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Thread: When and why hire a LA Quilter

  1. #26
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    "When" is when you don't want to do it yourself.
    "Why" is because you don't want to do it yourself.
    Maybe I don't understand the question? Lots of people love piecing/applique but prefer to quilt by checkbook. Others enjoy the quilting process or want to have total control of their quilt. There's plenty of room for both types.
    Well said, Dunster!
    Cheryl, I longarm for others. Most of my customers enjoy the creative process & not the quilting process. Some prefer I do it so that it gets finished faster & better than their own FMQ. If you're doing market research, I suggest you look at the area your in & compare between the local LAQ. I know where I am, there's quite a few of us LAers & each of us have different areas that we specialize in. A friend of mine only does pantos, another only does meandering. Another uses strictly computerized. Me? I'm all freehand, ruler work, semi-custom to custom. I don't even own any pantos. I enjoy the creativity of doing it & hands on quilting of the whole quilt.

  2. #27
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I quilt by check. I find the actual "quilting" very boring and tedious! Let those who have invested th big $$ into a craft they enjoy and pay them to quilt the top. A beautiful relationship! I prefer to start the next project . I do love to do the binding tho!
    sandy
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  3. #28
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy60545 View Post
    Well said, Dunster!
    Cheryl, I longarm for others. Most of my customers enjoy the creative process & not the quilting process. Some prefer I do it so that it gets finished faster & better than their own FMQ. If you're doing market research, I suggest you look at the area your in & compare between the local LAQ. I know where I am, there's quite a few of us LAers & each of us have different areas that we specialize in. A friend of mine only does pantos, another only does meandering. Another uses strictly computerized. Me? I'm all freehand, ruler work, semi-custom to custom. I don't even own any pantos. I enjoy the creativity of doing it & hands on quilting of the whole quilt.
    I find it difficult at times to ask for info on the kind of quilting specialty the LAQ does. It would be helpful if the LAQ would ask me the pertinent questions that they need answered prior to quilting the project. I don't know what I need to know to ask myself. BUT I am learning to ask these questions since I have learned the hard way. Please add other questions that I may not be aware to ask.

    I don't want to see the thread..I want to see the fabric.
    I don't want contrasting thread on the back. Please use a different bobbin thread if you need to in order to "hide" the stitching. example: I hate white bobbin thread on a colored backing. I need to clarify this with my LAQ for the future project.

    PLEASE check your tension settings...nothing riles me like seeing the tension being off on the back of the quilt and "nests" of threads too. Good grief..I correct my own tension issues, etc when I piece a top, etc. Please do the same.

    I don't pay for "custom". My projects are fun and a pantograph is just fine by me. I also love meandering. My quilt will not be entered into a contest but it may be exhibited for "show" only. Pantos are fine for my use.

    Please inform me of the estimated turn around for my project(s). I fully understand wait times but please give me a ballpark estimated time of completion. Of course you also need to know if I have a "secret" deadline that I fail to mention. Let's talke timeframe on both sides, please.

    What other questions should I be asking??
    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  4. #29
    Senior Member Woodster's Avatar
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    My SIL is a long-armer in Ca. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to send a quilt to her. She can create beautiful
    designs that I could never ever do on my home sewing machine.

  5. #30
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I do not have the room in my house for a long arm. I also don't have the money to buy one. I don't have the strength in my arm, bad shoulder, to wrestle a large quilt through my DSM. I do a lot of QAYG but there are some quilts I want that beautiful quilting. I can send out a lot of quilts to a LA for the cost of a machine. Maybe if I won the lottery I could build a room for a longarm.
    Marie

  6. #31
    Senior Member Scraps's Avatar
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    This past June I sent a quilt to a LA for the first time. Loved the results. I have been doing my own on my small throated Brother machine using waves and lines and it was OK. BUT CKCOWL on this board has now spoiled me!! She comes from the area I was born in and it was fun to meet her and to have her LA a quilt for me. It does make the quilt more expensive, but they are finished so nicely.

  7. #32
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandygirl View Post
    I find it difficult at times to ask for info on the kind of quilting specialty the LAQ does. It would be helpful if the LAQ would ask me the pertinent questions that they need answered prior to quilting the project. I don't know what I need to know to ask myself. BUT I am learning to ask these questions since I have learned the hard way. Please add other questions that I may not be aware to ask.

    I don't want to see the thread..I want to see the fabric.
    I don't want contrasting thread on the back. Please use a different bobbin thread if you need to in order to "hide" the stitching. example: I hate white bobbin thread on a colored backing. I need to clarify this with my LAQ for the future project.

    PLEASE check your tension settings...nothing riles me like seeing the tension being off on the back of the quilt and "nests" of threads too. Good grief..I correct my own tension issues, etc when I piece a top, etc. Please do the same.

