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Thread: long arm service survey

  1. #1
    Senior Member echoemb's Avatar
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    what is the most important thing to you when sending a quilt to a quilting service? Is it important that it is done on a Gammill or just that the person doing the quilting knows what they are doing? Communication? Timing? Cost?

  2. #2
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    any particular brand of longarm machine is only as good as its operator. Some people have a natural talent and others do lots and lots of practice to become good, base your desicion on thier work not thier machine.

  3. #3
    pab
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    Agree with ss, its the operator ,not the machine that makes a good job on the quilt.I like to see pics of previous work & judge the examples of work. pab

  4. #4
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    How can you tell the difference if a top was quilted on a Gammill, APQS, A-1, Bailey or even a DSM or any other machine?

  5. #5
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    How can you tell the difference if a top was quilted on a Gammill, APQS, A-1, Bailey or even a DSM or any other machine?
    I agree it's the quality of the work, and seeing examples of previous work, WOM, and if I like what I see in the examples, do they smoke/pets around my quilt.

    I don't have anything against pets, but I allegeric to cats, and we all know how cat hairs can get into things (not to pcik on cat owners, because dog hair does the same). I had a pet, RIP but he was an outside pet, and had hair on my clothes when I went out to feed him, so I know how pet hair can cling. Shoot my hair is bad enough!!!

    Those are my only concerns if I would take a quilt to someone. I have my own mid-arm so I don't have to take mine anywhere.

  6. #6
    Super Member QuiltQtrs's Avatar
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    Quality of workmanship plus non-smoking and pet-free environment are
    most important. Getting photos of previously finished quilts really helps.
    Time is not of concern.

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I've never sent one out for longarming, but my priority would be to find out what classes this person has taken and what experience they have. You can have a computerized longarm delivered and have no experience, which is fine. But I wouldn't want to pay the same rate compared to someone with real talent and years of experience under their belt.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    The manufacture of the machine is no more important on the longarm side as it is on the piecing side. Its all about the experience/skill level of the operator. Demonsrating the quality of the finished work is important when I make my choice for who does my work. I measure quality by the consistant stitch lenght, the overall evenness and fill of the quilting pattern, the appearence of the backside ( knots etc), comitment to a delivery schedule, willness to work me to determine the best stitch design to compliment the piecing these are just a few things I use to determine my LongArm Pro. I have known many a piecer with high end machines who's work was ... well ... leaving room for much improvement.
    Cost is a factor , but not on the top of the list. I look at is the cost resonable for what is expected.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    Communication is important. I first used a long-arm quilter that didn't followup on a phone call TWICE. The next one totally ignored my LONG note about what I wanted. We talked, but I assumed she had read this note and, therefore, didn't repeat everything that was already noted. For instance, I wanted the pieced back centered over the front - and called her when it wasn't done this way. She told me it was "impossible." I doubt that seriously. Will never use her again, though the quilting was nice.

  10. #10
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    Quality first, then communication, cost and turnaround time. I'd want to see previous work or photos to determine quality. It would be best if the long arm machine has a stitch regulator since that improves the quality of the stitches.

    It's very important that the person you speak to is the one doing the quilting. Some places hire people to run their machines but they aren't the ones you speak to. I also don't like pantographs or machine designs. I want my quilts to look like a person quilted it. Guess that's one reason that I finally invested in my machine.

  11. #11

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    I also have learned from my past experience! I for sure will not do out of state again! I sent in a sample of the stitching that I wanted, and she never mentioned it, and I assumed that was what I got---wrong, she did it her way, and said it would have cost more, and I would have paid more! I sent the 2 quilt tops, and since Oct. I haven't recieved them yet!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Where to start!!:

    what is the most important thing to you when sending a quilt to a quilting service? COMMUNICATION!! What do you want done to your quilt, how much do you want to pay, what do you like/not like, - all these things should be discussed.

    Is it important that it is done on a Gammill or just that the person doing the quilting knows what they are doing? Great books have been written with pen and paper. I've seen crappy quilting done with longarms and beautiful quilting done on home machines.

