A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
A new customer had picked out all the stitching on the outside border of this quilt because she was unhappy with the work done by her regular machine quilter. She was asking me to re-quilt the outside border so that there isn’t any extra fullness.
Yeah, “we can quilt that out” can’t we? (from a song about machine quilting by Cathy Miller.) Well ok, over the years I’ve figured out how to correct a number of problems I call “issue quilts” so that the problem almost disappears. Quilting out extra fullness on quilt borders is one of those issues.
Here is the quilt before I attach it to the leaders. I have it laying on the intake table. The quilt has been washed so there’s some shrinkage from that too which adds to the extra fullness.
Here the quilt is on the machine. Only the backing is attached to the leaders. The border is floating so that I can manipulate it if needed. The border will loose some of it’s width after the quilting is finished because of how it must be attached to the leaders. This will be ok because the backing and the border didn’t match up anyway.
Here’s a view of one area on this border before I start the quilting.
Now here’s the same area after I’ve quilted it. Don’t be fooled by the thread lines across the applique. I did not stitch over those. Those are traveling threads. What? What I mean is that I stop stitching at the applique edge, “travel” to the other side, and started stitching again. I’ll do a stitch in the ditch around the applique after I’ve corrected the extra fullness. Then I’ll go back to clip all the traveling threads.
Here’s another area before the quilting.
Now here is the after picture. There are some wrinkles in the fabric that look like quilting lines but they aren’t.
I did the piano key quilting freehand and without measuring the spacing. I put a line where the quilt told me it needed a line but kept it consistent looking. Our eyes have a way of correcting and seeing what it wants to see. I quilted as close as I could to the leader without catching the leader in the stitching.
And now here is the quilt finished, trimmed, and ready for a new binding. The extra fullness is still there, just not quite as noticeable.
The customer really wanted a nice feather design put back on this border but it wouldn’t have worked as well as the piano key quilting. A feather design is what the customer had picked out because she was unhappy. I didn’t see the quilt before the customer had picked out all the stitching done by the previous machine quilter. The customer told me there were several tucks in the border that she knew would keep her from winning a ribbon in a contest. That’s why she wanted it re-quilted. So it would be good enough to win a ribbon. Okee, Dokee, then. I didn’t know this before I did any re-quilting. She should have told me. We will see if it wins.
Did I do a good job? Would you be happy if you were the customer?