    I don't pay for "custom". My projects are fun and a pantograph is just fine by me. I also love meandering. My quilt will not be entered into a contest but it may be exhibited for "show" only. Pantos are fine for my use.

    Please inform me of the estimated turn around for my project(s). I fully understand wait times but please give me a ballpark estimated time of completion. Of course you also need to know if I have a "secret" deadline that I fail to mention. Let's talke timeframe on both sides, please.

    What other questions should I be asking??
    sandy
    Sandy,
    It's wonderful that you're asking these questions and giving your input to the longarmer. (I have a longarm, but I don't quilt professionally, just for myself, friends and charity.) As far as thread color, be aware that it's sometimes difficult to use a different bobbin thread and not have "pokies" on either side. Sometimes they go away when the quilt is washed, but I don't think you can count on that. If that would aggravate you, you might want to use a backing that will look good with the thread color used on top. Another input you should give is the type of batting you like (if you don't supply it). Also you could help select the panto if one is used. If you want the longarmer to trim the quilt (assuming that's an option) tell her where to trim it. If you don't want it trimmed, make that clear. If you want to bind by turning over the backing, the longarmer needs to know so she doesn't do any practice stitches outside the quilt top, or run the stitches off the edge of the top. If you have a strong preference for cotton thread, or want a shiny thread... There's probably a lot more that a professional longarmer would like to know, and should be asking.

  8. #33
    Senior Member haylillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    When- when the quilt top is finished.
    Why - because the quilt top is finished.
    thats good, what other reason would u need
    esther

  9. #34
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I have always taken my quilts to a LAer. I love piecing them. I did do one small wall hanging with hand quilting and that was enough for me. I can't imagine trying to machine quilt on my sewing machine. My quilts are toooooo big for me to wrestle with. I love being able to talk with my LAer and decide what my quilt is going to look like. She does it all. Panto, meanders, customs. There are about 10 LAers within 1 1/2 hours of me and they are all backlogged so I know that a lot of quilters don't quilt their own quilts.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  10. #35
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandygirl View Post
    I quilt by check. I find the actual "quilting" very boring and tedious! Let those who have invested th big $$ into a craft they enjoy and pay them to quilt the top. A beautiful relationship! I prefer to start the next project . I do love to do the binding tho!
    sandy
    Why can't you live near me??? I'd trade LAQ for binding!!! I love the quilting portion of the process the best, that's why it's my business. I love to have the quilt talk to me and tell me what it wants on it...frustrating when the quilt is silent! I think my customers have me quilt for them is so they can get custom quilting on their quilt that they can't do on their DSM and they don't want to take the time to hand quilt a quilt. I'm so lucky to get paid to do what I love to do!

  11. #36
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    I am about 50/50 in my LAQ. I machine quilt my smaller projects (even though I am still learning!) Everything I piece that is from table runners, lap quilts, and baby quilts, I quilt myself. When it is a Queen or larger...I want her to do it as it isn't fun for me to FMQ on my home machine when they are that big. The bummer of that is of course, I have to have my quilt fit into her schedule...not always fast.

  12. #37
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    The main difference between mid-arm and Long-arm quilting machines is the depth, from the needle to the back of the machine ("reach" on the frame front to back). Most mid-arm machines can accomplish what our longarm machines can, so I totally agree...don't discount a midarm machine user...he/she can do the job just as well (if not better) than those of us who have longarm machines.


    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    I agree with Dunster.

    However, I have a midarm and know of several who also have midarms and they do beautiful quilting. Mine even had the computer option so I can download quilting patterns off the internet and then do whatever I might want with them.

    My midarm can go to almost 10 ft in one direction. Some of the gals I know have theirs out to 12 ft. So we can do almost all quilts. Please don't discount us.

    ali
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  13. #38
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you like to do & don't like to do...If you love to piece a quilt, but dread the quilting process, especially for larger quilts...then a LAQ is probably the way to go...but don't discount a MAQ...his/her machine may not be as large as LAQ's...but they can still get the job done just as nicely as a LAQ.

    I have a computerized machine & love using it, but I also enjoy doing freehand. I also like doing binding, and don't mind sheets for backings (no different than a batik for backing).

    I will take your not so perfect quilts, as long as you are aware I may have to take a tuck here and there, and if I run into a loose seam, I'll stitch it (blind stitch by hand) right there on the machine. I'll take older quilts and replace bindings (I leave the old, just put new over it)...I will take a picture of a fabric you have on the quilt & make a replacement for a piece that is damaged beyond repair (or missing)...and print that pic onto fabric, making a new "print" to match the fabric in the quilt (I charge 12.50 usd for the printer sheet fabric). It takes a bit of testing /combining to make the right color/size needed for the repair...so part is fee for my time & ink also.

