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Questions about Longarm Quilting

Questions about Longarm Quilting

Old 09-26-2010, 05:21 PM
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Location: Texas
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I haven't got a quilt top put together yet, but I already have several questions about longarm quilting.
How long does it take to longarm stitch a quilt? Do most longarm quilters supply the batting and baste the layers for you? Does the longarm machine do all quilting via computer or by hand?
These are very novice questions, but I want to know what to ask for when it comes times for me to get a quilt quilted. I don't have any interest in quilting it myself. I just like the piecing part!
Thanks so much,
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:27 PM
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1. It depends on what kind of quilting. It can take anywhere from an afternoon up...A meander, I can do in an afternoon. If I freehand fancier it can take several days. I don't have pantos, but a longarmer can do a panto very quickly. It also depends on the turnaround time that each quilter has. It can be several days up to a year for longarmers in demand by many people.

2. It depends on the longarm quilter whether they supply the batting and you pay for it, or whether you supply it. Many longarm quilter will have it and it can be cheaper than you can purchase it. I baste the layers as I go. So far, I have only quilted a couple for other people, so I don't have batting on hand.

3. It depends on the system that the quilter has. I do not have a computer for my machine. I do it all freehand.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:33 PM
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1) I agree with Sadiemae
2) I would prefer to provide my own batting when I longarm for someone. I don't like the big light fluffy stuff -- too much lint. As for basting. The machines require the layers to be put on separately. Then I machine baste across the top. You, as the quilt top provider, will not baste the layers together.
3) I have the computer....and I believe others will say this, if you want meandering/stippling, it's easier to do that freehand. If you want fancy designs, I'm going to use the computer (that's why we paid big $$ for it!). Some really REALLY talented women can do the designs freehand.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:51 PM
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Location: Austin, TX
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Michelle - Good for you for thinking about this now :) Longarmers are very much accustomed to walking new clients through their specific requirements. It does seem to vary with regions, as to what those requirements are, the charges, and the batting preferences.

You do have a choice to use a local LAer or you can use one by mail. It is usually best to use one in your area so that if there are any issues, they can be dealt with properly and quickly. Plus, you will be able to see many examples of their work up close. It may be nice to begin asking around for references for your local folks now, and then you can also begin to hear if they are good, how people like working with them, their backlogs (which are very common), etc. Reputations,in this business, are everything.

Most LAers are wonderful to work with, and will appreciate a nicely pressed and squared top and backing. Usually you're allowed to use whatever batting you prefer, but it's best if you ask about the preference as there are some that are a bear to work with! Also, you will have your choice of threads, type and color, as well as the patterns you prefer - whether hand-worked or computerized (both are lovely and both can be awful - so no guarantees on one over the other!).

Please feel free to ask any additional questions. I'm happy to help if I can.

Hope this helps :)
Debbie in Austin
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:20 PM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Good quesitons for a longarmer. Turn-around time varies by longarmer and depends on who is ahead of you line, size of quilt, and complexity of quilt design. My turnaround time is 2 weeks.

Cost will also vary with longarmers and again depends on size and complexity. Usually the least expensive is to do an edge-to-edge (E2E)quilt design which is what most quilters want to keep their costs down. E2E looks wonderful and truly enhances your quilt.

A customer can provide their own batting or usually the longarmer will have batting on hand for purchase. I include batting free on the first quilt a customer brings to me to be quilted.

Jeannie in Phoenix
Gammill w/Statler Stitcher
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