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Thread: Long-Armers - what do hope to see when an item is brought in?

  1. #1
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    I was just wondering if people that do long-arm quilting get any "nightmare" items to work on?

    In a perfect world, what do you hope to find/see when something is brought in to be quilted?

    I've seen a couple of posts where the person was disappointed with what the long-armer did, but I would like to see some views form long-armers.

    How can we help to make the experience be a mutually satisfactory one?

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Look over your peiced top from the back to ensure tension was ok on your seams and you didn't catch the very edge of a piece of fabric in your seam allowance which will most definitely tear apart as soon as we put it on the frame. If you see big loopys on one side of the seam from poor tension, please resew that seam, otherwise we have to. If you only caught the very edge of fabric in a block do something to reinforce that seam or redo it.

    Clip loose threads from the top. You don't have to get every single one but if you get most it sure saves us time from having to do it.

    Ensure your top is reasonably square by measuring it. If the right side of the quilt measures up at 98" and the left side is measuring 100", please try to get your quilt square by blocking it or removing borders and resewing. 90% of the time this is caused by not measuring for borders at the center of the quilt but at the sides.

    Find out how much bigger we need the backing to be from the top and please adhere to those guidelines.

  3. #3
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    If you're supplying batting, check to make sure it's something we can use on the longarm. Not all battings are created equal - some that work great for hand quilting or even DSM quilting just are nightmares on the longarm.

  4. #4
    Super Member whinnytoo's Avatar
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    Pressed would be a dream..... trim all loose threads and tails..... square is priority as well as borders not being "wavy" and being sure the backing is large enough.
    and nightmares? Oh definitely.....................they come with the territory. I have two waiting to be done as I type

  5. #5
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    I just received a couple of quilts that were stitched around the raw edges. What a nice touch! Fabrics do stretch, particularly if there are bias edges!

    On a side note, it's easier to deal with a seam in the backing fabric that is 1/2" wide and pressed OPEN.

  6. #6
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    I agree with what everyone else said up above...Square quilts...Measure your borders everyone!

    I also have to say that batting is just as important as the fabric we use for our quilt tops and backs. When someone sends me a batting and it falls apart coming out of the bag...not good! This means it wont hold up in the wash at all! It doesn't save you money in the long run.

    When we have layers upon layers of fabric that need quilting (bulky seems)..those really need to be pressed as flat as we can get them.


    Thanks!
    :thumbup:

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I'm not a LAQ'er ... My LAQ'er lets her pleasure be known each time as to how well pressed mine is; that it lays flat and square; and that the loose threads and frayed edges are gone from both the right and wrong sides.

    I "hear" her every time and know that my work has paid off. I think that's why she will sometimes agree to rush one thru for me, knowing it's "ready" to go when she receives it.

  8. #8
    Super Member arizonagirl's Avatar
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    I just want to say thank you for all the helpful information.

  9. #9
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiludrop
    On a side note, it's easier to deal with a seam in the backing fabric that is 1/2" wide and pressed OPEN.
    This is very good to know!

    And, all the tips are great!! Thank you so much!

  10. #10
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    Thanks from me, too, I really appreciate all this!

  11. #11
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    Wow, this is a great thread. I'm notorious for not making square quilts. And I'd like to do better.

    Why does measuring the middle verses the edges work better for borders?

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter
    Why does measuring the middle verses the edges work better for borders?
    The center measurement seems to be the true measurement (or the top's potential). By the time the borders are added, the far edge may have gone wonky. So measuring the wonky outer edge will just make the final border wavy and the top not lay flat. If you cut/sew the final border to the center measurement, that length will adjust and sort of "force" the top back into submission. If it's too short, the border can be stretched just a bit. If it too long, the border can be eased just a bit.

    I have heard people measure across the center and along both edges. In a perfect world, there shouldn't be a difference - or at least not much of a difference. If there is, some people figure out the average of the three measurements and use that as the border dimension.

  13. #13
    Jim
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    Lots of people worry about pet free homes also..but remember LA'ers have allergies as well..make sure if you smoke...wear lots of perfume or have pets...make sure the top is clean, pet hair free, and free of excess threads, ironed is also nice...it takes time to cut off all the threads and they can show through your fabric onto the front side when quilted...

  14. #14
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    [quote=quilttiludrop]I just received a couple of quilts that were stitched around the raw edges. What a nice touch! Fabrics do stretch, particularly if there are bias edges!

    Are those my tops?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    So measuring the wonky outer edge will just make the final border wavy and the top not lay flat
    Oh, that's what causes the wavy-ness. Hey, maybe the next time I turn a quilt top in they'll be pleasantly surprised

  16. #16
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    "I just received a couple of quilts that were stitched around the raw edges. What a nice touch! Fabrics do stretch, particularly if there are bias edges!"

    I always stitch around my quilt top before I give it to the longarm quilter, as well as trimming threads, squaring up and pressing it the best I can. I also give her oversized batting and backing. She's never said anything about my quilts but next time I'm going to ask her if there is anything I need to do before I give her a quilt.

    I donate a lot of quilt tops to charity groups to finish and I always stitch around the top to keep seams from opening and also attach binding to go with the quilt.

  17. #17
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    I agree with all the LA's comments.
    We all know that a square block is not always a square block, but we deal with it. but it sure is helpful if:
    Long threads are cut, loose odd threads removed,
    top and backing squared, (Yes, measure the middle and square it instead of the borders),
    pressed, (although if shipped to me they seem to need a bit of easy pressing anyway),
    a good quality batting if supplying your own.
    And odor, pet hair free.

    I have had wonderful experiences with my customer's quilts. Guess I've had the good ones! I look forward to their repeat business!

  18. #18
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    This is a wonderful post!

  19. #19
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    [quote=GAgal]
    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiludrop
    I just received a couple of quilts that were stitched around the raw edges. What a nice touch! Fabrics do stretch, particularly if there are bias edges!

    Are those my tops?
    Yes! The first one is off the long arm and I have no complaints! :-) You did a great job pressing your seams! :-) Thank you! :-)

  20. #20
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    Ditto all! And yes, I have customers that I will put at the top of the list simply because it is pure joy to quilt something they've pieced because it is so accurately square and border seams are not coming undone.

    I've recently started asking all customers to backstitch just a couple of stitches when putting on that last border.

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