    In other words...if it's old, tattered...or just not pieced very well...and no other long arm quilter will do it...I will. I love saving a quilt from the scrap heap. I've got a couple really new to quilting customers...I've been watching their quilt piecing improve with each quilt they send me....and I always try to include a magazine or other how to's when I return their quilt to them.

    I also make quilts and embroidered labels for myself and my customers...the fee depends on what is wanted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I'm asking about someone who does it as a business. Not just having your friend with a mid arm do it as a favor.
    Marge Campbell
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  14. #39
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    I love my LAQ. She does a beautiful job after I pick out the edge to edge pattern I want. I am afraid if I tried to quilt them on my machine I would really mess up all my work. Not worth the chance.

  15. #40
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I've never sent one out, but am working on one now that I plan to send out. I only have a regular sewing machine, and this is going to be a large quilt for my sons wedding gift.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  16. #41
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    Other things to tell your longarm quilter. Do you like feathers, floral designs....I have one client who likes rounded designs and another who doesn't. Don't be afraid to let your LA quilter know all your likes and dislikes. I figure we are here to enhance and complement what you have done. The more information we have the better we can do this. Is there something you especially like or dislike about what you've created.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  17. #42
    Dix
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    I love to hand quilt! But, I would never get all of them done. I do all the grand kids hand quilted when babies. Now I have greats to do. There are a few special people that I hand do for gifts. I probably do half and half! A gal in our quilt group is a LA quilter and she charges the going price, and does beautiful work! I have done many wall hangings and hand quilted them.

  18. #43
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    When is when you want a professional job, which, in my opinion you ought to want for any quilt top you make. Why? Because a good LA quilter can add so much dimension to your already good work--because they are professional artists, they can suggest thread color and quilting patterns that enhance your piecing and they can add artistic elements that you might not think of. froggyintexas

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrieg View Post
    Why? Because my quilting ability is limited. When? When I've saved up my pennies to afford it.

    Lots of people love the piecing and creating process. It's like professional singers. Not many of them write their own songs, but they make beautiful music. And those who write songs may have a terrible voice.
    Carol you nailed it. I love to design and piece a quilt, do o.k. on the quilting, but gosh do I hate to hand sew the binding, and I really haven't ever sent one out to a LA. quilter, not many around in my area, at least not closer than 200 miles away, so I usually struggle with my domestic machine. But I wish I could find someone who just loves the hand work. Many of my quilting friends like to do the binding because they know they are just about finished with the quilt, but not me. I put it off as long as I can. I love to view Charisma's work. What an artist - so sorry if I misspelled your name.
    Last edited by Gerbie; 07-13-2012 at 07:26 PM.

  20. #45
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    I LOVE the quilting process. I rush through piecing so I have something to quilt. I take the quilt, I look at it, I load it on my frame and let it speak to me. I doodle, I go have a cup of coffee, I doodle some more. I finish one and can't wait to start another. Why send it to a long-arm quilter? Share the love!

    I have one client who finished quilt tops for her son and daughter 20 years ago! She started quilting on her home machine and could not finish it. She brought 3 quilts to me that she had been staring at forever. I finished all three for her when she never would have done it herself. That is something I love! Bringing to completion someone's work of love, work of art.

    I know I'm like the silent partner. I don't get the credit, but I really don't mind. I just love finishing something for someone. I also had a client who entrusted me with a quilt top that his grandmother had made between 1900 and 1910. Talk about pressure. He didn't want it changed, but he wanted it done. I must have agonized over that one for about a week or more. Researched. Dreamed. Prayed. He love it so much he cried when he saw it. Finally, his grandmother's work was finished. That is why I love it. Too deep? Maybe, but they really do speak to me.

  21. #46
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    I have quilted all of my quilts until one of my UFOs was completed. It's for my brother, he bought most of the material and he thinks he's paying for the quilting. The Lady that is quilting does an amazing job.

    I wanted this quilt to be an heirloom and be speacial. My brother has helped me out so many time and never asked for anything in return.

    I'm working on another quilt for my partner, even though he's seen it, I want it to be speacial. And therefore, I will send that to a professional, maybe. Haven't made up my mind yet.

    If the quilts are for nieces and nephews or charity, I quilt them myself.
    The Quilting Bear

  22. #47
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    "When" is when you don't want to do it yourself.
    "Why" is because you don't want to do it yourself.
    Maybe I don't understand the question? Lots of people love piecing/applique but prefer to quilt by checkbook. Others enjoy the quilting process or want to have total control of their quilt. There's plenty of room for both types.
    I agree. I love piecing quilts and I will quilt small quilts, but I have a king size quilt almost ready to quilt and I won't attempt anything that big on my home machine.

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