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Thread: question about sending a quilt out for quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    question about sending a quilt out for quilting

    I have never sent a quilt out to a long arm. I have thought about it and I even asked about pricing.. but I am working on one for a wedding gift, so I am thinking about sending the quilt out. There is a question that I never asked the long armers so I am betting you ladies know... and maybe each long armer is different I have no idea. But when you give a long armer your quilt, do you have to layer and baste it? Or you do you just give them the quilt top, backing and batting and they take it from there - doing the layering themselves

  2. #2
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    They do the layering themselves

  3. #3
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    Every long arm quilter has their own way of doing things. When you decide on who you are going to send it out to you probably need to ask what their request from you would be. I have worked with 3 different long armers and they all require different things. I have never basted my quilts but I have laid them out with top, batting and backing after ironing the top and bottom. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Three separate pieces. Also back and batting must be larger than top in order to accommodate attaching to longarm. I ask for four extra inches on each of the 4 sides but it is best to ask your longarm person what they require. Also each longarmer may have particular requirements for preparation.
    jackie

  5. #5
    Super Member sash's Avatar
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    Definitely talk to your quilter about do"s and do not's. Mine provides batting so I don't have to worry about that. Just make sure your backing is "so many inches" bigger than top. I have quilted some of my own and I think it's important to have your backing squared up, pressed and selvedges trimmed off if piecing. But, definitely let your quilter tell you.

  6. #6
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    Usually, you would not layer and baste the layers together as they need to be loaded separately on the frame - basting them together prior to loading may cause puckers on the front or back or both. Do make sure that you have spoke with whomever you are going to have quilt it and send/take enough backing and batting to extend out beyond the sides of the top.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    You don't layer the top, the quilter will. Some quilters will have a selection of batting, so you may not need to provide your own. The quilter will tell you how large the backing needs to be and if they will accept a vertical seam or even a sheet.
    You need to do some research to avoid any disappointments. If possible, get referrals from friends. If you can't do that, ask to see some of the quilter's completed work. Plan on spending some time when you drop the top off. The quilter will probably have ideas, but the more input you can provide the better. If you see a photo of a quilt you like, print it off and bring it with you.
    Insist on something in writing. If the quilter doesn't have a formal contract, then at least write something up by hand. At a minimum, it should state the size of the top, type of batting, and thread to be used. The type of quilting should be spelled out: custom, all over, panto etc. If a panto is used, the name of the panto should be stated. The price should be listed. An approximate completion date should be specified. Make sure your name and phone number is clearly listed. You both sign it and each gets a copy. And finally, you and the quilter should look the top over to make sure they don't see any issues.
    If you have used a quilter several times, you can probably trust their judgment and don't have to be so formal, but the first time using someone you should be cautious!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
    Senior Member yonnikka's Avatar
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    Many long-arm quilters want to supply the batting from their store, because they buy it on rolls and get a better price than a retail customer can get. Also it is necessary to have your BACKING fabric extending beyond the front by about 8 inches. If your quilt top was 72 x 80, then your BACKING should measure 80 x 88 inches. (after pre-shrinking and cutting off all selvedges). This results in quite a bit of "waste" of your backing fabric, and you should ask up front for all your trimmings to be returned to you, whether or not you want the long-arm quilter to bind your quilt. Make sure you know all the charges, because you may be shocked if the quilter charges fees beyond the "per square inch" charge that they will quote you. Get everything in writing FIRST. For example, if you have a wide border around your quilt, the long-arm quilter may suggest doing a different design AROUND the center. This will add to the cost of having your quilt done for you.
    My fabric talks to me.

  9. #9
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    All good suggestions here. breakdown; ask for referrals, ask longarmer for requirements, get it in writing. I know a LA who has everything in writing and emails to her clients what those are.

  10. #10
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    The LAer's by me have all their information on their websites -- extra inches required on back, what batting they use/allow, why type(s) of quilting they do & price per inch for each & so forth.

  11. #11
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    wow! thanks everyone for the information and suggestions!!