    Communication? See first question!

    Timing? Don't be surprised if the quilter can't get to your quilt for a couple of months. Most of us with experience are booked out several months. But please don't hesitate to try a new LA quilter! We all have to start somewhere!! I am so grateful to those who trusted me with their quilts when I first started. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was given some 'test' quilts to see if I could do a good job.

    Cost? This should be discussed, and there are lots of ways to quilt the exact same quilt top. I have 4 quilts in my queue that are the same BOM. The first was done with high end custom. I'm loading another tomorrow that will have an overall design on it. The one after that will be heirloom level. And the 4th - she's still piecing!

    "You can have a computerized longarm delivered and have no experience, which is fine. But I wouldn't want to pay the same rate compared to someone with real talent and years of experience under their belt."

    Well....not really. If every quilt we received were perfect, then this might be true. But quilts are made by humans and are not perfect, and there are things that we have to do to give back a square and flat quilt when that may not be what we received, and those tricks are not things that come on a computerized machine!

    And please don't think that because it is done with a computerized machine that it should be cheaper. She has a higher investment in equipment that has to be part of her pricing structure, and that may be a different ratio of experience and equipment costs. I have lots of LA friends that quilted for years without a computer and have added one of those systems to expand the options for their customers.

    HTH!

  13. #13
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echoemb
    what is the most important thing to you when sending a quilt to a quilting service? Is it important that it is done on a Gammill or just that the person doing the quilting knows what they are doing? Communication? Timing? Cost?
    All of the above are important, but, knowing the work of a longarmer is what makes me choose. I sent one to a not-so-experienced longarmer because she was alittle cheaper ( and supposedly a friend), anyway the quilt come back unfinished, and distorted. I had to rip out all the quilting, square up the quilt and start over. It was one for my daughter. I started quilting it myself on my Janome 6600 and as soon as my shoulder heals from surgery, I will finish it myself. The Reputation of the Longarmer is the most important piece of information to obatain!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Kitsapquilter's Avatar
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    I have tried several long-armers and can honestly say I have not been disappointed with anyone of them. Right now I have someone who lives nearby (about 20 minutes away) and I found her on the web. She has a web-site. I liked her prices she listed. She had some quilts on there that she had quilted and they looked good. I called her and she offered me a special on quilting a king-size quilt. Let me tell you I was not the least disappointed in her work. She did and excellent job. So for me, cost, experience and non-smoking matters. I am taking my LAQ another quilt today.

  15. #15
    Super Member Kitsapquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsapquilter
    I have tried several long-armers and can honestly say I have not been disappointed with anyone of them. Right now I have someone who lives nearby (about 20 minutes away) and I found her on the web. She has a web-site. I liked her prices she listed. She had some quilts on there that she had quilted and they looked good. I called her and she offered me a special on quilting a king-size quilt. Let me tell you I was not the least disappointed in her work. She did and excellent job. So for me, cost, experience and non-smoking matters. I am taking my LAQ another quilt today.
    I forgot to mention her turn-around time is really fast. No waiting for 3 weeks to get the quilt back!! That is also important to me!

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i don't think which machine the quilter owns has anything to do with their ability as a quilter...so the gammil part has no bearing...i know very few people who own gammils, but know lots of great long-arm quilters.
    the things i think about/ ask about are:
    1) examples of their work...do i like their style of quilting (long-arm quilters are as versatile as any other artist...they all have their own style)
    2) cost...what do they charge, what's included in that cost
    and
    3) turn around time...i think less than a month is reasonable (prefer a 2-week turn around) if they are so back-logged that it may be months i'm afraid the quilter may be (burning-out) and i will look for someone else.

    I am a long-arm quilter; when i start getting behind i stop accepting any work until i am back on track. i try to keep costs within the (market-norm) for this area. i have a dozen or so regular repeat customers. that have been bringing me their quilts for 5 or 6 years, not one of them has ever asked what the brand name of my machine is...i don't get the gammil part of your inquiry.

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