is, since I have no talent to begin with, is it easier to learn with a long arm machine?
    I ask too many questions but I am interested in the long arms.

  4. #14

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    I like doing it all on the longarm....stippling, freehand, stencils but prefer custom because that's what I did when I hand quilted.
    You can't ask too many questions!! The one question you don't ask will be the one to come back and bite you in the rear end.
    I was comfortable after about the first 6 quilts but that isn't the same with everyone. I never took a class either like most of the people that do this. I haven't been around other quilters. I learned by going to webshots and seeing what other people are doing.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I started with plain muslin, then charity quilts. Then my own. The customer quilts came after that. Many of the quilt shops have longarms available to rent. It's a great way to see if it's for you!

    Just as important as being able to quilt, is the ability to run a business. Are you a self-starter? Self-motivated? Can you manage the books, pay the taxes, local/state/federal? Can you manage your money, quilting is sometimes feast or famine? How are your customer service skills? Do you have room for a machine that takes between 12 to 14 feet in length, plus room to go around at both ends (nobody wants to do stop-drop-and roll!!!)? Do you have between $10,000 (if you find a used machine or someone to go in with) and $20,000 dollars plus the costs of thread, batting, and yes-even we quilters have our specialty tools, and you can't buy them at Jo-Ann's with a 40%-off coupon!!! I took a ton of classes at a quilting show. Pantos are between $15.00 (if you're lucky!) and $30.00, and you will want WAY more than 1!

    There are shows where the quilting of the quilt is the star, as apposed to the pattern and piecing (they play an important part, just not #1). It's not cheap, but there are classes and are a great way to learn techniques. Figure $30 to $50 per class, plus registration, hotels, meals, and transportation.

    I personally have only done a stipple once (Happy to be Scrappy). I haven't done one since. I LOVE ruler work (also in Happy to be Scrappy), but I broke my wrist in a nasty fall on Valentine's Day. I'm still trying to get my stamina back for hours of ruler work. I do lots of pantos and have pattern boards for clam shells and baptist fans. I also do freehand.

    I don't mean to paint this negatively, I'm not. But there are many things to consider beyond "I want a machine." I'm sure my husband wishes I knew all these things going in. Me? I'm glad I didn't!!!! :P

  6. #16
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I do all my quilting on my regular machine. I also hand quilt but only in the winter. I don't seem to have much of a problem fluffing and stuffing the queen size quilt through the machine.

    I could never justify a long arm without quilting for hire and I'm afraid that would make my passion a "job" and take all the fun out of it.

  7. #17
    tarib's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers everyone. I will have to try a small sample quilt and try some sample quilting with my machine.

  8. #18
    Quiltingly Yours's Avatar
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    I do free hand quilting on my extended arm Janome 6500 and love it. I wish my heath was better so I could do more. I had an invitation to quilt on my friends new long arm just as she opened her new Quilt shop in town, I was honored to be the first to use her machine. I loved it but I couldn't be away from home that often and standing was becoming a problem for me. But I enjoyed it a lot. At first it was a little intimadating as neither of us knew what we were doing but we learned together and it was lots of fun. I did free hand on her machine too. Love it!

  9. #19
    vjquilter's Avatar
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    I have been a long arm quilter for about a year and a half and love, love, love it!!! It's funny that I ended up doing this professionally because up to a couple of years ago if I saw a long arm machine at a show, I would actually turn around and walk the other way to avoid having a rep ask me to try it. I didn't want anything to do with a machine like that! What turned me around was a diffferent part-time job doing something I couldn't stand and my sweet DH encouraging me to try it. With that, I plunged in and have been happy with a job I can't believe I get paid for-well, most of the time!
    There is a big learning curve to using a long arm machine. Some things I knew from sewing and quilting definitely translated well to the long arm, but some things were very different. I also didn't have any classes and I wish I could have since it would have helped a lot at first. It takes a lot of practice, regular practice to get really good at it. Doing charity quilts is great since I can try out something new and help at the same time.
    I love to do custom quilting and free motion quilting. Seldom do I get a customer who asks for a pantograph. The area I live in tends to lean towards the custom quilting.
    I get a lot of satisfaction with quilting a top and seeing how the quilting adds something special to it and then seeing the look on my customers face when she/he is pleased with the results. I have business cards in local quilt shops and have gotten customers through them as well as word of mouth.
    For me, it has been an adventure in learning and growing continually in my quilting and I am so glad I finally tried it!!! :-D

    Vicki in Surprise, AZ

  10. #20

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    A question to the quilters with a long arm machine.
    Have you quilted the disaster quilt yet.....you know the one that has so many problems that you wish you'd never started on it?
    Most everyone will do a good job on their quilts and you probably enjoy quilting those......but how do you cover yourself and your workmanship on a quilt top that's inferior quality to start with? I know myself I've had a few blunders with borders being a wavy on some of the first quilts I made. My long arm quilter told me what was wrong and how to correct it for the next quilt and I took her advice and appreciated her help. Can you tell before quilting which ones are going to cause you trouble along the way.....and how do you deal with those customers who just know any problems encountered are caused by the quilter rather than themselves?



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