  12. #12
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I give it in three separate pieces to my long arm quilter. She also gives me guidelines for the extra size needed for the batting and backing over the dimensions of the top.
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  13. #13
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    If you plan to use the backing material for the binding be sure and let the quilter know not to trim.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
    Susan

  14. #14
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    They do the layering putting it onto a frame. The one thing that they appreciate are that the quilt and backing have been pressed and any loose threads removed.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  15. #15
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Make sure you have seen their work before hiring them to do such a precious gift.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  16. #16
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    I take the top and backing to my long arm quilter and she provides the batting. She changes by the inch for the quilting and there is an extra fee if I have her doing the binding.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  17. #17
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    Whatever the longarm quilter says for extra backing fabric - follow it. So many times, people say "Well I know you wanted an extra 4 inches on each side, but I have x." The quilters use the extra inches to attach the backing to the frame and to clamp the sides. If there is not enough fabric, there will be issues with the quilting near the edges. Also, the tension for the quilt is perfected by practicing on the sides in those extra inches of fabric. Much better to have an extra place to do it - other than the quilt top.
    Last edited by UFOs Galore; 11-28-2015 at 04:27 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
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    I have used two long arm quilters for very special projects. Both of them used the batting and backing which I supplied. Neither requested my layering everything -- it was easier for them to work with three separate pieces. I had to be sure that the batting and backing were at least four inches larger than the top so the pieces would load onto the frame accurately. Both of my long armers were given free reign over the design. I trusted both of them explicitly and was not disappointed. One of them left the extra batting and backing attached, so, when I trimmed everything, I had plenty of long strips to use as the binding. If you have questions, ask your long armer. I don't think you will be disappointed. Your special gift should become a very special gift.
    Sometimes I try to act "normal," but it gets boring so I just go back to being myself.

  19. #19
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    Most LAQ's provide their own batting. I've worked with LAQ's who lie 6 extra inches on the backing and I've worked with ones tha onle require 4 inches all around on the backing. Contact the LAQ your going to use and see if they provide batting and hqw big your backing shoud be on all sides.

  20. #20
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    Make sure your backing and top are well pressed and all loose threads are trimmed from the backs. If the back is pieced, use half inch seams (do not include selvedges) and press open. If you will be quilting with a directional pattern, mark where the top of the quilt is. If there are any loose edges, as in loose folded triangles or flanges, baste those down so they don't get quilted down flipped over. Stitch across the ends of seams which extend to the edge of the quilt top so they don't open up once under tension on the frame.

  21. #21
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    When I first started using long arm quilters, I had a list of questions I asked in addition to making sure I saw samples of their work. You may be able to use some of those questions, too, so here's my list:

    How long have you been longarming? On the machine you use now?
    Is your machine hand guided or computer guided?
    Have you quilted for competition?
    Are you a member of any guilds or machine quilter’s organizations?
    If I select a quilting pattern that you don’t think will look very good when complete, will you explain why and make other suggestions?
    Are there brands of batting that you prefer to work with?
    Will I receive an estimate?
    Do you require a deposit?
    If extra work is required, do you call in advance of doing that work?
    Do you baste all the edges?
    Do you trim the backing and the batting?
    Do you also make quilts?
    Do you have any problem with cats? (some here will not take customers with cats because of allergies)
    What type of thread do you use? Do you supply it?
    Do you have a rush service?
    Are there any size limitations, large or small?
    Do you require backstitched seams on the edges or is perimeter stitching okay instead?


    ETA: Mine requires that the top, batting, and backing are marked with safety pins to indicate the top edge. It keeps layers from being loaded incorrectly and takes the determination of 'which way is up' out of her hands...which she likes.

    Last edited by ghostrider; 11-29-2015 at 05:38 AM.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  22. #22
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    good information from ghostrider. I am a long armer and it also nice if the tops are pressed and long threads trimmed. Nothing more frustratineg than to have stray threads quilted in a light piece of fabric. But do ask questions of your longarmer, it helps for you complete satisfaction.

  23. #23
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    ghostrider - thanks for your input! that list of questions is good to have

  24. #24
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    You do not have to layer it, they do it. Each long arm quilter has different requirements as to how they want the top and backing done so make sure that you talk to them first. As to the batting, check with the quilter as to what batting they use. I usually do not supply the batting if the batting that the LAQ uses is acceptable. The cheapest services are for edge to edge quilting. If you require custom quilting the price is usually higher. In regards to the binding, I supply the binding and ask that they sew it on to the front of the quilt because I like to hand sew the binding to the back. If I mail my top and backing I always put them in a plastic bag just in case the box gets wet.
    Carmen E.

  25. #25
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    My long-armer doesn't want anything but the 3 pieces. She also wants to have you pick out the pattern of quilting you want done on it. She answers any questions, gives suggestions if you want it, and is worth every cent I pay her. It is a relief to have her!
    She will offer to bind it, or leave it for me to do. I let her do it!!
    Good luck!
    Mariah
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
    Marta
    Martha Tompkins

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